||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Siege / Restriction of movement / Apartheid|
Cancer care crisis in Gaza
GAZA, 9 Mar (IRIN) -- The cancer started in Fatima Hassami’s breast
before spreading to her bones, leading to multiple fractures in her left
leg and constant pain for the 70-year-old ... Fatima is among 15 cancer
patients currently admitted to the oncology ward at Shifa Hospital, the
largest such facility in Gaza. But the hospital, according to Ziad
Khazander, head of the oncology department, has no medicine to treat
cases like Hassami’s.
Gaza: Tunnel worker dies in latest collapse
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 9 Mar -- A 29-year-old Gaza man died Tuesday night
when the tunnel he was working in on the Gaza-Egypt border collapsed.
Medics identified the man as Yousef Khalil Al-Bal'awi from Jabaliya,
saying he suffocated in the tunnel collapse.
Gisha: Israeli Defense Ministry only allows Christian worshipers to leave Gaza
Tel Aviv -- Gisha to PNN 8 Mar -- The Israeli Defense Ministry refuses
to allow Muslim women from Gaza to enter east Jerusalem in order to pray
at the Al-Aqsa Mosque but allows Christian residents of Gaza to pray at
the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The state's policy became
apparent from its answer to a petition submitted by the Israeli Legal
Center for Freedom of Movement, Gisha, on behalf of seven Muslim women
from the Gaza Strip, whose request to cross to east Jerusalem in order
to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque was rejected out of hand, even though no
security claims were raised against
them. A hearing on the petition will be held Thursday at the Beersheba
Note that Israel decides who is and is not officially a Palestinian...
Interview: Number of families seeking reunion on the rise
GulfNews 7 Mar -- A total of 150,000 applications are in the file of the
Palestinian General Authority of Civil Affairs, with no hope of
resolution. Ma‘arouf Zahran, Undersecretary of the Authority, told Gulf News in
interview that the number of families submitting reunion applications
is increasing, with the authority unable to do anything to help them. He
said that the Israelis do not handle any of these cases on
humanitarian grounds and there is no room for application of Israeli
civil jurisdiction and civil courts as only military laws are applied in
the Palestinian Territories. He stressed that the Israeli attitude is
illegal, arbitrary and racist at a time when any Jew can easily come to
Israel and even get citizenship. Excerpts: Not a single identity card
has been issued since
Netanyahu took over ... Israel does not grant split families the right
to unite at all, not even a single case.
Sufa crossing opens for 'test' Gaza gravel import
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 9 Mar -- Five hundred tons of gravel for UNRWA
construction projects were transported into Gaza late Tuesday night
through a crossing terminal closed by Israeli forces in 2008, in a move
said was unexpected ... UNRWA spokesman in Gaza Adnan Abu Hasna said the
500 tons were a small fraction of more than 70,000 tons of materials
that have been waiting for clearance to enter Gaza since 2007 ... The
import was particularly unexpected as it followed one week after Israeli
officials announced the permanent closure of the bulk goods crossing,
Karni, citing security concerns. At the time, officials said all
supplies were expected to be transported through the single remaining
crossing, Kerem Shalom.
Israel sees Palestinian gas fueling Gaza power station
8 Mar -- Sources inform ''Globes'' that natural gas from the Gaza Marine
intended for the residents of the Gaza Strip, and Israel will not buy
it. The idea is for the gas to power the power station in Gaza, which
currently uses diesel to supply electricity to the Gaza Strip's
residents. Israel is also considering delivering gas from Gaza Marine
via the Yam Tethys rig by pipeline to Ashkelon and then to Gaza.
Security considerations partly underlie the Israeli proposals; Israel is
concerned that Hamas could use the diesel for the power station. The
Palestinian Authority would be the main beneficiary of a switch to
natural gas, as it would save an estimated $100 million a year.
Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers
Restricted in al-Walaja
PNN 9 Mar -- Many years ago the grandfather of Abed owned 6 dunams of
land in al-Walaja, south of Bethlehem. Now Abed (55) owns it. Since the
occupation however, Abed is restricted to go to his land. To protect it,
he decided to live in the 4,000 year old Can’ani cave, which is part of
the land ... For every piece of property on his land, Abed has a court
case: the eco toilet, kitchen (which is basically only a oven), compost,
chicken house. He is not allowed to build anything on his land. Even
the 4,000 year old Can’ani cave has a court case. It's around 4 square
meters, only a small bed, sofa and fire place
can fit inside. Even a door for the cave to protect Abed from the cold
is not allowed.
Israeli plan to demolish unauthorised West Bank outpost condemned / Harriet Sherwood
Guardian 8 Mar -- Settlers' groups label decision to raze settlements
built on privately owned Palestinian land as treasonous -- The Israeli
government has seemingly set itself on a collision course with hardline
settlers after announcing it intends to demolish all unauthorised
outposts built on privately owned Palestinian land in the West Bank by
the end of the year. Settlers' leaders pledged to resist demolition.
"The wholesale removal of the outposts is a declaration of war on Jewish
settlement," Gershon Mesika, chairman of the Shomron regional council,
told the Israel Hayom newspaper.
Rabbi Wolpo regrets inciting remarks
Mar -- SOS Israel chairman says his call to fire rubber bullets at IDF
soldiers was result of 'a storm of emotions', accuses PM and defense
minister of 'sending troops to shoot at Jews'
Settlers to diplomats: Go home!
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 9 Mar -- Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank
passed out threatening pamphlets to foreign diplomats on Thursday,
instructing them to "go home" and put an end to their "meddling" in
The flyers, handed to diplomats waiting at a military checkpoint into
Ramallah, warned that "meddling" by the American government and European
Union "is putting your stay at risk!"
Vilnai: IDF must drill for settler violence
Mar -- Minister answers complaint by MK Orbach, who says drill in which
soldiers kill settler threatening them with knife is politically
motivated. 'Knives have been pulled out before, we must prepare troops,'
Kfir Brigade troops threaten mutiny
9 Mar -- Friends of soldier sent to jail after his home was razed in
Havat Gilad swear loyalty to rabbis over commanders, whom they call
'ignorant'. 'Lack of confidence between soldiers, command has reached
critical point,' says one
Human Rights Watch - Israel: Stop discriminatory home demolitions
9 Mar -- Israel should ensure equal treatment in planning and zoning
procedures for its non-Jewish citizens, and carry out demolitions only
as a last resort along with compensation or alternative housing
"Israeli authorities allow buildings that will benefit Jewish citizens
while demolishing Arab houses next door," said Sarah Leah Whitson,
Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
MADA appeals to stop the suffering of journalist al-Titi
Ramallah -- MADA to PNN 7 Mar -- The Palestinian Center for Development
and Media Freedoms (MADA) appeals to all concerned authorities to end
the suffering of journalist Alaa al-Titi, following the repeated
postponement of his trial at the Hebron Magistrate's Court since 4
November 2008 on charges of sedition in relation to his work with
Al-Aqsa TV. The Court of Appeals in Hebron had previously affirmed his
innocence in a
decision taken by the Magistrate's Court on 24 April 2009; the
prosecution however repealed the decision.
One dies in tunnel accident, eight arrested in overnight Israeli raids
Mar ...Meanwhile in the West Bank, a series of overnight Israeli raids
ended with the arrests of eight Palestinians, four from the Hebron area
the village of Sourif, northwest of Hebron, Israeli troops arrested
Mujahid Ughneimat, 20, and raids without arrests were reported in the
villages of Nuba, Dura, Halhoul, Ithna, and Beit Omar, as well as the
refugee camps of al-Aroub and al-Fawar.
Applicability of international law to Palestinians in occupied territory reaffirmed at international meeting in Vienna
UN General Assembly - VIENNA, 8 March -- The central role of the
Palestinian political prisoners in the enduring Israeli-Palestinian
conflict dominated discussion in today's United Nations International
Meeting on the Question of Palestine, as expert panellists shifted the
discourse to the
legal aspects of the arrests and detentions.
Briefing note: Palestinian prisoners' rights
8 Mar -- This briefing note is being presented by Adalah, Physicians for
Human Rights-Israel and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza) to the
UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the
Palestinian People ... The note provides a general overview of recent
statistics and conditions
of confinement of Palestinian prisoners in Israel; reviews six new
Israeli Supreme Court decisions; notes a new harsh criminal procedure
law for "security suspects" and a series of proposed bills known as the
"Shalit laws"; Full report
Hamas: PA detains 7 members in West Bank
(Ma‘an) 9 Mar -- Palestinian Authority forces have seized 7 Hamas
members in the West Bank, the Islamic movement said in a statement
issued on Wednesday. Members were said to have been detained in the
Jenin, Nablus, and Hebron regions.
Activism / Solidarity / BDS
1,000 Palestinians take to the streets after Lod demolition
(PIC) 9 Mar -- More than a thousand Palestinians gathered for protests
in front of the municipal building in the occupied city of Lod Tuesday
night. It was the thirteenth time they demonstrated against demolitions
of seven homes owned by the Abu Eid family four months back.
Zoabi versus bulldozers: Arabs being pushed into corner
Arab, Jewish women mark International Women's Day in Lod by protesting
against destruction of illegal homes. MK Zoabi warns of consequences if
government doesn't take steps, claims 'it's either live on streets or
build houses without permits'
50 Israeli civil society organizations to the Knesset: Halt legislation of anti-BDS bill
8 Mar -- We, the undersigned civil society organizations, emphatically
protest against the proposed law "Prohibition on imposing a boycott,"
which is now being brought for discussion in the Knesset’s Constitution,
Law and Justice Committee. We are not unanimous in our approach to
using the boycott tactic; some of us are of the opinion that it is an
efficient tool, while others strongly object to its use. Yet we are all
united in our stand that it is, indeed, a civilian, non-violent and
legitimate tool to express opinion and advance social and political
Jordan bans products made in West Bank settlements
9 Mar -- Jordan has placed a ban on all goods produced in Israeli
settlements established on the Palestinian territories, the Jordanian
daily Al Arab Al Yawm reported on Tuesday.
American Methodist Church calls for end to settlements
PNN 8 Mar -- The American Methodist church called on Tuesday for an end
to illegal Israeli settlement activity and American support of them,
part of a “series of unprecedented steps” from the largest Christian
denomination in the United States. [no, 3rd largest after Catholic and
Baptist] The move is just the latest from the Methodist church, which
decided in July 2010 to boycott Israeli settlement goods.
This is my land...Hebron - UK premiere
Mar -- Featuring interviews with both Israelis and Palestinians living
in Hebron, as well as activists on both sides, members of the Israeli
parliament and prominent Ha'aretz journalists, This Is My Land... Hebron
lifts the lid on Hebron as it is today - a city fraught with violence
and hate. Q&A discussions with the filmmakers will take place at
both screenings ... Venues: Ritzy Cinema, Brixton Oval, London 30 March,
Curzon Soho, 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, 31 March
Screening - War Child + Q&A with the director, London
March) War Child shows us some of the child survivors living in the
Gaza Strip in the aftermath of that conflict. Many of them suffered
horrific injuries and also lost family and friends during Operation Cast
Lead. Surrounded by rubble, unable to rebuild their lives, the children
grapple with thoughts of revenge, retaliation, and loss as well as their
disabilities. The film gives a voice to those whose lives were changed
forever through the tragedy of war. Sequel to last year’s Children of
Joining forces on agriculture
Mar -- Far away from politics in Jerusalem and Ramallah,
Israeli-Palestinian cooperation is literally growing in Jordan Valley in
field of agriculture. 'Economic interest trumps everything,' says
landowner ... The collaboration is very simple: Through
major Israeli companies, Palestinian farmers export their produce to
countries with which they have trade agreements. In addition,
Palestinians from the Valley export produce belonging to Israeli
farmers, thus by-passing the boycott rules of various countries or
economic bodies, mainly in Europe.
Knesset passes initial reading of bill to keep public services in settlements
9 Mar -- Bill would render discrimination in providing goods or public
services on basis of place of residence illegal; could help fight
discrimination against cultural institutions like the performers boycott
of Ariel theater.
Racism / Discrimination
State company trying to evict Evangelical Christian from Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter
Haaretz 9 Mar -- The government-owned Company for the Reconstruction and
Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem is
trying to evict a resident because he isn't Jewish. The resident, an
evangelical Christian, works with former minister Benny Elon on forging
closer ties between Evangelical Christians and right-wing organizations
in Israel. He is renting an apartment from Lorena Sokolovsky, the
mother-in-law of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
Deportation of foreign workers' children temporarily postponed
Haaretz 9 Mar -- Interior Minister Eli Yishai instructed the Population
and Immigration Authority Wednesday morning to postpone the deportation
of children and families of foreign workers enrolled in state-run
kindergartens and preschools by a few months.
Israel and image
Could pariah status spell the end for Zionism? / Alan Hart
Mar -- Is it possible that a global perception of them as citizens of a
pariah state and the possibility of real sanctions will alarm enough
Israeli Jews to the point where they will take to the streets in
significant numbers to demand that their leaders be serious about peace
on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims
everywhere could accept?
'Downcast' Benjamin Netanyahu under increased pressure over Israel's poor image / Jonathan Cook
9 Mar -- NAZARETH // Benjamin Netanyahu's advisers have conceded that
the Israeli prime minister is more downcast than they have ever seen
him. The reason, they say, is Israel's faltering diplomatic and
strategic standing. Mr Netanyahu's concern was evident at a recent
cabinet meeting, when he was reported to have angrily pounded the table.
in a very difficult international arena," he was quoted by the Haaretz newspaper as telling ministers who wanted to step up settlement building. "I suggest we all be cautious."
Study: Israelis trust foreigners more
Mar -- Though Israel was recently chosen as one of the least popular
countries in the world - with just Pakistan, North Korea, and
Iran ranking lower - stereotypes held by gentiles should be the least of
the population's worries, according to a new survey. A recent study
examining trust between Israelis shows that residents of the Jewish
state trust foreigners more than other Israelis.
Political / Diplomatic news
IDF: We won't be able to contain widespread civil uprising in West Bank
Haaretz 9 Mar -- Senior officers now serving, or who once served, in the
West Bank say they have long felt there is no way to effectively contend
with a widespread, nonviolent civil uprising. "There is nothing for it
if something like what happened in Tunisia happens here," said one
high-ranking officer serving in the division. The probability of a
completely nonviolent uprising, however, is thought to be low. ...
Military officials emphasize that they will make no effort to prevent
large demonstrations, even of thousands of Palestinian civilians, as
long as they do not try to enter Jewish settlements.
Abbas says situation in PA's territories stable
JPost 8 Mar -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
said that situation in PA-controlled territories was stable, and that he
does not fear the recent uprisings spreading throughout the Arab world,
Israel Radio reported Tuesday. Abbas told Arabic-language daily Al Sharq Al Awsat that the PA is the only government in the Arab world to allow its citizens to protest.
Abbas hints at resignation
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 9 Mar -- President Mahmoud Abbas hinted Tuesday that
he would resign if an independent Palestinian state was not established
by September. Abbas' remarks came at a joint press conference with
British Foreign Minister William Hague in London.
Elections committee opens voter registration
(Ma‘an) 9 Mar -- The Palestinian Authority-appointed Central Elections
Committee announced Wednesday that voter registration had opened, in the
latest step ahead of July 9 municipal elections.
British FM slams Hamas over Palestinian vote
8 Mar – British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Tuesday that
Hamas should not be allowed to "stifle" the democratic expression of
Palestinians after the Islamist movement rejected a call for elections.
Speaking at a joint press conference with visiting Palestinian president
Mahmud Abbas in London, Hague welcomed last month's call by the
Palestinian leadership for presidential and legislative elections by
Danish minister fired in row on citizenship for Palestinians
(AFP) 8 Mar -- Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said Tuesday
he fired his integration minister over a scandal involving 36 young,
stateless Palestinians who were wrongly denied citizenship.
Europe in policy U-turn to Mediterranean partners
(AFP) 8 Mar -- The European Commission on Tuesday unveiled new policy
guidelines towards Arab neighbours on its southern flank aimed at
avoiding errors of the past by linking aid to political and economic
Israel constructs electric fence on Egypt border
IMEMC 7 Mar -- An Israeli military official based in the southern part
of Israel stated
Monday that the first stage of the Israeli electric fence on the
Israel-Egypt borders will be accomplished soon. Israeli press reported
that the Israeli Ministry of the Army had rushed to complete the
infrastructure needed to build the electronic wall along
the border after the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak fell to
popular protests in February.
PA debts see Jordan cancer center halt referrals
(Ma‘an) 9 Mar -- The Hussein Medical Center for Cancer in Amman told
the Palestinian Authority last week it would no longer accept patient
referrals from the Palestinian Ministry of Health because of unpaid
debts totaling almost eight million dinar, in a letter obtained by
Avian flu diagnosis to see 15,000 Bethlehem birds slaughtered
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 9 Mar -- Palestinian officials OK'd Tuesday a decision
to slaughter 15,000 poultry birds after an Avian Flu diagnosis in an
Israeli settlement near Bethlehem.
Football finally comes home for Palestinian national team
Independent 9 Mar -- Mokhtar Tlili, the Tunisian coach of the
Palestinian national football team, gave his players a pep talk
yesterday as they prepared for the first official match played on their
home turf ... The Palestinian team will face Thailand today as part of
the Asian group in a qualifying match for the London Olympics in 2012.
The game is being marked here as no less than an historic event for the
Palestinian team, which until now has played only friendly matches in
its upgraded stadium in Al-Ram, a West Bank suburb of Jerusalem.
Official matches in previous years were played outside the Palestinian
Palestinian woman serves up success with West Bank café chain
Mar -- Married to a Palestinian and of part-Palestinian decent herself,
El-Jack was born in Sudan and brought up in the U.S... El-Jack
partnered with two prominent Palestinian businessmen to open Zman in
December 2008. Since then, she has opened a second shop, making it not
only the first coffee chain in the West Bank,
but the first business chain of any kind owned by a woman.
Models strut in rare West Bank fashion show
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 8 Mar -- Draped in sleek evening
gowns and frothy wedding dresses, the models at the West Bank's first
haute couture fashion show could have been walking at Paris Fashion
Human interest / History
When an Iraqi Jew yearns for Baghdad / Hiba Lama
7 Mar -- Lateef Douri is a beautiful mix: a Jew and Israeli citizen who
lives in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv, but whose heart, tongue, and mind
remain in Baghdad. Every room and detail of his house evokes his
childhood in Iraq, from pictures of friends, the smells of cooked fish,
and the sounds of Eastern music. He tells his stories so that we might
not forget: ... In Douri’s estimation, the year 1951 was "our naksa,"
using the term most Arabs use to describe the 1967 war. "I still
remember how the Israeli Mossad managed to blow up one of the Jewish
synagogues in Baghdad and blame it on the Muslims," recalls Douri. "It
sparked fear and panic in the Jewish community and prompted them to sign
up to emigrate to Israel. From the pictures, they made it look like the
Garden of Eden. We truly believed that we were going to live in royal
palaces." ... But in Israel, he says, he could never forget the racism
and discrimination he experienced as a Mizrahi (Eastern) Jew. .
Iraq, other Mideast
Monday: 3 Iraqis killed, 4 wounded, protesters beaten
least three Iraqis were killed and four more were wounded in light
violence. The day was also marked by light protests, and some
demonstrators may have suffered from beatings.
Some demonstrators took the opportunity to stage "Day
of Regret" protests to mark the one-year anniversary of national
elections. Many went as far as to dye their fingers red, signaling
their regret in taking part those elections and chanted
slogans such as "we will not vote again."
Tuesday: 8 Iraqis killed, 13 wounded
At least eight Iraqis were killed and 13 more were
wounded in the latest attacks. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has documented
accounts of demonstrator harassment during the ongoing protests in Suleimaniya.
In the latest accusation, Kurdish security forces stood idly as masked men
attacked protestors. Some witnesses believe
the Kurdish government sent the "thugs."
Higher education: a beacon of hope for Iraqis
8 Mar -- The level of education in Iraq has been declining as a result
of 30 years of war and UN sanctions. Once renowned in the region for its
advanced education system and 100 per cent literacy rate in the late
1970s, Iraq is now far behind most other countries in the Middle East.
After 2003, the system worsened due to instability, lack of security and
sectarian clashes. Many university professors have either been killed
or fled the country to escape. There are, however, some indications that
Iraqi education can be revived.
A look at political unrest in the Middle East
(AP) A look at anti-government protests, political unrest and key developments in the Middle East on Tuesday:
Why the US cares little about the jailed hikers in Iran (hint: it's about Palestinians) / Alex Kane
8 Mar -- For well over a year, two American citizens who are Palestine solidarity activists have languished in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison (the third citizen was released in September) ... Why aren’t they out yet? Jesse Rosenfeld, an independent journalist, offers this explanation in Foreign Policy’s Mideast Channel:
"Looking at Bauer’s and Fattal’s political track records, it becomes
clear that Washington is unlikely to trade much to retrieve outspoken
critics of US policy in the Middle East. Shourd, Fattal and Bauer,
according to [Shon Meckfessel, who was traveling with the jailed
Americans,] had made close connections with people in the West Bank
popular struggles against Israel’s wall in the town of Bil‘in and the
family of Bassem and Jahwar Abu Rahmah.
Republicans push for tougher Guantánamo limits
8 Mar -- House Republicans on Tuesday demanded tougher restrictions for
terror suspects at Guantánamo even after President Barack Obama
reversed course and ordered the resumption of military trials for
detainees. Annoyed that Obama acted by executive authority --
and without congressional input, House Armed Services Committee Chairman
Buck McKeon, R-Calif., and six other GOP lawmakers said Tuesday
they would introduce legislation to limit legal representation for
detainees and permanently block money to build or renovate a facility in
the United States to house suspects now held at the prison at Guantánamo
Hornet's nest ahead? Congress examines Islam in the US
WASHINGTON (AP) 8 Mar -- ...As a storm gathers over hearings this week
on radical Muslims in the U.S., it seems of another time to recall that
it was President Bush who told Americans their Muslim neighbors were
with us. Not just that, he said, but they WERE us. Nearly 10 years and
one president later, suspicions persist. The nation hasn't figured out
how to accommodate a sizable and long-established religious minority
while pressing full throttle against
growing extremist elements and an increase in allegations of homegrown
Muslim Americans fear Congress terrorism hearings fuel Islamophobia / Omar Karmi
National 9 Mar -- ...Those hearings start tomorrow, but have already
stirred controversy. Twenty-eight members of the House of
Representatives signed a letter on Monday calling for their
cancellation. The scope of the hearings, the representatives wrote,
"unfairly stigmatises and alienates Muslim Americans" and ignores other
forms of violent domestic extremism.
30 Jewish Studies faculty call on DA to drop charges against Muslim students at UCI / Jon Wiener
HP 8 Mar -- In a striking act of interfaith solidarity, 30 Jewish studies faculty
from seven campuses of the University of California have called on the Orange County district attorney to drop criminal charges against 11 Muslim students.
The students have been charged with disrupting of a speech by the
Israeli ambassador at UCI last spring. The trial is scheduled to begin
this week. The students face a possible six-month prison term if convicted.
Hearing on terrorist status for Islamic charity
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) 8 Mar -- A federal appeals court will hear arguments
on whether the government violated the constitutional rights of an
Islamic charity that it declared a terrorist organization. The Medford
Mail Tribune reports that the 9th U.S. Circuit court of Appeals will
hold a hearing Wednesday in Portland on the now-defunct American branch
of Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda