Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Palestinian culture & history

Jerusalem Municipality determined to build biblical park in Al-Bustan
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 14 Nov -- The Jerusalem Municipality counselor has requested the District Organization Committee to speed up its implementation of the planned "King’s Park" scheme for Al-Bustan. The order comes despite the left-wing Meretz faction of Jerusalem Municipality coalition’s agreement with conservative city mayor Nir Barakat to freeze construction plans. The King’s Park plan encompasses the construction of "biblical gardens" over vast tracts of Palestinian neighborhood Al-Bustan in Silwan, where many of the houses have been scheduled for demolition by the Municipality. Meretz has stated that its members feel deceived by Barakat’s promises, including a statement from the mayor that there would be no home demolitions in Al-Bustan "unless the residents approve it."

Archaeologists resume work at contentious worksite of Jerusalem museum
Haaretz 14 Nov -- No one involved in the digs would comment on any archaeological findings since the resumption of the excavations, which are taking place in the capital's Mamilla neighborhood -- Archaeologists have resumed excavating the Jerusalem site where the Museum of Tolerance is to go up, amid controversy surrounding the exhumation of skeletons in what had been a Muslim cemetery for nearly 1,000 years. In addition to fielding objections to the museum site, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is sponsoring and financing the project, also has to contend with the recent resignation of the two architects who planned the museum. But for all the troubles, construction of the museum is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks ... the first archaeologist to work at the site said there must be more skeletons there. "There are definitely skeletons there," said Gideon Sulimani, who also used to head the Israel Antiquities Authority's Jerusalem district. "They're digging at the edge of the excavation I conducted, and the graves continue in the direction in which they're currently digging."

Khaldun Bshara has dodged bullets to preserve Palestinians' heritage
Ramallah (CSM) 14 Nov – Most visitors to the Palestinian architectural company RIWAQ would be forgiven for thinking that its building and people are similar to others in the area. With its Arabesque entryway, high ceilings, and tiled floor, the stone structure that houses the firm is a standard Ottoman design common across the region. And the people, busily working behind desks, appear to be like any other office employees. But RIWAQ, which means "gallery" in Arabic, is more than just an architectural firm: It's a thriving center for architectural conservation. Today, as the dream of an independent Palestinian state grows more realistic, the organization's work in preserving Palestinian cultural heritage has taken on added significance ... Aside from its impressive data-collection operation aimed at identifying all buildings of significance to Palestinian history, RIWAQ has gained financial support from a wide range of local and international sources, which has allowed it to improve people's lives by rejuvenating their surroundings.

Palestinian family in Silwan served eviction order
IMEMC 13 Nov -- The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, reported that a Palestinian family in Silwan was served an eviction order issued by the Jerusalem municipality with the intent to replace them with Jewish settlers. The center stated that the family was ordered to leave their home by November 28th. The family filed several appeals at the Israeli District Court, and the High Court, since the early 1990’s after the El Ad fundamentalist settler organization occupied land that belongs to the family.  Israel claims that the home in question belongs to "Lord Rochelle" and has done so for dozens of years. Should it become clear that the Rochelle family does not own the property, Israel will still confiscate it under the so-called "Absentee Property Law." In both cases the Palestinian family is left homeless despite the fact that it historically owned and inhabited the property, the Center said.

Again, demolition orders for Hadidiyah
JVC 14 Nov -- On the 10th November 2011, the occupation forces delivered 9 new demolition orders to the Bedouin community of Hadidya. Al Hadidiya community faced numerous home demolitions, the last one happened last June. The new demolition orders regard 17 structures, homes and animal shelters. It states the demolitions will happen on the 18th November. Al Hadidya is surrounded by two settlements, Ro'i and Beqa'ot, and three big military bases. The community has no direct access to water, nor to health or education. Al Hadidiya looks like a desert while water run under the Bedouins' feet.

Israeli bulldozers raze Qalqiliya village lands
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 13 Nov -- Israeli forces accompanied bulldozers that razed through Palestinian-owned lands near Qalqiliya on Sunday, locals said. The vehicles cut down trees and leveled ground belonging to farmers from nearby village Azzun Atma, residents said. Local farmer Ibrahim Abdullah told Ma‘an the area was bulldozed to "ensure security for settlements which they originally confiscated from Palestinian citizens." ... Azzun Atma lies between Israeli settlements Oranit and Shaare Tiqwa, and locals fear Israeli authorities plan to construct a no-go zone on the most fertile land of the village to buffer the settlements.

88% of Jerusalem property tax to settlements expansion, says official
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 13 Nov -- Ahmad Rwaidy, a consultant in the office of President Mahmoud Abbas for Jerusalem affairs, Sunday in an interview said around 88% of the property tax ('Arnona') that Israel collects in Jerusalem goes to settlement expansion and Israeli interests. Rwaidy, talking to Voice of Palestine radio, said Israel intends to double the current Arnona as part of its ongoing policy and demographic war against the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem and to expand settlements. The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem prosecutes any Jerusalem resident who does not pay Arnona, which accumulates to exorbitant sums that Jerusalemites cannot afford. Ultimately, in case of non-payment, the municipality puts the property to auction to facilitate takeover by Jewish groups.


AP Video: Aftermath of Gaza airstrike
(52 seconds) 14 Nov - Palestinian officials say a Hamas naval policeman has been killed and seven others have been wounded in an Israeli airstrike on their building in the northern Gaza Strip.

Airstrike kills police officer, wounds 4 in Gaza City
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an/Reuters) 14 Nov -- One police officer was killed and four others injured early Monday morning when Israeli warplanes targeted a naval police building in Gaza City. Medical sources in Gaza identified the victim as Muhammad Kilani. His body was found amid the rubble ... The airstrike came hours after a homemade projectile was fired from Gaza, landing in the Shaar Hanegev area. No injuries were reported [in the projectile attack].

French consul and family wounded in Israeli attack on Gaza
IMEMC 14 Nov -- On Monday, 14 November 2011, the French Consul in the Gaza Strip, Majdi Jameel Yaseen Shaqqoura, 44, his wife and his two children were wounded in an Israeli attack on the Palestinian Navy site in the southwest of Beit Lahia, located in northern Gaza. They were in their home when they were injured by shrapnel. Additionally, as a result of the same attack the consul's wife suffered from hemorrhage that led to a miscarriage ... At approximately 01:55 on Monday, 14 November 2011, the Israeli warplanes launched four missiles at a Palestinian Navy site located at the beach, in front of al-Nawras Resort, in the al-Soudaniya area. This area is located in the southwest of Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip. The attack resulted in the killing of first sergeant Mohammed Zaher Zaki al-Kilani, 22, from Beit Lahia, whose body was torn into pieces.

Haniyeh: Israel targeted police in airstrike
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 14 Nov -- Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh on Monday accused Israel of deliberately targeting a police compound in an airstrike which killed a coastal police officer.  Speaking at the funeral of Muhammad Kilani, Haniyeh called the strike "a treacherous crime that can't be justified."

Gaza man shot dead entering Egypt via tunnels
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 14 Nov -- A Palestinian man was killed in the Egyptian city of Rafah on Sunday, as he tried to enter Egypt via a smuggling tunnel. Police in Gaza said a Palestinian-Egyptian man opened fire on Ahmad al-Amsi and three others who managed to escape and return to Gaza ... Police in Gaza said that the group admitted under interrogation that they had tried to enter Egypt with fake passports. The unidentified man suspected of committing the murder is from the Gaza Strip, police said. It is not not known why the man opened fire on the group.

FM: We'll lift Gaza restrictions if France sends Foreign Legion
Ynet 14 Nov --  Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the Knesset's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee that he has told his French counterpart he is willing to lift all restrictions from the Gaza Strip as long as France sends the foreign legion and not "girls bearing olive branches." Lieberman explained that "the problem won't be solved if we reach an understanding about 1967 borders. After an agreement the Palestinians will demand autonomy in the Galilee.",7340,L-4148027,00.html

Detention / Prisoner swap

Hamas: Egypt says prisoner deal second phase on track
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov -- Egyptian officials confirmed Israel will carry out the second stage of a prisoner release deal according to the agreement they brokered between Hamas and Israel, the Hamas leader charged with overseeing the swap said Sunday. Sheikh Salah al-Aruri said Egypt was pressing Israel to release the remaining 10 female detainees in Israeli jail shortly, before the two month deadline for the next group of prisoners to be freed, Hamas-affiliated news site Palestine Information Center reported.

Ministry: Israel has failed to lift restrictions on detainees
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Nov -- A report released Saturday by the Ministry of Detainee Affairs in Ramallah has found that prison authorities have failed to lift arbitrary restrictions against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails ... Ashkelon prisoner representative Nasser Abu Hameed said that the Israeli prison administration did not take into consideration the religious rights of detainees during the Eid Al-Adha holiday, with many basic rights being violated ... The report said that prisoners in Israeli jails have not noticed any improvement in conditions since a prisoner exchange deal in early October between Hamas and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in June that Palestinians would see restrictions on their prison rights until captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is freed. Ramon detainee Jamal al-Rjoob said that detainees are still banned from continuing higher education and room raids and beatings by prison guards are commonplace.

Families of former detainees prevented from visiting them in exile
IMEMC 12 Nov -- The Israeli authorities are preventing dozens of Palestinian families from travelling to meet their sons who were released from the Israeli jails last month under the Gilad Shalit prisoner-swap deal, and were sent into exile in Syria, Turkey, Qatar, and the Gaza strip, the Palestine News & Info Agencies (WAFA) reported.

Army raids homes of prisoners freed in swap deal
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 14 Nov -- Israeli forces overnight Sunday raided the homes of seven prisoners freed as part of the Oct. 18 prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel, a Ma‘an correspondent reported. Military vehicles entered the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya overnight Sunday and issued summons to Akram Mansour, Shadi Zayid and Ibrahim Yasin to report to Israeli intelligence. Mansour, who had been serving a life sentence since August 1979, took part in hunger strikes while in jail to protest prison conditions. He is suffering from brain cancer. Soldiers also raided the homes of two former prisoners Nael and Fakhri Barghouthi in the central West Bank village of Kubar near Ramallah. The two cousins were also issued summons to report to Israeli intelligence. Nael Barghouti was 20 when he was detained in April 1978. He was the longest serving Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails, having spent 33 years behind bars for alleged membership of an armed group.  The Jenin home of former detainee Adnan Zeid al-Kilani was also raided by soldiers, Ma‘an's correspondent said ... Israeli forces also raided the home of former female prisoner Latuifa Abu Thiraa late Sunday, a Ma‘an reporter said. An Israeli army spokeswoman said she had no reports of any of the incidents.

Israeli forces raid home of freed female prisoner
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Nov -- Israeli forces raided the house of a female former prisoner near Ramallah on Sunday, less than a month after she was released under Hamas' prisoner exchange deal with Israel. Forces issued summons for Sumud Karaja, 23, to report to Israeli intelligence in the Ofer military base near her village of Saffa, locals told Ma‘an. Her identity card was also confiscated, they added.

Palestinian woman struggles for proper medical treatment / Wahed Rejol
ISM 14 Nov -- In 2004 Amal Jamal was sentenced to 12 years in Israeli prison. A year later the Palestinian woman from Nablus was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Today from a hospital in Nablus she awaits a decision from Israel authorities that will determine whether she will be permitted to travel outside of Israeli controlled territory to receive medical treatment. In 2005 Jamal began to suffer from severe pain and bleeding as a result of her illness. Yet she received little treatment from the Israelis. She was given only medication for pain and an unidentified sedative that affected her mental stability. Her diabetes went untreated altogether resulting in later complications ... Last month Jamal was released by the Israelis as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas where 1,027 Palestinian political prisoners were released in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Jamal has refused further treatment within Israel and is instead awaiting permission from the Israelis to travel to France via Jordan to receive medical attention.

Freed Palestinian prisoner shares his personal story
AIC 14 Nov -- Badia Dwaik is Deputy Coordinator of Youth Against Settlements, a grassroots Palestinian organization that organizes demonstrations and educational events as part of a nonviolent struggle to resist the Israeli occupation of Hebron. Here he reflects on growing up in Hebron while his father was in an Israeli prison.  One of the Palestinian prisoners freed in exchange for Gilad Shalit, Dwaik also reflects on his time in an Israeli jail...

"Only one half of me is free, but the other half is still there, locked up behind Israeli bars" / Shahd Abusalama
ISM/Palestine from My Eyes 13 Nov -- In a nice restaurant overlooking Gaza’s beach, beneath a full moon with a beautiful halo surrounding it, I sat with my new friends who recently were released from Israeli prisons ... One of my new friends is Chris Al-Bandak, the only Christian of the released detainees, who was freed in the first stage of the swap deal ... Chris said that he was one of the people besieged by the Israeli Occupation Forces at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2002. That alone made me impatient to hear the rest of his story. “The siege lasted for 40 days. It got more unbearable as time passed, with the food and first aid equipments dwindling ... During the period before Chris was released, he shared a prison cell with Hafith. "Other detainees received the news of their freedom with screams of joy and happiness, but I received it with tears. I didn’t even feel 1% happy, as I realized that only I was included in the swap deal. Even now, I feel like my body is outside but my heart is still inside the prison with Hafith and all the other detainees", Chris said with sadness on his face.

Israeli forces arrest Hebron journalist
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 14 Nov -- Israeli forces detained a Palestinian journalist on Sunday night after raiding his home in the Wadi Hariyya neighborhood of Hebron in the southern West Bank, a Ma‘an correspondent said. Raed al-Sharif, 23, had been shortly detained and interrogated by Israeli intelligence in October 2010. Director of the Palestinian prisoner’s society in Hebron Amjad Najjar denounced the detention, describing it as part of Israel’s policy of "intimidation against Palestinian journalists to prevent them from reporting the truth about the torture and oppression of Israeli occupation practices against the Palestinian people."  An Israeli army spokeswoman said that al-Sharif was arrested for "suspected involvement in terrorist activity."

Israeli forces detain 5 people overnight
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Nov -- Israeli forces detained five people overnight Saturday across the West Bank, Palestinian police and the Israeli army said. Three people were arrested in the Hebron and two in Nablus, Palestinian sources said. Salam Affana and Saed Affana were detained while picking olives on their land in Nablus while Thaer Ahmad Khalil Abu Hashem, 24, and Iyad Jameel Ahmad al-Alami, 24, were detained in Beit Ummar, police said. A fifth person, Ahmad Zein Ad-Din Atallah Jawabra, was detained in Al Arrub camp in Hebron after soldiers raided his home.

Israeli forces detain 3 men in Balata camp, Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 14 Nov -- The Israeli army raided Balata refugee camp in Nablus on Monday morning and detained three young men. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli military vehicles entered the camp at dawn and raided several homes before detaining Mahmoud Hkroush, Qays Dabaki and Murad Sawalha. An Israeli army spokeswoman said three men were taken for security questioning.

Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Palestinian Freedom Rides echo the Civil Rights Movement / Ben Lorber & Mya Guarnieri
AIC 13 Nov -- This week's Palestinian Freedom Rides will resemble those of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. As the American Jewish community was widely supportive of the Civil Rights movement, the event serves as an opportunity for American Jews to reflect on Israel's system of segregation -- a system that it opposed in the United States. The Palestinian Freedom Rides, which are set to begin on Tuesday, will seek to replicate those of the African-American Civil Rights movement. Palestinian youth activist and organizer Fadi Quran explains, "This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides in the US. Apart from disrupting the segregation and challenging the oppression imposed on us by Israel, we chose this form of direct action to highlight the similarities between the Palestinian struggle and the [African American] civil rights movement to an American audience."

Israeli military uses rubber-coated bullets on peaceful demonstration
AIC 14 Nov -- According to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: A peaceful protest in the village of Nabi Saleh was attacked with tear-gas by Israeli soldiers on Friday, as protesters tried to march to their lands adjacent to the Jewish-only settlement of Halamish. Following the attack on the peaceful procession, clashes ensued between soldiers and local youth. 
The soldiers shot volleys of tear-gas projectiles into the crowd, as well as rubber-coated bullets, causing injuries to at least ten protesters, among them an eleven year-old who was hit by a rubber-coated bullet to the chest and suffers a suspected fracture to the rib. An organizer from the village was hit in the face by a rubber-coated bullet shot from close range and was evacuated to the hospital.

Jerusalem: Explosions, arrests and violence as Israel clears way for settlement activity
[with photos] ISM 13 Nov -- Three Palestinians were arrested and others were detained, beaten and pepper sprayed by the Israeli military in Al-Walajeh yesterday, as villagers attempted to prevent the detonation of explosives used to widen the route for the separation wall on the village’s land. Previously, large explosions on 3 November2011 in the village had sent large rocks several metres into the air, damaging nearby houses and trees and endangering life.  The explosions have damaged the foundations of nearby properties.  Yesterday, protesters attempted to peacefully prevent a similar explosion from taking place.

Soldiers detain 2 for blocking work on separation wall
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov -- Israeli forces detained two men in Walaja village near Bethlehem on Sunday morning, after residents gathered to stave off a planned explosion by the army to blast a route for the separation wall ... Forces detained Palestinian-American professor Mazin Qumsiyeh and Walaja resident Mustapha Awda, villagers said. Construction crews carried out the blast shortly after ... Last week, a series of explosions rocked the village to carve out the planned route of the wall and were captured by photographer Anne Paq.

Injuries, arrests in peaceful anti-settlements march near Bethlehem
BETHELEHEM (WAFA) 13 Nov -- Israeli soldiers Sunday suppressed the peaceful anti-settlements march, condemning the apartheid wall, in the village of Al-Walaja, northwest of Bethlehem, injuring three Palestinians, causing suffocation cases and arresting two, according to security sources. They said that Israeli soldiers suppressed the march, beating protesters with their rifles butts and hands, as well as firing tear gas bombs at them, injuring three Palestinians and causing many suffocation cases, including a youth and a 60-year-old.

UK regulator rules against deceptive settlement ad in The Jewish Chronicle / Ali Abunimah
EI blog 14 Nov -- The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK body that regulates truthfulness in advertising, has ruled against an ad in The Jewish Chronicle for promoting real estate in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The 2 November ASA ruling says that the ad, which appeared in June 2011, was headlined, "Vineyard View EFRAT New Neighbourhood in Dekel UNIQUE DEVLEOPMENT [sic] OF 26 NEW HOUSES." ...  However, the ASA upheld a complaint by Michael Shanahan that the advertisement "misleadingly implied that the development in Efrat in Dekel was in Israel." Efrat is not in "Israel" but is an illegal colony in the occupied West Bank.

Campaigners push for Israeli products boycott
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov -- Campaigners passed out leaflets and erected posters in central Bethlehem on Sunday in a new push to boycott Israeli products. The campaign, organizer by political party Palestinian National Initiative and the Bethlehem-based International Solidarity Initiative, urges residents to stop buying Israeli products available in the West Bank ... ISI Director Fadi Kattan said it was time for Palestinians to stop paying money that is used by people "who kill Palestinians and confiscate their lands,"

Political news

Israel maintains block on tax transfers to PA
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 14 Nov -- Israel's cabinet decided on Monday to continue to withhold the transfer of tax revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority, a measure it imposed two weeks ago after the Palestinians won full membership of the UN cultural agency. A government official said cabinet ministers voted narrowly in favor of continuing the freeze on the handover of revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. The money, which includes duties on goods being imported to the Palestinian territories, amounts to about $100 million each month. PLO official Saeb Erekat called the move "blackmailing, bullying and stealing."

DFLP lawmaker:  Israel trying to 'choke' PA
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 14 Nov -- Lawmaker Qais Abu Laila on Monday said Israel was trying to "choke" the Palestinian Authority by withholding its tax revenue ... Abu Laila, a member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, noted in a statement that the revenue -- which includes duties on imported goods -- belonged to the Palestinian people and was not a gift or donation from Israel.

Erekat to Quartet: Settlements and 2-state solution are mutually exclusive
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 14 Nov – Palestinian negotiators meeting Quartet representatives in Jerusalem on Monday stressed that Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian Territory and the two-state solution are mutually exclusive. In a statement issued following the meeting held at the United Nations headquarters in Jerusalem, the second since the Quartet has issued its September 23 statement on reviving mediation efforts between the Palestinians and Israelis, chief negotiator Saeb Erekat re-emphasized the importance of halting settlements. "We are ready to discuss all final status issues once Israel proves its seriousness and commitment by freezing all its illegal settlement construction in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially in occupied East Jerusalem, and accepting clear terms of reference, specifically the 1967 borders," he said.

PA will resume peace talks if Israel freezes settlement building, Abbas says
Haaretz 13 Nov -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told a top U.S. official on Sunday that the Palestinian Authority was willing to cooperate with the Quartet on the Middle East in order to restart peace talks with Israel, but added that Israel had to both freeze all settlement construction and recognize the 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations.

Fayyad may quit for sake of Palestinian unity
Ramallah (Reuters) 14 Nov -- Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signaled on Monday he is ready to step aside to help reconcile the two rival factions of the Palestinian national movement and pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections.
The departure of the U.S.-educated former World Bank economist, 59, would be a concession by President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the mainly secular Fatah movement which is dominant in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to his Islamist rivals Hamas, who control the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip. Abbas will call in a speech on Wednesday for a government of independent experts to prepare for the elections, presidential adviser Nemir Hammad told Reuters.

Abbas urges US envoy to reconsider UN bid stance
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 13 Nov -- President Mahmoud Abbas urged the US to reconsider its attitude towards the Palestinian bid for UN membership, at a meeting with the American envoy to the Middle East on Sunday, PLO official Saeb Erekat said. Abbas told David Hale that Palestine is ready to cooperate with members of the diplomatic Quartet -- the US, Russia, EU and United Nations -- whether individually or as a group, to address the core issues of the conflict.

Israeli foreign minister: Jordan is not Palestine
JERUSALEM (AP) 14 Nov -- Israel's hard-line foreign minister has praised Jordan and condemned talk of it becoming the Palestinian state. At Israel's parliament Monday, Avigdor Lieberman said, "Talk about Jordan as a Palestinian state damages Israel." He praised the neighboring country as a "stabilizing element in the region."

Israel and Egypt, Turkey

Egypt detains Sinai leader accused of Eilat attacks
EL-ARISH (Ma‘an) 13 Nov -- Muhammad Eid Musleh Hamad, also known as Muhammad al-Teehi, is accused of planning the deadly attacks in Israeli border city Eilat in August, as well as a number of attacks in the Egyptian peninsula, a Ma‘an correspondent reported. Al-Teehi was detained in northern the Sinai city El-Arish after a joint police and army operation, Egyptian security officials said. Egyptian authorities said al-Teehi is leader of the "Jihadists and Takfiris" movement, founded after the January revolution which ousted former leader Hosni Mubarak. Authorities say he masterminded attacks on police stations in the city and has topped a government "wanted" list, official news agency MENA said. A Ma'an correspondent in El-Arish said that Egyptian authorities had also accused Hamad of being involved in planning the Aug. 18 assault on number of Israeli vehicles near Eilat, which killed eight Israelis. Israel said it shot dead six gunmen and blamed the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, who denied any involvement. Within hours of the attack, Israeli forces struck back at targets in southern Gaza, leading to four days of cross border violence that killed 15 Palestinians, and wounded more than 50. In September, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported that an unreleased army investigation revealed the Eilat attacks were carried out by a group of Egyptians operating in Sinai.

Egypt detains 2 from group accused of Eilat attack
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma‘an) 14 Nov  -- Egyptian authorities on Monday detained two members of a militant Islamist group in Sinai, a day after arresting the movement's leader, security officials told Ma‘an ... Security officials told Ma‘an that Egyptian police were sweeping the Sinai Peninsula to arrest militants, adding that the detainees have been sent to Cairo for interrogation.

Egyptian arrest of author of Eilat attack in Sinai proves Israel lied in blaming Gazans / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 14 Nov -- Despite reams of nonsense published by the likes of Eli Lake and Avi Issacharoff in the Washington Times and Haaretz respectively, regurgitating IDF talking points that the Eilat terror attacks were planned and orchestrated by the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza -- Idan Landau, Alex Fishman and I knew otherwise.  We said the attacks were carried out by Egyptian militants based in Sinai.  We said that killing 30 Gazans merely because the Israeli government couldn’t take revenge on Egypt and needed to take revenge on someone, was criminal.  Issacharoff even sneered at my talking of this as a potential war crime.  Well, who’s sneering now?

Wrecked Israeli spy drone found in Turkish territory
ISTANBUL (PIC) 13 Nov -- Local news reports disclosed that the Turkish defense forces found lately the wreckage of an Israeli spy drone in Adana province, south of Turkey, and opened an investigation into the matter. According to newspaper Yeni Safak on Saturday, a Turkish fisherman from Karatas town, discovered pieces of the drone known as Heron and reported what he saw to the coast guard authority, which in turn, sent a probe team to the scene ... The newspaper noted to the possibility that this drone was used by the Israeli occupation forces to help the Kurdish rebel group referred to as PKK to launch terrorist attacks against Turkey.
link to Palestinian Information Center

Israeli Racism / Discrimination

Youth basketball league limits numbers of 'foreigners'
AIC 14 Nov --Two Filipino boys play a one-on-one basketball game in South Tel Aviv, an area where many migrant workers and their Israeli-born children live. The kids shout at each other in Hebrew as they dribble, shoot, and score. As local as they might seem, these boys are likely to be excluded from a local league due to a little known policy that prevents many non-Jewish 'foreigners' from joining basketball teams. The rule was made by and applies to the national basketball league for seventh and eighth graders. When it was first discovered by the human rights organization Israeli Children -- a group that was founded to fight Israel’s plans to deport children of migrant workers -- the policy stated that only 'two foreigners' were allowed on each team. But, in most cases, the kids who are excluded are not foreigners -- they are kids who were born and raised in Israel and who will receive citizenship when they turn 21.

Proposed bill would indefinitely detain refugees seeking protection / Sigal Rozen
972mag 14 Nov -- Israel was created 64 years ago by refugees and for refugees. But despite its young age, the state seems to suffer from memory loss when it comes to dealing with the refugees who seek its protection today.

Amendment on African refugees would worsen a humanitarian crisis / Issa Edward Boursheh
972mag 14 Nov -- "Love ye therefore the sojourner; for ye were sojourners in the land of Egypt” Deuteronomy 10:19 -- A new bill to be discussed in the Knesset Interior Committee on Monday would severely amend one of Israel’s main immigration laws, called the 'Prevention of Infiltration Law'.  The law, aimed at African asylum seekers crossing the Egyptian border, would result in the immediate three-year imprisonment of illegal 'infiltrators' who enter Israel, including children, and any Israeli who provides humanitarian aid or assistance to 'infiltrators' would risk up to five years’ imprisonment.

MESS Report: In the IDF, it's the officers vs. the rabbis / Amos Harel
Haaretz 14 Nov -- Military elders are struggling against a gradual cultural shift that threatens the position of women in the IDF ... Until now, the only voice heard has been that of the civilian rabbinate. They were the ones to articulate the distress of their students, whose adherence to their faith occasionally provoked clashes with the IDF. Now a voice is also being heard from the other side. A group of 19 major-general reservists signed a letter calling on the defense minister and the IDF chief to prevent any damage to women serving in high-ranking military positions. The major-generals warned against allowing the coercive norms "suitable for a small portion of the religious community" to take effect over the entirety of the military, claiming that they do not fall in line with the spirit of the IDF.

Israel's proposed anti-democratic laws criticized

Netanyahu's 'draconian laws' are attack on Israeli democracy, say MKs
Haaretz 14 Nov -- As the Knesset get ready to vote Monday on a number of controversial bills, MKs from both the opposition and the governing coalition have voiced strong criticism of the proposed laws, saying they are draconian and anti-democratic. "We will fight Netanyahu's draconian laws," said Kadima chairwoman and opposition leader Tzipi Livni. "This is an attempt to turn Israel into a dark… dictatorship." Livni added: "Every government minister, even if he or she opposes the laws, is part of a system that is silencing the citizens. This is not a matter of an opposition to the government; there must be a front that expresses the sane and balanced voice."

Israeli groups slam approval for funding clampdown
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 13 Nov -- Israeli human rights groups on Sunday condemned an Israeli ministerial committee's approval of two bills set to choke foreign funding to organizations in the country. Israeli military watchdog B'Tselem pledged "this government will not silence us," after lawmakers passed the measures restricting foreign contributions to 20,000 shekels ($5,400) a year and hiking tax on donations, targeted at non-governmental organizations. Critics say the bills will stifle free speech by organizations that oppose Israel's policies towards Palestinians.

In Numbers / Breakdown of foreign funds for Israeli human rights groups
Haaretz 14 Nov -- [figures for Peace Now, Ir Amim, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, B'Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Yesh Din, Physicians For Human Rights]

Al-Maqdese condemns Israeli bills hindering human rights work in OPT
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 14 Nov -- Moaz Za‘tari, General Manager of Al-Maqdese for Society Development (MSD), strongly condemned the decision of Israeli Ministerial Committee for legislation to pass discriminatory laws, hindering the civil work and human rights organizations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, according to a press release published by MSD on Monday ... He added these laws do not affect the right wing and settler organizations as assistants for the Israeli government in implementing the Zionist agenda. These organizations specifically receive millions of dollars from the Israeli government and the Zionist Lobby all over the world.

A new Israel in the making / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 13 Nov -- One day not long from now we will wake up to a different kind of country, the country that's now in the making. It won't look like the country we know, which already has its share of flaws, distortions and ills. And when we become aware of this, it will be too late. At that point, the old Israel will be described in glowing terms, a model of democracy and justice, compared to the new version that is taking shape as we close our eyes to it, day after day, new law after law. The way of life in the new Israel where we will live and die won't remind us in the least of the country we're used to. Even this article won't be publishable. Only proper opinions will be put into print, the ones approved by the new government-sponsored journalists' association, whose people will sit in every newsroom so there is no divergence from the accepted chorus of opinion.

Analysis / Opinion

If you're to be killed by a soldier, better to be a Jew than an Arab / Haggai Matar
972mag 14 Nov -- The state and media responses to this week’s shooting of Rabbi Mertzbach, seen alongside the killing of 10 year-old Abir Aramin, a Palestinian, highlight the difference in treatment of Jewish and Arab blood ... First, the media reports: Two days have passed since the shooting that killed Rabbi Mertzbach. A Google search of his name, limited to the last two days, bring up some 20,000 results. No media outlet in Israel failed to deal with the story at length – reporting on the shooting, the investigation launched as a result, the funeral, the family’s history, and so on. A Google search of Abir Aramin, limited to the month and a half following her shooting, brings up exactly seven results in Hebrew, five of which are from left-wing sites, one by Haaretz’s Gideon Levy, and one on the NRG [Maariv] news site. Here, the reports focus on the unique personage of Abir’s father, Bassam Aramin, one of the founders of Combatants for Peace. How many Palestinian children are killed under similar circumstances, without even one such mention of their parents?

Hasbara: Why does the world fail to understand us? / Noam Sheizaf
972mag 13 Nov -- A short discussion of the Israeli term used to describe the ongoing, ever-growing, national propaganda effort -- Hasbara is a form of propaganda aimed at an international audience, primarily, but not exclusively, in western countries. It is meant to influence the conversation in a way that positively portrays Israeli political moves and policies, including actions undertaken by Israel in the past. Often, Hasbara efforts includes a negative portrayal of the Arabs and especially of Palestinians. The Hebrew meaning of the word Hasbara (הסברה) is “explanation” (the term “propaganda” has a different word in Hebrew – תעמולה). I believe that the popular use of this term also reflects a widespread public notion that a better effort of explaining Israel’s actions to the world will generate better understandings of Israel’s policies, and more international support ... The Israeli government encourages all citizens to actively engage in Hasbara.

Get lost! / Yitzhak Laor
Haaretz 11 Nov -- A historian of Jewish ethics will one day have to describe our nation as one that moved from a culture of disgust with collaborating with regimes to one in which informing on others is a daily routine ... Today it is known that Shin Bet witnesses lied for years and that the judges who sent huge numbers of accused to hundreds of cumulative years of imprisonment were cooperating with a mechanism that was above the law. That is a reason to prevent Avi Dichter, a former Shin Bet head, from being a legislator. His competition with the dead Meir Kahane and the living Avigdor Lieberman is an inherent part of the way in which for many years he ruled over the exposed, tortured, beaten and humiliated Palestinian body that was thrown into jail without due process and without defense, as if it were not that of a human being...
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