||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Israel OK's expansion of building in Hebron
26 Aug -- Israel is allowing Jewish settlers to expand a building in
Hebron, one of the West Bank's most volatile cities. Palestinians object
to Jewish construction in areas they envision for their future state.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's office said Friday he gave the
building permit to house a kindergarten in Beit Romano, a structure
built in the late 1800s by a Jewish merchant. Today it houses a
religious seminary. Hagit Ofran of settlement watchdog Peace
Now says Barak has become a "tool of the most radical settlers." Hebron
is holy to Muslims and Jews. Today, more than 600 Jews live there in
fortified enclaves amid 170,000 Palestinians.
Official: Palestinian hurt in clash with settlers
26 Aug -- A Palestinian man from Nablus was injured in clashes with
Israeli settlers and soldiers on Friday, an official said. Jamal
Jerawy, 22, from Qasra village, was hospitalized for injuries sustained
in the incident, according to Ghassan Doughlas, a Fatah official
monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank. Doughlas said
clashes erupted as settlers uprooted olive trees near the Majdolin
PCHR Weekly Report 18-24 August: 17 killed, including 2 children; 14 injured by Israeli forces
26 Aug -- In its Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the
Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 18– 24 Aug. 2011, the
Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that Israeli forces killed 17
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. 5 of the victims are civilians,
including two children and a physician. In addition, 3 workers went
missing when Israeli warplanes bombarded a tunnel in Rafah. A
Palestinian resistance fighter died of a previous wound in Gaza City. 14
Palestinians, including 5 children and two women,
were wounded by Israeli forces the Gaza Strip [details follow] ...
Israeli attacks in the West Bank: Israeli forces conducted 27 incursions
into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Two Palestinian civilians
were wounded by Israeli forces in Hebron and Bethlehem. Israeli forces
abducted 77 Palestinians, including a member of the Palestinian
Legislative Council, two journalists, academics and social figures. Full text of the report
How Israel takes its revenge on boys who throw stones / Catrina Stewart
photos] The Independent 16 Aug -- Video seen by Catrina Stewart reveals
the brutal interrogation of young Palestinians -- The boy, small and
frail, is struggling to stay awake. His head lolls to the side, at one
point slumping on to his chest. "Lift up your head! Lift it up!" shouts
one of his interrogators,
slapping him. But the boy by now is past caring, for he has been awake
for at least 12 hours since he was separated at gunpoint from his
parents at two that morning. "I wish you'd let me go," the boy whimpers,
"just so I can get some sleep." During the nearly six-hour video,
14-year-old Palestinian Islam Tamimi, exhausted and scared, is steadily
broken to the point where he starts to incriminate men from his village
and weave fantastic tales that he believes his tormentors want to hear.
This rarely seen footage seen by The Independent offers a glimpse into
an Israeli interrogation, almost a rite of passage that hundreds of
Palestinian children accused of throwing stones undergo every year.
Child detention figures
[Figure corrected, with apologies for earlier production error.] The
estimated number of Palestinian children detained and prosecuted in
Israeli military courts since 2000, shows a report by Defence for
Children International Palestine (DCIP).
87% The percentage of
children subjected to some form of physical violence while in custody.
About 91 per cent are also believed to be blindfolded at some point
during their detention.
12 The minimum age of criminal responsibility, as stipulated in the Military Order 1651.
62% The percentage of children arrested between 12am and 5am.
Israeli forces surround Jenin Freedom Theatre for second time in a month; abduct 3
Aug -- A squadron of Israeli armored vehicles and soldiers entered
Jenin refugee camp at around 2 am on Tuesday morning, surrounded the
Jenin Freedom Theatre, beat the security guard before abducting him and
two others. This is the second time this month that Israeli troops have
surrounded the theatre and abducted staff members. The first time, three
abducted and investigated as part of the murder of theatre co-director
Juliano Mer-Khamis. On Monday, an Israeli military court outside Jenin
ruled that the three had nothing to do with the attack, and should be
released by the end of this week. But after the ruling, Israeli forces
again invaded the camp and surrounded the theatre ... In Tuesday's
attack, Israeli soldiers forced the Theatre's Acting General Manager,
Jacob Gough, to strip at gunpoint on the street in front of the theatre.
When he tried to explain who he was, one of the soldiers told him to
"shut up or you will get a proper beating". They then abducted Gough and
took him to an unknown location.
Police deploy in force in Jerusalem's Old City
JERUSALEM (AFP) 26 Aug -- Israeli police deployed in large numbers in
Jerusalem's Old City Friday in a bid to head off incidents on the last
weekly day of prayer before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
and border guards have been deployed in Jerusalem, and a state of alert
has been maintained throughout the country," following recent rocket
fire from the Gaza Strip, a police spokeswoman said. She did not mention
any specific state of alert over possible disorder, though police have
stepped up security checks for fear of attacks in the holy city.
Islamic Jihad: Ceasefire with Israel agreed at dawn
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 26 Aug -- Senior Islamic Jihad officials said the faction had
agreed a ceasefire with Israel at dawn Friday, after mediation by Egypt. Two members of Islamic Jihad's military wing were killed
in an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip around 9 p.m. Thursday, prompting outraged calls to reject a truce from the Islamic faction and another group, the Popular Resistance Committees.
PFLP Brigades claim rocket fired into Ashkelon
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 26 Aug 21:12 -- A leftist armed group said its
forces fired a
rocket from Gaza into southern Israel on Friday, hours after a dawn
ceasefire deal was announced by Gaza factions. The Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine's armed wing said it fired a Grad rocket
at Ashkelon. The attack caused no damage or injuries, the Israeli news
site Ynet reported. The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades said it fired the
rocket in response to "Israeli crimes."
group was the only armed faction in the Gaza Strip to reject a short-lived ceasefire deal agreed Sunday by Hamas and others.
Second rocket hits Israel after renewal of Gaza cease-fire
Haaretz 26 Aug 19:23 -- A Qassam rocket fell in Sdot Negev Regional
Council hours after a Grad rocket landed near Ashkelon in an open field
Friday afternoon, despite an Egypt mediated cease-fire between Gaza
militants and Israel. No damage or injuries were reported in either hit.
Elderly farmer murdered in Israeli airstrike in Bureij
Gaza 26 Aug -- Ismail Nimr Ammoum worked his whole life as a farm
laborer. He did not have land of his own, he worked for others,
planting, watering, weeding, whatever needed done. He was a strong man,
and he loved to work, work did not bother him. He kept working because
he loved to work, what else would he do? He lived with his sister in
Bureij, but often spent the nights sleeping wherever he was working. On
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 Ismail was working for the Al-Khaldi family.
He had spent the previous several days living in a small wood hut on the
land. At five A.M. neighbors heard the explosion of an Israeli missile
strike, but they thought that the land there was empty, they did not
realize that Ismail had stayed the night in the hut. That afternoon, the
owner of the land came to check up on things. When he arrived he
noticed that everything things weren’t right, he opened the gate and
then he saw the hut. He saw Ismail’s shattered body lying in the rubble.
He had been killed in the missile strike.
Ismail’s father was from Lod. He was a refugee; his family was expelled
from his home by Israeli soldiers in 1948.
Two killed in bombing of al-Salama sport club in Beit Lahiya
25 Aug -- At about 1:30 A.M. on August 25, 2011 Israeli warplanes
bombed the Salama Sports Club in Beit Lahia. The building was empty at
the time. The sports club, however, is in the middle of a residential
area. Two people from a neighboring house were killed in the bombing,
Rahman al-Masri, 18, the son of the house’s owner, who died immediately;
and Alaa ‘Adnan Mohammed al-Jakhbeer, 22, from Jabalya. Twenty-five
other people were injured in the bombing, including eleven children and
seven women. The bombing also caused heavy damage to the Dar Al Huda
School and several surrounding buildings. Salama was sitting
with seven friends of his in the back yard of his family’s house. After
evening prayers they often sat there.
VIDEOS: Gaza: Why? is the question my son asks me - Dr Ayman Al-Sahbani / Julie Web-Pullman
Dr Ayman Al-Sahbani describes how medical supplies are running out at
his critical care unit in Gaza. Dr Ayman came close to tears several
times as he showed me around the emergency department and the critical
care unit. “We want the world to know what is happening here in Gaza,”
he said. "We need to know what these weapons are. We have twenty
children in here, with injuries we have never encountered before, even
in Operation Cast Lead when we first saw phosphorous burns. These
weapons are even worse, they cause terrible burns, they sever feet and
legs, and hands, they fill the bodies with hundreds of small pieces of
metal." Dr Ayman pulled back a
curtain, "Here is a 13-year-old boy who was playing
football with his friends when they were struck by an
Israeli rocket, both his hands were blown off and his legs
badly injured as well, and he has terrible burns, and
shrapnel all over his body."
Global actions target Egyptian embassies to break Israel's closure of Gaza
26 Aug -- Fed up with the closure of Gaza that has kept more than a
a half Palestinians locked in to the strip’s tight borders, a beacon
call is coming from Gaza and resonating across to Egypt, to break
Israel’s siege and re-open the border with Egypt immediately. Activists
from South Africa, to youth leaders of the Egyptian revolution, to
European, North and South American, and Asian supporters will present
signatures to their respective Egyptian Consulates starting
Friday August 26th to demand the permanent re-opening of the
Rafah Crossing with Egypt without conditions. Despite promises by the
Egyptian government to open it, approximately 35,000 people wait daily
to cross the border.
Palestinians rally in Gaza City for al-Quds day
CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Aug -- Palestinians rallied in Gaza City on Friday to
Al-Quds Day, marching from the As-Saraya mosque to Ash-Shawwa tower
after Friday prayers. PFLP-General Command politburo member Adel
Al-Hakim addressed the protesters lauding Muslim unity in the cause of
freedom. Jerusalem will remain the legacy of the Muslim and Arab people,
Al-Hakim said, despite Israeli efforts to Judaize the city.
Gaza militant group pledges resistance to Jewish Jerusalem
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 26 Aug -- A little-known militant group in Gaza said
Friday it would continue "resistance to liberate Palestine and its
capital Jerusalem." The Al-Aqsa Brigades -- Imad Mughniyeh Martyrs said
in a statement marking Al-Quds Day that all factions and Jerusalem
organizations should work to oppose Israel's attempt to impose a Jewish
identity on Jerusalem. Al-Quds Day is marked across the world by
Palestine solidarity activists on the last Friday of Ramadan.
State-sponsored rallies are also held in Iran. The Imad Mughniyeh
Martyrs, named after a Hizbullah leader killed in 2008, have been
variously tied to the Lebanon-based group, Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and
militants who left Fatah-affiliated Al-Alqsa Brigades. [End]
South Africa activists visit Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) -- A solidarity group from South Africa arrived in
Gaza Thursday evening, for a four-day visit they have called "Freedom
for detainees." The 36 activists will meet with figures who work on the
issue of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jail, a Ma‘an correspondent
said. The group brought 10 trucks of medical and humanitarian supplies,
entering through the southern Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and
Barak: We'll allow helicopters, more troops into Sinai
Ynet 26 Aug -- Defense Minister Ehud Barak
told The Economist on Thursday that Israel will allow Egypt to deploy
thousands of troops in the Sinai Peninsula, even though the 1979 Peace Treaty
forbids it. Barak said that the forces will have helicopters and armored
vehicles, but no tanks beyond the one battalion stationed there.
Golani soldier killed by friendly fire
Deadly Mistake – Staff Sergeant Moshe Naftali, a Golani Reconnaissance unit combatant who died
during Thursday's terror attack
in southern Israel, was killed by friendly fire, an initial military investigation into the incident revealed.
WikiLeaks: Lieberman wanted Egypt to give land to Gaza
Ynet 26 Aug -- A new document posted on the WikiLeaks website reveals that prior to becoming the foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman
suggested that Egypt
should give Gaza Strip some of its territory. According to protocols from a 2006 meeting between Lieberman and
then-United States Ambassador Richard Jones, the foreign minister-to be
suggested to demarcate the border with the Palestinians in a way that would include Egypt.
West Bank: Olive Revolution seeks free access to East Jerusalem
LA Times blog 26 Aug by Maher Abukhater in Ramallah, West Bank -- When
Israeli police and soldiers manning Qalandia checkpoint prevented West
Bank Muslims under the age of 50 from crossing into Jerusalem to reach
Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform the last Friday of Ramadan prayer, the dozens
left behind decided to pray at the checkpoint. When they finished, they,
along with Israeli and international supporters from a movement called
Olive Revolution, gathered facing Israeli police and soldiers separated
only by cement blocks. They chanted anti-occupation slogans and demanded
access to East Jerusalem, which Israel has occupied since June 1967.
Olive Revolution in pictures: Palestinians march on Jerusalem
Pal.Tel. 26 Aug - 25 photos
Israeli occupation detains lawmaker Anwar Zaboun
(PIC) 26 Aug -- IOF troops detained, Friday at dawn, Anwar Zaboun (45
years), member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, after raiding his
home in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem. Local sources in the
Bethlehem district said that a number of IOF troops aboard a number of
military vehicles entered Bethlehem, they encircled the home of Anwar
Zaboun, raided it and took the lawmaker away.
Occupation renews administrative detention of Palestinian lawmaker
(PIC) 26 Aug -- The Israeli occupation authority on Thursday extended
the administrative detention (without charge or trial) of Jamal
al-Natshe, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, representing
al-Khalil district ... He was kept in prison after end of his detention
term and his family was expecting his release especially that his health
has deteriorated, but the occupation authority decided to keep him in
jail and renewed his administrative detention at a military court on
Thursday. Natshe is jailed in the Askalan prison and has been denied
visits since his arrest in January. The Change and Reform Party, to
which Natshe is affiliated, said that his detention is illegal and goes
against international laws and conventions.
PA intelligence summons journalist Ali Qaraqe‘
(PIC) 26 Aug -- The PA General Intelligence (the Mukhabarat) has
summoned Palestinian journalist and political activist Ali Qaraqe‘ for
questioning. GI officers handed Qaraqe‘ a summons for questioning
without explaining the reason for the summons ... This the second time
in less than a month that the PA security in the West Bank summons
young journalists; the preventive security summoned Majdoleen Hassouna
early Aughust and arrested two of her brothers to pressure her to attend
at their headquarters.
PA arrests professor who criticized Nablus University
Aug -- Abdel Sattar Qassem is a well-known critic of the PA leadership:
in the past he declared his intention to run in the presidential
election. A prominent Palestinian professor who wrote an article
criticizing the university administration where he works was arrested on
Thursday by Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank.
Palestinian sources said that Abdel Sattar Qassem, who works at An-Najah
University in Nablus, was ordered to be
held in custody for 48 hours following a complaint from the university
president, Rami Hamdallah.
Prisoners offer assistance to Lebanese students
(Ma‘an) 26 Aug -- Fatah prisoners at the Ramon prison in Israel said
Thursday they were donating their salaries to help benefit Palestinian
students in Lebanon, after a suggestion from the president. Mahmoud
Abbas' call for support to Palestinian in Lebanese refugee camps netted
about 100,000 shekels, according to a letter from the prisoners
circulated by the detainees ministry on Thursday. Representative
of prisoners in the Ramon jail Jamal Al-Rajoub said the program was a
successful so far, while detainees minister Issa Qaraqe applauded the
prisoners for their "generous spirit." [End]
US envoy: We will stop aid to Palestinians if UN bid proceeds
dpa 26 Aug -- The United States will stop all financial aid to the
Palestinian Authority if they proceed with plans to ask the United
Nations for recognition of an independent state in September, a U.S.
Friday ... "If the Palestinian Authority insists on going to the
Security Council, the U.S. will use the veto," he told Erekat during a
the West Bank city of Jericho, according to a statement issued by
Erekat's office. "And in case the Palestinian Authority seeks
to upgrade its position at the UN through the General Assembly, the U.S.
Congress will take punitive measures against it, including a cut in
U.S. aid," he said.
PA: Honduras recognizes Palestinian state
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 26 Aug -- Honduras has recognized the State of Palestine, the official Palestinian Authority news agency reported
Friday. The announcement came in a letter to President Mahmoud Abbas
that Honduras recognized the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and
would back efforts to seek membership in the UN, WAFA reported.
El Salvador recognizes Palestine as independent state
SALVADOR (Reuters) 25 Aug -- El Salvador on Thursday recognized
Palestine as an independent state in the midst of a drive by the Arab
League to upgrade it to full membership status in the United Nations ...
countries have recognized the state of Palestine to date.
Ashrawi: UN statehood bid no threat to PLO
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 25 Aug -- Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi said
Thursday that the plan to join the United Nations as a state would not
threaten the PLO's rights in the world body. Ashrawi, a senior PLO
member, disputed arguments by international law expert Guy Goodwin-Gill,
who has informed the Palestinian team that the initiative could
terminate the legal status held by the PLO in the UN.
Other political / international news
Arab League chief: Egypt-Israel peace treaty not as sacred as the Koran
26 Aug -- Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, says the 1979
peace treaty is 'not sacred,' and is subject to annulment or amendment
if breached by either side.
PA cabinet: Eid begins Tuesday
(Ma‘an) 26 Aug -- The Palestinian Authority cabinet on Tuesday
announced the West Bank and Gaza will revert to summer time at the start
of the Eid Al-Fitr holiday on August 30. At the weekly Ramallah-based
government meeting, ministers also assured civil servants
that their salaries would be paid on Thursday despite the ongoing
financial crisis, a statement released Friday said. The holy month of
Ramadan concludes with three days of festivities, the date set by the
lunar schedule. Eid Al-Fitr holidays will begin Tuesday, the ministers
said, and time would revert to +3 hours GMT, after clocks were
were pushed back an hour in the West Bank and Gaza during Ramadan.
Palestinian, Jew give both sides on joint Jerusalem tours
26 Aug -- As a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces, Kobi Skolnick
once fired shots at Aziz Abu Sarah's aunt's house in the West Bank town
of Hebron. Ten
years later, Skolnick, a former Israeli settler, who grew up in an
ultra-orthodox household, and Abu Sarah, once a Palestinian militant,
work together explaining both sides of the Middle East conflict to
tourists. They discovered the uncomfortable coincidence during a tour in
Hebron for Mejdi,
a "dual-narrative" tour company co-owned by Abu Sarah, where every tour
is jointly led by Jewish and Palestinian guides ... Mejdi guides explain
landmarks and historic sites from their personal experiences and
those of their communities. One of the tour groups from an American
synagogue even spent several days on home-stays in a Palestinian refugee
The fastest women in the West Bank
Glober&Mail 26 Aug -- Marah Zahalka was 11 years old when she first
got behind the wheel of her family's Volkswagen Golf in the small,
conservative city of Jenin, in the West Bank. Her mother, a driving
instructor, had gotten sick of listening to her daughter begging to
drive and so, carefully, she helped
Zahalka adjust the front seat, start the engine and slowly lower her
foot onto the gas. As it turned out, the kid was a natural, and shortly
after getting her licence at age 17, she began competing regularly in
racing events held throughout the Palestinian territory. "I want to go
to Formula One," she says.
In Pictures: The West Bank's girl racers
Globe&Mail 26 Aug -- Young Palestinian women are tearing up stereotypes as they compete with men on the race track.
Teaching the piano to sing in Nablus / Noam Ben Zeev
22 Aug - An improvised road block. An armored jeep to the right. An
armed soldier making circles in the air with his finger. These were the
first sights that greeted the conductor, pianist and world-renowned
musicologist Joshua Rifkin on his sortie to the West Bank last Shabbat
... Nablus is more besieged than any other city in the West Bank and
suffers terribly. "Before the Israeli occupation, we were the cultural
and commercial capital of the West Bank. Now we are nothing," says
Hammad, "so a few friends and I decided to do something. This is part of
our opposition: Israel's goal is to destroy traditions and culture -
essentially our identity. You can put a man in jail, but you cannot
imprison his spirit, so we will nourish this spirit." International
support has also passed over Nablus, which is an overwhelmingly Muslim
city. "I call them the holy trinity - Ramallah-Jerusalem-Bethlehem,"
jokes Hammad. "The guests who come to this region visit those [cities],
and Nablus is left out in the cold. But how much history does Ramallah
have? 100 years. We have 9,000!"
WikiLeaks cables: US embassy believed Netanyahu would advance peace in 2009
the thousands of U.S. embassy cables published by Wikileaks on Thursday,
those from the Tel Aviv embassy shed light on the administration’s
views on senior Israeli politicians.
Israel's education minister wants social protests taught in schools
27 Aug -- Gideon Sa'ar asks his staff to develop lessons on public
protests to be incorporated in the curriculum, leading The Association
for Civil Rights to propose the ministry adopt lesson plans already
developed by the organization ... The Association
for Civil Rights in Israel developed a four-part curriculum on the right
to housing, medical care, freedom of expression through protest, and
issues involving public activism. The housing unit features a trivia
game on the subject of housing discrimination, posing questions such as:
How much has the Arab population grown since 1948? How much has the
land held by the Arab population grown during that period? (The answer
provided is that the population has grown by a factor of eight but the
amount of land held by Israeli Arabs has been cut in half. ) The answer
to another question states that more than 600 new Jewish locales have
been established since the founding of the state, but no Arab locales
have been established during that period.
Analysis / Opinion
Egypt-Israel-Palestine: an awkward three-way dance / Khaled Diab
Guardian 26 Aug -- Relations between Israel and post-revolution Egypt
are proving tetchy – but ordinary people hold the keys to peace -- ...
Though military tensions seem to have subsided, an escalating war of
words is brewing between Egypt and Israel. In Israel, in addition to
anger, grief and a desire for vengeance, allegations are flying that
Egypt has "lost control" of Sinai. For its part, Egypt counters that the
Israeli security apparatus was pretty much caught with its pants down in
its failure to protect its borders. There is also a widespread
foreboding that this is just a taste of things to come in
post-revolution Egypt. Egypt has also been gripped by anger, grief and
calls for vengeance.
Israeli game over / Emad Gad
al-Ahram 25 Aug -- Tel Aviv can no longer demand that Egypt's hands be
tied in controlling its border, while then complaining that Egypt is
failing to provide security
Lebensraum as a justification for Israeli settlements / Yossi Sarid
Haaretz 26 Aug -- Until now Israel had supported the occupation of the
territories with two pillars: history and security - its right to
inherit the land and its obligation to defend it. In recent weeks a
third pillar was added, which all these years was hidden under straw and
stubble. And maybe it's
not a pillar but a snake, whose head must be crushed while it's still
small ... And now, in the middle of the summer, when the social protest
the housing shortage at the top of the agenda for a moment, the third
school of thought is developing and taking hold ... Suddenly we are
short of space here in Israel, which has become full to capacity and
needs lebensraum. Every cultured person knows that this is a
despicable German concept, banned from use because of the associations
it brings up. Still, people are starting to use it, if not outright then
with a clear implication: We are short of land, we are short of air, let
us breathe in this country.
Social justice also means ending the occupation / Zeev Sternhell
Aug -- Justice is not merely the right to decent housing for Jews, it
is also the right to freedom of a nation under occupation -- Be the
internal ills of Israeli society as they may, and they are too numerous
to count, most of them can be treated and even cured; but the occupation
and colonialism are terminal illnesses. Therefore anyone who refuses to
understand - as did Shelly Yachimovich in her interview
with Haaretz's weekend magazine - that the socialism of masters, and on
behalf of masters, is no less ruthless and despicable than the
neoliberalism of the rich on behalf of the rich, is not worthy of
seeking the leadership of a party that has pretensions of charting the
Haaretz editorial: The extreme Israeli right's alliance with lunatics
Aug -- In recent years, the extreme Israeli right has developed an
alliance with heads of the evangelical movement, who define themselves
as Christian Zionists, some of whom believe that another Holocaust of
the Jews will ensure the resurrection of Jesus.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda