News from Palestine: 7/20/11: Settlers attack Palestinians and international observers with clubs and rocks

Settlers attack Palestinians and international observers with clubs and rocks

from Mondoweiss by Kate


Settlers ‘attack’ foreign observers near Hebron
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 19 July — Three settlers from the illegal Havat Maon settlement south of Hebron attacked a group of internationals on Monday in the Meshakna valley, a Christian peace group said.  “Around 6.35 p.m. three settlers attacked two members of Operation Dove and one member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams with clubs and stones in the Meshakha valley outside of At-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills,” a CPT statement said. “The settlers were observed coming out of the outpost of Havat Maon covering their faces with scarves then running with clubs in their hands toward two Palestinian shepherds who were grazing their sheep in a valley nearby. “The masked settlers could not catch the shepherds who were alerted of the approaching danger. The attackers then turned and ran toward the internationals who entered the valley to intervene and document the attack … This is the fifth case of settler violence from the outpost of Havat Maon against internationals and Palestinians in the last 30 days, the statement added.

Operation Dove slideshow: Settlers from Haat Ma’on attack internationals in Meshakha hill 2011-07-18

And more news from Today in Palestine:

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

The Israeli rail trail spider-net trap for the anticipated Palestinian state
[with maps] ARIJ 1 April — … Jerusalem has always been a vortex for the rest of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the point where the leave the occupied territory into Israel. More than that the success, in fact the durability of the settlement project in the West Bank became somehow associated with providing a swift and functional transportation system for the settlers between the settlements within Jerusalem and the outskirts of the occupied city to major cities to the settlers’ work areas.  The whole transportation system is an integrated one that aims to complement settlements, Jerusalem and Israel in the following phased scenario
link to

Jenin youngsters share JVS work in Jiftlik
Jordan Valley Solidarity 19 July — Today, youngsters from the Jenin Creative Cultural Center spent the day in the Jiftlik Friends Meeting House. 25 teenagers from Jenin city and villages came to the Jordan Valley today to share our volunteering work in one of the eldest houses of the Jordan Valley. Along with Palestinians and internationals JVS volunteers, they have been taught how to make mud bricks in the traditional way. They also participated in renovating the outside walls of the 200 year-old house, which is made entirely with mud bricks.
link to

Water resources in Masafer-Yatta, the South Hebron Hills / Georgio Algeri
[photos] PalMon 19 July — Starting on Friday 1 July, I stayed for one week in at-Tuwani (ﺍﻟﻃﻮﺍﻧﻲ‎ ﺍﻟتوانة), the small Palestinian village about 9 miles to the south of Hebron in the area known as Masafer-Yatta or the South Hebron Hills … at-Tuwani was the first village in the South Hebron Hills to initiate non-violent resistance. Other nearby villages followed their example. But unlike many other Palestinian villages, at-Tuwani has experienced some success. Last year at-Tuwani was permitted by Israel to connect to the water pipeline from nearby Yatta, a nearby village in Area A, under Palestinian Authority control … Since 1967, Israel has controlled all water resources in West Bank (vis-à-vis the Mountain Aquifer and the Jordan Basin). Using a law that dates back to the Ottoman period, Israel claims land that has been uncultivated for three consecutive years. Lack of access to water resources debilitates Palestinian farmers and makes it nearly impossible for them to tend their crops. In the hills surrounding at-Tuwani, other small villages face their own, related problems.


Teenagers kidnapped by Israeli police in Wadi Hilweh
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 19 July — Israeli forces kidnapped two children in Wadi Hilweh district of Silwan yesterday afternoon. Two police cars were sighted approaching Mohammed Qaq and Hamza Samreen, both aged 15, at high speed, then making the arrests. Details of the arrests remain unknown. A third boy, Hamza Siyam, 17, was also arrested for a brief period before being released.
link to

Madaa Center launches 5th annual Summer Games in Silwan
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 19 July — The Madaa Creative Center “Summer Games” program was launched yesterday in Wadi Hilweh district of Silwan. The Games features a wide range of activities for children during one week of the summer holiday period, including games, educational activities and entertainment. The week will be concluded with a colorful street rally in Wadi Hilweh, a tradition since 2008 when the first rally was staged as a community gathering and protest against settlement policy in Silwan.
link to


Israeli bulldozers raze 35 dunums near Hebron
HEBRON  (WAFA) 19 July — Israeli bulldozers Tuesday razed 35 dunums of Palestinian land and confiscated irrigation networks in Baq‘a area [see here for history of Israeli attacks on Al Baq‘a, the most fertile land in the governorate of Hebron] to the east of Hebron, according to local residents. Azzam Jaber, a local farmer, told WAFA that members of the Israeli police, border guards and civil administration razed 35 dunums planted with vegetables for the third time in two months in order to force Palestinian farmers to leave the area. He said Israel wants to expand Kiryat Arba and Kharsina settlements at the expense of their land.
link to

Israeli forces

Soldiers ‘attack mourners’ at Hebron funeral
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 19 July — Israeli forces on Monday evening accosted a group of mourners in Beit Ummar village Monday, activists said. Two workers for the rights group B’Tselem were beaten by Israeli troops, who opened fire and shot stun grenades at people attending the funeral, local activist Muhammad Awad said. Awad told Ma‘an that Imad Abu Hashem, 21, was taken to a clinic for treatment of injuries. He added that the troops raided the cemetery and banned people from burying Ibrahim Al-Khatib. People waited in the cemetery until the troops left and then buried Al-Khatib, he said.
link to

Twilight Zone: Drive-by shooting / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 15 July — Jalal Al-Masri was fatally shot by soldiers while driving to collect his family for a weekend vacation in Eilat. Six months after the incident, his bereaved family are still looking for answers — What happened in January this year? During that month, Israel Defense Forces soldiers, using live ammunition, killed three Palestinians in incidents at checkpoints and another, aged 66, as he slept in his bed. In the six months since, not one Palestinian has been killed in the West Bank. Last week, however, the fifth casualty from January died. The circumstances of his death are especially puzzling and infuriating … Jalal Al-Masri was a 28-year-old truck driver from Jerusalem’s mixed Arab-Jewish Abu Tor neighborhood, married and the father of two children. He carried cargo between Ashdod and Sde Uziyahu, a village near the port … He had no security or criminal background, was never arrested or interrogated, never “belonged,” and was never “active.” … Late in the evening of Thursday, January 20, Jalal left his home for Idna, to pick up his wife and children ‏(who were there for a short family visit‏), ahead of the trip to Eilat early the next morning. Jalal was in good spirits, say his two brothers, Jamil and Hakham. He had supper with his parents and left Abu Tor for Idna around 10 P.M. in his Peugeot. The details of what happened on the way are few and very unclear. What’s known is that around noon the next day, the police called Hakham and told him Jalal had been injured in a road accident and was in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem. Jalal had driven south on Highway 60. He was shot with live ammunition by soldiers who were standing on the roadside outside the town of Halhul, near Hebron. Three bullets tore through the rear window of the Peugeot; no bullet struck the wheels or other parts of the vehicle. One bullet hit Jalal in the back of the head and exited through the front, doing lethal damage to his brain … He would remain comatose for the next six months. During all those months, his family never left his bedside … During all this time, no one in the IDF had bothered to explain to the family what happened. They have now hired a lawyer and are demanding an investigation.


Ashqar: Israel detained more than 3,000 Palestinian children in 5 years
GAZA  (PIC) 19 July — The ministry of prisoners in Gaza said that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have detained more than 3,000 Palestinian minors over the period 2005 – 2010 and not only 835 as published by the Israeli B’Tselem. The ministry’s spokesman Riyadh Al-Ashqar said in a statement on Tuesday that the number mentioned in B’Tselem report is only 25% (or less) of the real number of those detained by occupation. He said that most of the arrested children were released after few days, weeks or months while some of them are still behind bars. Ashqar underlined that IOF soldiers detained more than 1,000 children in 2010 alone half of them from occupied Jerusalem. However, Ashqar described the B’Tselem report as “important” despite not including all numbers of detained children because it was released by an Israeli institution and could be used against Israel in international courts.

Five Palestinians arrested during Israeli crackdown in the West Bank
WEST BANK (PIC) 19 July — Five Palestinians including a woman were arrested in the West Bank on Tuesday amid an intense Israeli search and arrest campaign … That morning, the Israeli occupation forces nabbed two men in Taffouh, which lies west of Al-Khalil, and a woman aged 45 after searching her husband’s home in Al-Khalil city. Similar forces searched a separate home in nearby Dhahiriyya without report of arrest.
The same day, the IOF declared the village of Al-Tuwana, to the south of Al-Khalil, a military zone and banned dozens of foreign pro-Palestinian activists from entering and supporting locals who have been under attack by Jewish settlers from the Ma’on settlement outpost.
In Jenin, IOF troops carried out a raid and search operation on Palestinian homes in the Al-Bassatein district and questioned locals early morning on the ground. Locals said that more than 20 military vehicles joined the operation. Locals also reported that IOF troops arrested a 22-year-old Palestinian youth in Jenin’s Kharouba district. The IOF also raided the villages of Al-Yamoun, Al-Seilat al-Harithiyya, Al-Hashimiyya, and Al-Irqa and deployed its vehicles in those communities.
On Tuesday morning, IOF soldiers arrested a young man from the Tekoa southeast of Bethlehem after raiding the home of a local there. The IOF set up military checkpoints earlier that night in Tekoa and Khadir, stopping and searching vehicles and checking for identification.

Young man seized in West Bank raid
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 19 July – Israeli forces detained a young man from the Hebron town of Beit Ummar, relatives said. Ahmad At-Tit, 21, who suffers from diabetes, was seized from his home, according to his father, Abdul Fattah. Ahmad requires two injections each day and his father fears the arrest could threaten his life.
link to

Renewal of Palestinian prisoner’s administrative detention for 8th time
HEBRON (WAFA) 17 July —  Israeli authorities Sunday renewed the administrative detention of Palestinian prisoner Akram Abu Sneineh, 40, for the eighth time in a row, said Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC). Head of PPC in Hebron, Amjad Najjar, said Abu Sneineh had been arrested eight times before the last arrest and has served a total of 12 years in Israeli jails. During his last arrest, Abu Sneineh’s father died and he could not attend the funeral. Abu Sneineh is currently detained in Naqab prison without legal justifications or charges.
link to

Israeli court holds MP in administrative custody
NABLUS (PIC) 19 July — The Israeli military court in Salem has ordered the administrative detention of Hamas MP Dr. Nasser Abdel Jawad for six months, his office director said. He told the PIC on Monday that the court said that it would allow an appeal on Wednesday against the ruling. He said that the lawmaker is currently held in Megiddo jail where he was incarcerated since his detention on 28/6/2011. Abdel Jawad has served more than 15 years in Israeli occupation jails and was last released from three years of administrative detention in September 2009.

Ufree slams Israel’s continued detention of Palestinian mayor’s daughter
OSLO (PIC) 19 July — The European network to support the rights of Palestinian prisoners (Ufree) has expressed strong condemnation after an Israeli court extended the detention of the daughter of Jamal al-Tawil, the mayor of Al-Beira near the West Bank city of Ramallah. In a statement, Ufree, which is headquartered in Oslo, called what was happening to the 17-year-old “an attempt to use her to pressure and extort her father.” The Ashkelon court ruled Monday to extend Bushra’s period of detention for another eight days. Ufree described the detention as a blatant violation of international law, which has forbidden the detention of minors. She has already been held for two weeks. Ufree called on the Red Cross and other human rights organizations to urgently intervene, expressing special concern over Israel’s interrogation methods.

Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike becomes seriously ill
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 19 July — The Palestinian center for detainees reported Tuesday that a prisoner at Ramla prison hospital in Israel has become seriously ill.  Yousef Skafi, 42, has been on hunger strike for 38 days and refuses to take any medicine. His health has seriously deteriorated in recent days. A lawyer from the center told Ma‘an that Skafi no longer has the energy to speak. Skafi went on hunger strike to protest against the medical neglect of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and against the inhumane treatment of prisoners by Israeli authorities.
link to

Prisoner Wraidat transferred to hospital
HEBRON (WAFA) 19 July — An ailing Palestinian prisoner who started an open hunger strike 37 days ago in protest against Israeli medical negligence and bad prison conditions was transferred Tuesday to Ramla prison hospital due to severe deterioration in his health condition, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC). Atef Wraidat, 45, was arrested in 1982 at 16 years of age and imprisoned for 11 years. He was released in 1993, in bad health due to heart disease and medical negligence in prison. He was arrested again in 2002 and sentenced to another 11 years, of which he has served 10. He suffers from various illnesses including diabetes, hypertension and heart problems. His health worsened in Asqalan prison south of Israel, where he is kept, and he has been in need of open heart surgery for over a year.
link to

Palestinian prisoners’ kids visit Israel
Ynet 19 July — Initiative brings Arab-Israeli, Palestinian children together in special summer camp to promote co-existence. Most participants children of security prisoners — While Israel and the Palestinian Authority participate in a diplomatic battle as September looms ever nearer, 18 Palestinian children from the Dheisheh Refugee Camp near Bethlehem arrived in Israel on Monday to take part in the ‘living color’ summer camp together with children from Arab villages and cities in Israel … The group behind the initiative is the Jewish-Arab institute at Beit Berl … One of the participants, a 12-year-old girl whose father was charged with attempted kidnapping of an Israeli soldier said angrily: “My father had a very difficult life and I can’t forget that — vengeance is the right way.” Mohammad Fuad al-Ham, whose father was also imprisoned in Israel, said that he feared that he would not be allowed to cross the border and would be forced to go back because of his father’s actions. “I was very happy when I got to Israel and that I will be able to fulfill my dream — to swim in the sea for the very first time. I want peace very much but I hate what the Israeli government is doing.”
link to


EWASH: Destruction of Gaza water and sanitation infrastructure must stop
Gaza (PNN) 19 July — The Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene group (EWASH) has condemned recent Israeli airstrikes that have resulted in damaged water and sanitation infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. EWASH, a coalition of 30 prominent humanitarian organisations working in the Palestinian territories, in a press release today detailed the damage caused by one particular air strike on Sunday. The air strike destroyed an agricultural well in Beit Hanoun, injuring 4 children and 3 women in the process. The well provided water for the Az-Za’anin family and 39 dunams of agricultural land. The same strike also caused damage to 9 water tanks that served five households of 59 people. EWASH condemns such strikes on essential civilian infrastructure.
link to

Health Ministry: Gaza health situation has been spiraling since early June
GAZA (PIC) 19 June — The Gaza Health Ministry’s public relations director Dr. Ashraf al-Qudra warned that the health sector in the Gaza Strip is spiraling downward as the “unprecedented medicine crisis” has continued since early June. Qudra said that 163 medicines and 160 medical consumables have gone completely out of stock, “which means impairment of many of the daily health services in the hospitals and primary care centers in the Gaza Strip.” He warned that the health situation in Gaza could completely collapse within the next three months as fifty more medicines and seventy more consumables are at risk of running out.

Gazans who fled Libya’s revolution to receive compensation
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 19 July — The government in Gaza is set to approve a recommendation by the ministry of work and social affairs to pay $1,000 to destitute families who fled from Libya after the revolution. Another $4,000 will be paid later, the cabinet announced. The ministry has been asked to send a food package worth $200 to each family who returned to Gaza from Libya in addition to health insurance for families in need. Most families will also benefit from a 3-month employment program too.
link to

Turkey building hospital in Gaza despite difficulties
Today’s Zaman 19 July — Turkey, Palestine and Egypt, led by the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA), are working together despite all odds to build a 150-bed hospital in the Gaza Strip … The project for the hospital was undertaken by Aker Construction in April of last year, but the company faced many challenges during the building process as the availability of construction materials fell short and difficulties at the border crossings made for delays as materials could not be delivered on time.
link to

Activism / Solidarity

2 injured at demonstration concluding Palestine Popular Resistance Conference
PSP 18 July — At least 2 were injured and hundreds suffered tear gas inhalation following the conclusion of the Palestine Popular Resistance Conference in the village of Budrus, in the northern West Bank. The conference brought together around a thousand Palestinians along with international and Israeli supporters over the past three days to discuss the state of the popular resistance in Palestine, concluding with a large protest against the Annexation Barrier in Budrus. Large crowds listened to speakers and attended workshops in the villages of Beit Ommar, Ni‘lin, and Budrus. Palestinians debated the merits of the resistance and asked questions of political leaders in open forums. Workshops were given on topics ranging from the growing movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel to the growth of the occupation through settlements and the Annexation Barrier … A large number of cities, villages and towns were represented at the conference.
link to

Beit Ommar youth summer camp
The Center for Freedom and Justice is currently hosting its second annual summer camp for 150 youths, age 8-14, in the Beit Ommar area. Campers have so far participated in two of the three weeks of the camp, and have engaged in a wide range of activities, including traditional Palestinian dance, arts and crafts, drama, music, sports, and nonviolence training.
link to

Norway calls donors for extra efforts to support Palestinians
OSLO (WAFA) 19 July — Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre said in a press release Tuesday, a day after he met President Mahmoud Abbas in Oslo, “All donors should make an extra effort to support the Palestinians this summer and autumn.” He said that the Palestinian people face the threat of a serious economic crisis as pledged funding for the Palestinian Authority is not being paid. An economic crisis would hit the people of Gaza particularly hard. “I also urge all donors and in particular the Palestinians’ neighbors and Arab countries to show generosity and solidarity in this time before Ramadan,” said Støre. He said that Norway chairs the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), where the parties and donors meet to coordinate assistance to the Palestinians. So far this year, the donors are behind on payments amounting to more than $150 million, and it seems that only half the need for budget support will be met this year.
link to

Freedom Flotilla II

Flotilla Diary: Sailing on a bucket, surrounded by commandos / Amira Hass
Haaretz 19 July — Three battleships and seven commando boats of different sizes and types were scrambled yesterday to intercept a small bucket named Dignité-Al-Karame (Respect), three nautical miles from the shore. At least 150 soldiers were sent to sea early morning in order to carry out the mission: to prevent ten citizens of the “Freedom Flotilla,” alongside three crewmen and three journalists, from reaching the port of Gaza.
Tuesday morning, for a short while, the activists made the mistake of believing the Israeli Navy might abandon the expensive operation, which comes out of the Israeli taxpayers’ pockets, and allow them to reach Gaza. An AFP reporter in Jerusalem told the activists that he called the Defense Ministry and asked what Israel intends to do. He was told that if the activists do not cause a provocation, they may be allowed to pass. The activists wondered, what would be considered a provocation?
See: A full account of life on a flotilla boat – Wednesday on
link to

French ship enters Ashdod port
Ynet 19 July 18:37 — Navy commandos escort ship Dignité al Karama into Ashdod Port where Immigration Authority personnel await passengers. Activists to face hearings, deportation and automatic removal from Israel for 10 years — Navy commandos escorted the Gaza-bound flotilla ship Dignité al Karama into the Ashdod Port Tuesday where police forces were deployed in the case of possible riots. Navy senior official Brigadier-General Rani Ben Yehuda said that the takeover was restrained and that no weapons or humanitarian equipment were found on the ship … The Population, Immigration and Borders Authority said that the foreign activists on board the ship are effectively entering Israel illegally … State officials said that an Al Jazeera TV crew on board the ship will not be deported from Israel. In the past, Israel warned that all media personnel on board flotilla vessels will be deported, but the decision was reversed … The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that the takeover took place some 65 kilometers [40.4 miles] off the Gaza coast.
link to

Israel intercepts sole remnant of flotilla heading for Gaza
[with 32-sec VIDEO of Navy boarding the ‘Carame’] Haaretz 19 July 14:15 — The Israel Navy on Tuesday intercepted the last remaining member of a flotilla of boats which had intended to reach the Gaza Strip, after it refused to obey an Israeli demand to change course as it sailed for a Gaza port. Elite troops from Israel’s Shayetet 13 naval commando unit boarded the French yacht Dignité-Al Karame minutes after Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz issued the order to intercept. The commandos quickly took control of the vessel, with no resistance from those aboard … Following the rapid takeover, the vessel was directed to Ashdod port. There the passengers were to be taken into custody and dealt with by immigration authorities. The IDF spokesperson stressed that the order to intercept the ship was issued only after the passengers repeatedly refused to answer the demands of the navy or to change course from Gaza. According to the IDF spokesperson, none of the passengers were hurt and IDF soldiers offered the passengers food and beverages once the boat had been intercepted.
link to

The 16 activists from the Dignité-Al Karama
PNN 19 July The French yacht Dignité-Al Karama, boarded by the Israeli Army just 60 [40] miles away from Gaza, carried representatives of the Canadian, French, Greek and Swedish Boats from the Freedom Flotilla II. Along with the activists and three journalists, two crew members, Yannick Voisin and Hilaire Folacci, man the ship, which brings the total number of people on board the Dignite-Al Karama to 16, from 6 different countries. [List of those on board follows]
link to

Spanish ship from Freedom Flotilla leaves Greece and departs for Spain
IMEMC 19 July — The Spanish ship, the Gernika, part of the Second Freedom Flotilla, that has remained at Port Kolymvari for two weeks, has finally been authorized by Greek Authorities to set sail back to Spain but is not authorized to set sail to Gaza … The activists have been at the Spanish Embassy in Athens, Greece since July 5, 2011. Several activists went on hunger strikes in an effort to pressure the Government of Spain to pressure Greek authorities to permit the Gernika to set sail to Israeli Blockaded Gaza … The ship was carrying 2,000 tons of humanitarian supplies, mostly medical, as well as educational and rebuilding materials to supply to Gaza.
link to

IDF learnt from last year’s mistakes when dealing with latest Gaza flotilla / Anshel Pfeffer
Haaretz 19 July — Israel’s handling of the 2011 Gaza flotilla was almost the direct opposite of the way it dealt with the previous flotilla, in terms of diplomatic, judicial, intelligence, and operational resources … The moment the Israel Navy contacted the yacht on Tuesday morning, the IDF activated a full electronic takeover, stopping both the activists and the Al Jazeera crew from publishing a single image, video, or even Tweet. Simultaneously, the IDF Spokesperson supplied media outlets with real-time updates on every stage of the negotiations between the navy and the French yacht, released the IDF chief’s orders to intercept the vessel, and, after 10 minutes, put out a statement on the IDF interception, which had been carried out quickly and smoothly. Pictures and videos taken by IDF ships were also immediately circulated.


Hasbara video: The imaginative world of deputy FM Ayalon / Dimi Reider
972mag 18 July — So this is where deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon exists: In a vast white space populated by magically appearing and reappearing figments of his imagination. Why am I not surprised … Update: The video appears to be lifted straight off an earlier and equally ludicrous campaign by the flagship settler organization, the Yesha council. Take a look:
link to

Erekat responds to Ayalon video denying occupation
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 19 July  — PLO official Saeb Erekat responded Tuesday to a YouTube video in which Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon argues the West Bank is not occupied territory. “With this video, the Israeli government has left no doubt on its pro-conflict agenda. Now, the international community knows,” Erekat said. “This is not an amateur video prepared by an extremist group. An official representing the State of Israel presents a cynical and falsified account of history and international law,” he said in a statement.
link to


A black and white issue
Haaretz 18 July — Ethiopian parents mount integration struggle in Petah Tikva, where schools are nearly segregated — Only one of the 294 pupils at the Ner Etzion Elementary School in Petah Tikva is not of Ethiopian origin. As a result, the school has become a symbol of the difficulties involved in integrating the Ethiopian community in the city – and now the struggle has become even more acute. Last week, dozens of parents of children from the school got together to call on the authorities to close down the institution in the next school year and disperse the children among other elementary schools in Petah Tikva. At the meeting, which was organized by activists from the city’s Ethiopian community, the parents announced that they would keep their children home from school until a suitable arrangement was worked out. The struggle is not limited to Ner Etzion, which is part of the state religious stream. They want to see integration with veteran Israelis also in four kindergartens in the city’s Yoseftal and Amishav neighborhoods, where the children of Ethiopian origin form the vast majority.

Political / Diplomatic / International

Dahlan planning return to West Bank
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 19 July — Ousted Fatah official Muhammad Dahlan says he will return to the occupied West Bank on Friday to take part in an internal party judicial hearing that will begin on July 24. Dahlan told Ma‘an radio that he would appear in person and accept the outcome. “Getting back into the central committee is not the main issue, but the court,” Dahlan said, adding that he remained committed to Fatah and had no intention of causing problems for the party.
link to

Erdogan affirms Gaza visit
ANKARA (PIC) 19 July — Turkish premier Recep Erdogan on Tuesday affirmed intention to visit the Gaza Strip later this month. Turkish media quoted Erdogan as telling reporters before leaving on a visit for Northern Cyprus that given appropriate circumstances he would consider visiting Gaza.

US scrambling to prevent Israel-Turkey ties from worsening
Haaretz 19 July — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton relayed a message during her visit to Istanbul late last week to Turkish President Abdullah Gul from President Barack Obama, on the crisis in Turkish-Israeli relations. A senior Israeli official noted that Clinton told the Turkish president that Obama considered the restoration of ties between the two countries very important and would like to see relations between the two U.S. allies return to their previous levels.
link to

US: Fight on terror to be condition on foreign aid
AP 19 July — A House panel unveiled a bill that would block US aid to Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, unless the Obama administration reassures Congress that they are cooperating in the battling terrorism.  The legislation is a direct challenge to President Barack Obama and his foreign policy authority, and comes as the House is looking at significant cuts in the annual budget for the State Department and foreign assistance.
link to

‘NZ quake victims — Mossad agents’
Ynet 19 July — New Zealand press raises suspicions that Israeli travelers killed in Christchurch earthquake last February were secret service agents. Israeli ambassador dismisses claims as ‘science fiction’  … Ofer Mizrahi was killed after a block of concrete collapsed on his car. Foreign reports suggest that a parcel of his effects contained several passports, possibly five or six. Ambassador Tzur confirmed that Mizrahi, 23, had more than one passport but was not aware of reports of as many as five or six … Israel and New Zealand’s relations have been strained since 2004’s “passport affair” involving two Israelis who tried to fraudulently issue New Zealand passports. A local court ruled they were Mossad agents. New Zealand’s prime minister even declared sanctions against Israel following the affair.
link to

Other news

Knesset expected to reject proposal to probe Israeli NGOs
Haaretz 19 July — Yisrael Beiteinu plans to demand a roll-call vote, to embarrass MKs on the right who vote against or skip the vote — The Knesset is slated to vote tomorrow on whether to set up two parliamentary inquiry committees to investigate the funding sources of nongovernmental organizations. But because the proposal has little support even within the coalition, it is expected to fail by a large majority.
link to

More than 60,000 Palestinians expected to visit Israel as tourists in 2011
Haaretz 19 July — More than 60,000 Palestinians are expected to visit Israel as tourists by the end of 2011, at least twice as many as last year, a defense official said. Israel is planning to double the number of permits issued to Palestinians this year, due to the improved security in the West Bank, the source said. However, if the situation deteriorates in September following the Palestinians’ UN bid for statehood, it will be harder to issue permits, he said. The permits are not usually issued to individuals or families, but mainly to schools and summer camps wishing to take children to visit beaches and mixed Jewish-Arab cities in Israel … “We want Palestinians, especially young ones, to see another kind of Israeli, not only soldiers and settlers. Anything that can help them blow off steam and relax. Perhaps instead of demonstrating in September they’ll go to the beach,” the source said. Most of the Palestinians visit Arab and mixed towns such as Haifa, Jaffa and Acre, among other things, because of their beaches.
link to

Civics studies to focus on Jewish democracy
Ynet 19 July — Education Ministry approves controversial changes to high school civics curriculum which will emphasize historical justifications for State of Israel’s establishment
link to

Israeli teachers and parents miffed by directive to sing Hatikva at kindergartens
Haaretz 19 July — Education Ministry directive sent to principals as part of an effort to strengthen Zionist and Jewish identities among children — …”It’s brainwashing,” said Avivit, a nursery school teacher in Ramat Gan yesterday, adding: “In my opinion, there are things that are a lot more important in the children’s education at that age. If they want children who love the Land of Israel, the way to achieve this is not by singing the anthem and raising the flag.” … In other education news, the Knesset yesterday gave preliminary approval to a bill sponsored by MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi ) that would make it mandatory to educate the children of the country about the importance of military service or alternative national or civilian service. The bill had the support of the government and of Education Ministry Gideon Sa’ar in particular.
link to

Analysis / Opinion

Why the Quartet failed
Bitterlemons 18 July — Palestinian-Israeli crossfire. Yossi Alpher, Ghassan Khatib, Akiva Eldar, Nagi Shurrab.
link to

Israel rules out nonviolence: Method in Netanyahu’s madness  / Jonathan Cook
PalChron 18 July — It was an Arab legislator who made the most telling comment to the Israeli parliament last week as it passed the boycott law, which outlaws calls to boycott Israel or its settlements in the occupied territories. Ahmed Tibi asked: “What is a peace activist or Palestinian allowed to do to oppose the occupation? Is there anything you agree to?” … These initiatives, as Tibi points out, leave no room for non-violent opposition to the occupation. Arundhati Roy, the award-winning Indian writer, has noted that non-violence is essentially “a piece of theatre. [It] needs an audience. What can you do when you have no audience?” Netanyahu and the Israeli right understand this point. They are carefully dismantling every platform on which dissident Israelis, Palestinians and international activists hope to stage their protests. They are making it impossible to organise joint peaceful and non-violent resistance, whether in the form of boycotts or solidarity visits. The only way being left open is violence.

Yes, Mr. Lieberman, I’m a proud Jewish terrorist / Shlomo Gazit
Haaretz Opinion 19 July — The foreign minister says Yesh Din, the organization of whose public council I am a member, is a terrorist organization – 69 years after the British Mandatory government defined me as a terrorist — In 1942, as a young boy, a high school student in Tel Aviv, I joined the Haganah (the main pre-state underground Jewish militia ). The British Mandatory government considered me, and others who did as I did, to be members of an illegal organization. Two years later I enlisted in the Palmach, the elite strike force of the Haganah, and during my period of activity in the framework of the Jewish resistance movement the British government considered me a “terrorist.” Afterwards I fought in the War of Independence and spent another 32 years in the Israel Defense Forces as a career soldier. Today I consider the continuation of our occupation rule in Judea and Samaria an existential danger. As I see it, this situation is threatening the main achievement to which I contributed 70 years ago: the establishment of a sovereign and democratic Jewish state. If we don’t separate as soon as possible from the Palestinian population on the ground, Jewish and democratic Israel will be unable to survive. A few years ago I became a member of the public council of Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights. I can’t influence Israel’s diplomatic decisions, but I saw it as my duty to contribute to upholding the law in the occupied under our control. I believe that the Israeli government, the Knesset and the vast majority of the people want the law to be enforced in the area east of the Green Line, just as they want it to be enforced to the west of it. But in the present situation, unfortunately, there is no equal treatment for Jews and Arabs when it comes to law enforcement. The legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime. And I wanted to prevent that with my activity and contribution as a member of the council of Yesh Din.
link to

Israeli democracy by the ‘selector’ from Moldova / Michael Warschawski
AIC 19 July — Ivet Lieberman was not yet the minister responsible for approving citizenship of the people indigenous to this land. Back then the new immigrant from Moldova served as a selector in one of the bars of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. When he finished his work he would lend a hand to pogroms against Arab students, and his name went before him: the educated amongst the students of the Left dubbed him “Chmielnitzki”, after the Ukranian organizer of pogroms in the 17th century, Bogdan Chmielnitzki. His positions in the Likud were gained through his heroic acts on the university campus, in which he even surpassed his teacher and mentor Tzachi Hanegbi. Throughout his entire political life, the Moldovan bully has remained a selector. The election campaign slogan of his party — “no loyalty no citizenship” is a prominent example of his role as selector: the state/leader/loyalty committee will determine who is eligible (and who is not) to be a citizen. In defence of the man it could be said that he never had the opportunity to learn the foundations of democracy, not in Stalinist USSR and not in colonial Israel which, by the time he moved there, had already lost its strikingly small democratic space. This is also how the selector and his friends work in the party and the parliament: They, and not the voters, will determine who is eligible to be a Knesset member (or not). Hanin Zoabi was elected by numerous voters? So what: The selector, who did not manage to completely prevent her entry into Knesset, decided to suspend her membership and rights, as was done to MK Azmi Bishara and his pension.
link to

This entry was posted in Apartheid, BDS, Human Rights, Israel, Zionism. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s