||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers|
Rampaging Israeli settlers invade Palestinian village of Tuba
16 May -- Late last night (15 May), Israeli settlers invaded the village
of Tuba, damaged property, and killed and stole several sheep belonging
to the Ali Awad family.
Palestinians of Tuba reported that they
counted seven masked settlers, who entered and left the village on foot,
and saw two cars at the outskirts of Tuba, near the chicken barns of
Ma'on settlement. The rampaging settlers stole seven sheep, killed two,
and injured others, including one which lost an eye. In addition, the
settlers upended three water tanks, which held a total
of 4.5 cubic meters of water. They destroyed fences, punctured a
storage tent and three large sacks of yogurt, damaged a goat pen and
destroyed the ventilation pipe of an outhouse. They also set loose a
donkey, which later returned.
Jewish settlers storm Palestinian school in occupied Jerusalem, attack homes in Al-Khalil
JERUSALEM, (PIC) 17 May -- Jewish settlers, escorted by Israeli
occupation forces, stormed a school for orphans in occupied Jerusalem on
Tuesday and assaulted a number of students. The Palestinian ministry of
education said that the occupation forces arrested the headmaster and
his deputy, adding that three of the students were injured in the
settlers' attack. It said in a statement that the students' lives were
in danger after they were forced out of school and left easy prey for
Meanwhile, Jewish settlers threw a firebomb at a Palestinian home in
Al-Khalil on Tuesday during an attack on a number of suburbs in the
city. Witnesses told the PIC that setters threw a firebomb at a home for
El-Baradei family south of the city as other groups were seen throwing
stones at Palestinian cars in downtown.
Settler attacks with Molotov cocktails in Nakba Day in Hebron
17 May -- Jamal Abu Saifan told the International Solidarity Movement
that around 6.30 pm on Sunday, four masked settlers appeared and started
to throw Molotov cocktails and glass bottles towards one of the houses
of the Abu
Saifan family in Western Hebron. 19 people live in the house which was
attacked, including several children. The family has five houses,
situated just below a religious school of the illegal settlement of
Kiryat Arba. The attackers were standing in the school yard.
Video: Daily life in Hebron: Israeli settlement activity in the Old City
by Alhaqhr on May 17, 2011 -- "On Saturdays, I do not wash laundry or
use the back yard of my house. Also, out of fear, I do not leave my
house." [doesn't harassing Palestinians constitute 'work', not to be
done on the Sabbath??]
IOF troops storm Wadi Qana, block entry of farmers
(PIC) 17 May -- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the Wadi Qana
region near Salfit and expelled farmers from it after declaring it a
closed military zone. Nazmi Salman, the Deir Estiya village council
head, said in a press release on Tuesday that the soldiers occupied the
valley and forced the farmers out of it. He added that he went to the
soldiers to ask them for the military order but they refused to show it.
Wadi Qana is located on eight mountains and surrounded by nine Jewish
settlements that distorted the valley's features and confiscated almost
all of its fertile land leaving only tens of dunums to the rightful
Palestinian owners, which are also the target of constant settlers'
UN: Israel has displaced 149 Palestinian children in 2011
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) 16 May -- Israel's policy of demolishing Palestinian
homes has displaced 149 children in the West Bank so far this year,
figures from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees show ... The figures
show a sharp rise from with the same period in 2010, when 142
Palestinians -- including 61 children -- were forcibly displaced.
Another Nakba Day video - a bit different
Nakba Day demonstrations started by young schoolgirls in Beit Ommar
Palestine Solidarity Project -- Video of Nakba demonstrations on May 15,
2011, in the West Bank village of Beit Ommar and nearby refugee camp of
Aroub. The girls make three attempts to reach the checkpoint, but
soldiers stop them with tear gas. They fire tear gas directly at
protesters (illegal by Israeli law, potentially lethal) instead of
shooting the canisters in an arc. After the street is cleared the army
advances, using rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition.
Detention / Court actions
IOF soldiers storm home of MP
(PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the house of MP Mohammed
Abu Juhaisha in Al-Khalil at dawn Tuesday and handed his son Musab a
summons to the intelligence office in Etzion. Two of Abu Juhaisha's
other sons are held in Israeli occupation prisons ... The seven sons of
the Hamas MP have been repeatedly held by Israel and the PA security
apparatuses over the past ten years.
Witnesses: Israeli forces detain 6 near Bethlehem
(Ma‘an) 17 May – Israeli forces raided the southern west Bank town of
Al-Khadir near Bethlehem overnight Monday and detained six young men,
local sources said. Al-Khadir resident Khalid Mahmoud Marzouq told Ma‘an
on Tuesday morning that Israeli forces ransacked the home of his
neighbor Mahmoud Abdullah Subih shortly after midnight. Marzouq said
soldiers detained three of Subih’s sons identified as Mahir, 25, Mazin,
17, and Basil 20. He added that three others visiting the family were
Family says Israeli jailers poured boiling oil on its son
(PIC) 17 May -- A Palestinian family said its son, Raf'at Bani Odeh, was
exposed by Israeli jailers to excruciating physical and psychological
torture at the time of his six-year detention. The family added that its
son spent most of his imprisonment term in solitary confinement and
boiling oil was once poured on him by Israeli interrogators, so he
suffers from serious physical and psychological scars as a result of
that ... The Palestinian prisoner society also confirmed that Bani Odeh
suffers from serious mental problems a result of his exposure to
torture and medical neglect in prison and thus he is in dire need of
Former IDF spokesperson and Southern Brigade commander to testify in Corrie civil trial. May 22 to be final court hearing
17 May ...The lawsuit, filed in 2005 by Attorney Hussein abu Hussein,
charges the Israeli government and Ministry of Defense with
responsibility for killing American peace activist Rachel Corrie in
Rafah, Gaza in 2003. Since the trial opened in March 2010, nearly 2000
pages of court transcripts have been recorded, from more than 20
that of 14 military personnel. Most government witnesses were identified
only by their initials, and nearly half testified while hidden behind a
Golan Heights 'infiltration'
Israel expels 2 Palestinian returnees from Syria
JERUSALEM (AFP) 17 May-- Two Palestinian protesters who entered Israel
from Syria on Sunday during huge demonstrations on the armistice line
were deported on Tuesday, a military spokeswoman said ... Israeli army
radio said the two were a man and a woman but no further details were
'It was always my dream to reach Jaffa,' Syrian infiltrator says
Reuters 16 May -- Hassan Hijazi, 28, surrenders to police a day after he
pushed through Syrian border, and then hitch-hiked and took a public bus
to Jaffa in search of his parents' former house -- A man identifying
himself as a Syrian civil servant said on Monday he hitch-hiked and rode
a bus alongside Israeli soldiers to Tel Aviv after pushing through an
Israeli frontier fence with Palestinian demonstrators. -
Golan's Druze community divided over protests
Syria (IRIN) 15 May -- When thousands of Palestinian refugees gathered
on the Syrian border with Israel near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights
recently, local villagers were stunned. It was the first time in more
than 20 years that there had been trouble on this border ... But the May
15 incident was only the latest sign of unrest in the usually calm
hilltops of Golan. Since protests began in Syria in March, the Druze
community in Golan has been divided between those who support the
current regime of President Bashar Assad and those who support the
protesters. The Druze are a small monotheist religious sect found in
several Middle East countries.
After Nakba Day violence, normal life resumes in Majdal Shams
17 May -- One day after more than 100 infiltrators crossed the
Syria-Israel cease-fire line at Majdal Shams, and a total of 14
infiltrators were killed on the Syrian and Lebanese borders, things
returned to normal in the Golan Heights Druze town on Monday ... Majdal
Shams' restaurants, coffee houses and pubs, where the alcohol flows
freely, were full. "Don't make the mistake of thinking we're part of
Israel," a young local man, who would not give his name, told Haaretz.
"We still feel part of the Syrian people, but at the same time we want
to see change in Syria, we're waiting for democratization and
liberalism," he said ... The sight of hundreds of Syrian Palestinians
crossing from Syria into
Majdal Shams is something people do not seem to have fully digested yet.
"It's had a great emotional impact on us," Sfadi said.
Video: Israelis secure line of control inside occupied Syria
Land mine exploded when military vehicle rolled over it - so there were landmines, only luck that none of the 'infiltrators' stepped on one?
Gaza -- under siege for 1,434 days
IOF soldiers fire at Palestinian farmers
YOUNIS, (PIC) 17 May -- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened machine
gun fire at Palestinian farmers in southern Gaza on Tuesday while
reaping their crops, local sources said. They told the PIC reporter that
the farmers were harvesting their wheat and barley crops in Abasan
Al-Kabira east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip. The sources
noted that IOF soldiers opened fire from positions behind the security
fence at the farmers but no casualties were reported.
Photographer deliberately shot by Israeli soldier during Nakba Day clashes
Reporters without Borders 17 May -- Palestinian news photographer Mohammed Othman
injured by a shot fired by an Israeli soldier while covering clashes
between young Palestinians and Israeli troops at the Beit Hanoun (Erez)
border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel on 15 May ...
Reporters Without Borders was told that Othman was clearly identifiable
as a journalist at the time of the shooting and was deliberately
targeted ... Two other journalists were injured during the 15 May
clashes at the Beit Hanoun border crossing
300 truckloads of goods enter Gaza as siege continues
CITY (Ma‘an) 17 May -- Israel will permit 300 truckloads of goods and
humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, Israeli officials
informed Palestinian liaison officers.
Official: Malaysia flotilla to dock at Egypt port
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 May -- A Malaysian aid flotilla [actually one boat]
docked in the El-Arish port after Israeli forces forbade it from
reaching Gaza, port director Maj.-Gen. Jamal Abdul Maqsoud said Tuesday.
The Egyptian authorities will allow the flotilla remain in post until
preparations are made to transfer the goods to the Rafah border crossing
between Egypt and Gaza, Abdul Maqsoud said.
New boats to be delivered to Gaza fishermen
MEMO 16 May -- The Minister of Agriculture in the Gaza Strip, Dr
Mohammad Ramadan al-Agha, has announced government plans to supply 50
fishermen with fishing boats free of charge. Forty of these boats will
be given to fishermen who have lost their own boats over the last year
as a consequence of Israeli attacks, while 10 others will be given to
the poorest Palestinians in need. The fishing boat project is being
within the context of a wider programme to help fishermen funded by the
Gaza coast guards demand pay rise
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Coast guards [lifeguards] stationed along Gaza's
beaches protested Tuesday, demanding a salary increase ... Coast guard
spokesman Omar Ayyash told Ma‘an the workers had received many promises
of pay raises, but that their wages never increased ... He
added that some coast guards didn't join the strike "because they are
honest and they are afraid that anyone could come to the shore and
drown. So they stood there to save people's lives."
Six Jerusalemites arrested following firebomb attack
JERUSALEM, (PIC) 17 May -- Israeli policemen arrested six Palestinian
young men in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday morning after firebomb
attacks on a number of Israeli vehicles. The Israeli radio said that
three Molotov cocktails were hurled at Israeli vehicles in the occupied
holy city. It added that cars were passing near an Israeli security
roadblock south of the city, adding that no injuries or damages were
Racism / Discrimination
Israeli police's Facebook page rife with racist comments
Haaretz 17 May -- The Israeli police's official Facebook page faces
criticism after allowing a stream of offensive and racist comments to be
published on its page. The police say they regularly delete
inappropriate comments, and have deleted over 1,500 responses during the
past three weeks. Here are some of the comments Haaretz found on the
Facebook page: "We're leading the Arabushes around by the nose"; "With
God's help let this be the first one killed today and not the last";
"They have to be sprayed like cockroaches"; "Every stinking SOB Muslim
who dies is a holiday for me."
Why has University of Haifa banned on-campus political activity?
Hanin Zuabi (Balad ) canceled a scheduled lecture at the University of
Haifa Sunday after the university announced it was banning on-campus
political activity and called in security forces. The lecture, which
would have coincided with Nakba Day, was arranged and approved by the
university a month ago. Zuabi, who was invited by the Balad student
association, had planned to discuss anti-Arab discrimination and other
issues. MK Hanin Zuabi's appearance was canceled after being invited by
the Balad student association to speak of anti-Arab discrimination
during Nakba Day.
No school for 180 Sephardic girls
Ynet 17 May -- The
2011-2012 school year will open in four months, but it seems racial
discrimination is already raising its ugly head: Ynet has learned that
nearly 200 haredi girls in Jerusalem have yet to be admitted into
educational institutions in the city, although registration has already
ended. The students, most of them of Sephardic descent, make up 7% of the city's ultra-Orthodox female students and are
slated to begin studying in a seminary (high school for girls) next year.
Almost a year after the arrest of parents of Ashkenazi students
in the community Emmanuel over local schools' discriminatory policies,
it seems racial discrimination in Israel is still alive and kicking.
Political / Diplomatic / International news
Israel, Lebanon make rival UN protests over clashes
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) 17 May -- Israel and Lebanon filed rival protests
to the United Nations over deadly clashes involving thousands of
Palestinian demonstrators who converged on Israel's borders, diplomats
blamed Lebanon for the 10 deaths and hundreds wounded when its troops
shot at the thousands of Palestinian refugees commemorating the mass
displacements of 1948 ... In Lebanon, the government accused Israel of
using "excessive force" against unarmed civilians.
Report: Hamas, Fatah say progress in Cairo
(Ma‘an) 17 May -- Fatah and Hamas officials say talks in Cairo to work
out the details of reconciliation have so far been positive, Egyptian
media reported Tuesday.
Abbas: UN statehood bid no 'stunt'
NEW YORK (AFP) 17 May -- President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that his
bid to secure international recognition for a Palestinian state was no
"stunt" and would contribute to peace efforts with Israel.
PA delays local elections until October
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 17 May -- The caretaker Palestinian Authority decided
Tuesday to delay municipal elections until October 22, a cabinet
statement said ... Citing the 2005 elections law stipulating that
elections must take place
simultaneously in the West Bank and Gaza, the statement said officials
concluded that it would not be possible to register all Gaza voters in
time for a July vote.
'70% of Palestinians expect third intifada if talks fail'
JPost 17 May -- Palestinian poll shows one quarter oppose new intifada,
70% oppose firing rockets from Gaza; majority believes Israel interested
in peace deal. A vast majority of Palestinians expects an eruption of a
third intifada if Israeli-Palestinian peace talks reach an impasse,
according to the results of a public opinion poll published on Tuesday.
The poll, which was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public
Opinion [PCPO], also showed that nearly 80% of Palestinians supported
the recent reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah.
Arafat adviser: Mitchell resigned over deputy's 'bias'
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 17 May -- A political adviser to the late president
Yasser Arafat issued a statement Tuesday, alleging that US Mideast peace
envoy George Mitchell resigned because of the "extreme bias" of his
deputy Dennis Ross. Bassam Abu Shareef said Ross obstructed all US
initiatives aiming to achieve progress in the peace process ... The
official paraphrased comments he said were made by Mitchell during a
meeting, where he asked: "How can Dennis Ross assist in the peace
process when he refuses to meet with the Palestinians, when he despises
their leadership and hates their president?"
Israel-Turkey ties threatened by new Gaza flotilla
ISTANBUL (AFP) 17 May -- A new aid flotilla aiming to break the blockade
Gaza Strip threatens to deal a fresh blow to Turkish-Israeli ties, a
year after a bloody Israeli seizure of a Turkish activist ship.
relations remain stuck in crisis after several fence-mending meetings
between the one-time allies over the past year failed to yield results, a
Turkish diplomat told AFP.
Davutoğlu refuses withdrawal of Turkey from UN's Gaza flotilla panel
- Anatolia News Agency 17 May -- Despite its dissatisfaction with how a
U.N. inquiry into an Israeli flotilla raid is progressing, it is out of
the question for Turkey to withdraw from the panel, Foreign Minister
Ahmet Davutoğlu said Tuesday. “Talks continue. However, our reaction
will not be positive if a stance contradicting the U.N. report of last
year is taken,” Davutoğlu told a TV program.
Shaath: Slovenia to recognize Palestine before September
17 May -- Slovenia has promised to recognize an independent state of
Palestine before September, a Fatah official said Tuesday. Nabil Sha‘ath
met with the Slovenian president and others during a visit
to Slovenia heading a delegation of Fatah leaders.
PA: Palestine may join Gulf Cooperation Council
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 May -- Palestine may join the Gulf Cooperation
Council when it establishes its statehood, a Palestinian Authority
Monday. PA cabinet chief Naim Abul Huomos said joining the council was
important on political, economic and geographic levels. Jordan's
decision to join the GCC encouraged officials to seriously consider the
move, he added.
Tel Aviv University promotes pro-Israeli delegations to international campuses
17 May -- An invitation to an information meeting about 'pro-Israel'
student delegations was sent by the secretariat of Tel Aviv University’s
Department of Political Communications to all of its graduates on Monday
(16 May). The invitation, sent from an official Tel Aviv University
email account, invites recipients who may be "interested in taking part
in this important work" to attend a meeting about a new Israeli student
initiative, "What is Rael," "which aspires to act for the good of the
branding and public diplomacy of Israel on university campuses abroad,
which are strongholds of anti-Israeli actions."
Watch: Former IDF soldiers reveal nature of the occupation / Mairav Zonszein
16 May -- Breaking the Silence, the organization of former Israeli
soldiers who literally 'break their silence ' by sharing experiences
from their military service and exposing the IDF to criticism, launched a
video campaign on YouTube this week in which soldiers are seen identifying themselves for the first time in front of the camera ... Here is another video
of a former border policewoman. Yesterday, BTS’ website was hacked and
it was impossible to access it for most of the day. But now it is back
Former Israeli soldiers break the silence on military violations / Harriet Sherwood
16 May -- Testimonies posted on YouTube by campaign group describe routine harassment and humiliation of Palestinian civilians
Jaffa gang suspected of plotting to kill sheikh, blame rightists for crime
Haaretz 17 May -- Attorney Gur Finkelstein, who represents the
Scientology Center in Israel, was detained several weeks for allegedly
hiring this gang to help him with his own criminal endeavors -- Israel
Police forces have uncovered a Jaffa-based gang allegedly behind a
series of attacks and attempted assassinations in the Tel Aviv area,
including a plot to kill a senior sheikh of a local mosque, it was
revealed after a gag order was lifted on Tuesday. Those mobsters are
suspected of plotting to plant an explosive device at the Hassan Bek
Mosque in Jaffa after Friday
prayers, to kill a senior sheikh.
Analysis / Opinion / Interviews / Reviews
For Palestinians, every day is Nakba Day / Bradley Burston
Haaretz 17 May -- ...This year, a third day of remembrance fell exactly a
week later. It was Nakba Day, commemorating the displacement and
dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from their
homes in the 1948 war that established the state of Israel, and the
ensuing loss of hundreds of their villages effectively erased by the
Jewish state. It may be fair to assume that Nakba Day is not for the
millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants in Gaza, in West
Bank camps, in Lebanon and Syria and Chile and San Francisco. For them,
every single day is Nakba Day. No, Nakba Day is for the rest of us, who
go through our lives thinking that we can afford not to give it a second
thought. And so it is that Israel's government - in its zeal to blot
the very concept of the Nakba, in its paralysis in the face of an
unprecedented Palestinian drive for statehood, in its inability to
anticipate a Facebook-organized mass march past minefields and razor
wire and assault-rifle bullets on a northern border -- has inadvertently
but irrevocably established 2011 as the Year of the Nakba ... What we
stand to learn from the three memorial days, each of them singular but
all three intertwined, is that we remain, both Arab and Jew, prisoners
of our own narratives.
Interview with Milad Ayyash's sister
17 May -- Some have called him the first martyr of the Third Intifada.
Milad Ayyash, who was shot to death last Friday, 13 May -- two days
before the anniversary of the 63rd Palestinian Nakba -- was 17 when he
died. His sister told Palestine Monitor that on the day he died, Milad
woke early to spray-paint on a wall outside his house, "Palestine is
Free on May 15th." ... Palestine Monitor spoke with one of Milad's two
sisters, Waed Ayyash, 24, in the Ayyash home in Ras al-Amud. Four days
after her brother’s death, Waed says everything still feels like a
The long overdue Palestinian state / Mahmoud Abbas
16 May -- Ramallah, West Bank -- SIXTY-THREE years ago, a 13-year-old
Palestinian boy was forced to leave
his home in the Galilean city of Safed and flee with his family to
Syria. He took up shelter in a canvas tent provided to all the arriving
refugees. Though he and his family wished for decades to return to their
home and homeland, they were denied that most basic of human rights.
That child’s story, like that of so many other Palestinians, is mine.
This month, however, as we commemorate another year of our expulsion --
which we call the nakba, or catastrophe -- the Palestinian people have
cause for hope: this September, at the United Nations General Assembly,
we will request international recognition of the State of Palestine on
the 1967 border and that our state be admitted as a full member of the
Netanyahu: Abbas is distorting known historical facts
17 May -- Responding to Palestinian PM's New York Times op-ed, PM says
Palestinian leadership sees establishment of independent state as a way
to continue the conflict with Israel, rather than end it.
Here comes your nonviolent resistance
Economist 17 May -- For many years now, we've heard American
commentators bemoan the violence of the Palestinian national movement.
If only Palestinians had learned the lessons of Gandhi and Martin Luther
King, we hear, they'd have had their state long ago. Surely no Israeli
government would have violently suppressed a non-violent Palestinian
movement of national liberation seeking only the universally recognised
right of self-determination ... Palestinian commentators and organisers,
including Fadi Elsalameen and Moustafa Barghouthi,
have spent the last couple of years pointing out that these complaints
resolutely ignore the actual and growing Palestinian non-violent
resistance movement ... In any case, if you're among those who have
made the argument that Israelis would give Palestinians a state if only
the Palestinians would learn to employ Ghandhian tactics of non-violent
protest, it appears your moment of truth has arrived.
Palestinian collaborator: 'I am a traitor. I sold my people. But for what?' / Harriet Sherwood
Guardian 17 May -- New film The Collaborator and his Family charts
informant's dark struggle to make fresh start in Israel ... His story is
not unique, and not even unusual. A report last year by the
Legal Forum for the Land of Israel estimated that 6,000 Palestinian
collaborators and their families have moved to Israel but not been given
adequate protection or proper status, and have essentially been
abandoned by the security establishment to which they passed
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda