Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

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

Palestinian family loses fight for Shepherd Hotel
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 2 Apr by Jihan Abdalla -- Israel's Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a prominent Palestinian family could not claim ownership of a landmark and now derelict building in East Jerusalem -- paving the way for a Jewish settlement project. The Husseini family said the Shepherd Hotel, now partially demolished, is a symbol of the Palestinian rights to their land and to East Jerusalem, and criticized the court ruling. The Shepherd Hotel was built in the 1930s and served as the home of Jerusalem grand mufti Haj Amin Husseini, who fought the British and Zionists. It was declared "absentee property" by Israel after it was captured and annexed to East Jerusalem in 1967. The title was transferred to an Israeli firm, which sold it in 1985 to Irving Moskowitz, a Florida businessman and patron of Jewish settlers.

Municipal court cancels demolition order of Silwan protest tent
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 2 Apr – An Israeli municipal court Monday canceled an administrative order to demolish the protest tent in al-Bustan area of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, said head of the Committee for the Defense of Silwan, Fakhri Abu Diab. The Israel West Jerusalem municipality has ordered demolition of 88 homes in al-Bustan, prompting activists to set up the protest tent to prevent the demolitions, which would displace hundreds of Palestinian families. Several activities are usually held in the protest tent, including the Friday prayers.

Israeli forces shut down media launch in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- Israeli forces raided the Jerusalem office of a university media institute on Monday, shutting down the launch of an online media network and detaining employees. Plainclothes police shut down the launch of the Hona al-Quds news site in the al-Khalidiya neighborhood of Jerusalem's Old City, and confiscated equipment and files, network director Harun Abu Arrah told Ma‘an. Two employees -- Adel Ruished and Mohannad Izheman -- were detained, and guests attending the launch were blocked from entering.

Settlement security raze farm land to build road
HEBRON (WAFA) 2 Apr -- Jewish settlers from Karmi Tzur Monday razed Palestinian agricultural land near Beit Ummar, a town north of Hebron, to build a new road, according to a local activist. Yousef Abu Maria, a member of the National Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Ummar, told WAFA that the settlement security staff razed large areas of agricultural land and uprooted dozens of grape and peach trees to open a passage for the use of Israeli army and settlers.  The new road will block access of area farmers to their land.

Israeli forces demolish 10 Palestinian tents east of Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 2 Apr hhh– Israeli forces Monday demolished ten Palestinian tents used as dwellings and animal barns in an area east of Beit Furik, a town east of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to the town’s municipality. It said that an Israeli bulldozer protected by a number of Israeli military vehicles stormed the area and demolished ten tents used by farmers as dwellings and animal barns and confiscated two water tanks. The municipality said that this is the fifth time the Israeli forces demolish these tents.

Shalabi: I am not a deportee, but among Gaza family
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- Former hunger-striker Hana Shalabi said Monday she does not consider herself a deportee, a day after arriving in the Gaza Strip under a deal to end her detention without charge. "I am happy to be among family and loved ones" in Gaza, she told Ma‘an from Gaza City's Shifa Hospital. Shalabi, from Jenin, ended a 43-day hunger strike on Thursday after reaching a deal with Israeli authorities that she will be sent to Gaza for three years before returning home. She arrived in Gaza on Sunday to an official welcome by various factions and was transferred to hospital, where her condition was described as no longer life-threatening.

Abu Rajab house AKA Machpelah house

Settlers occupy Palestinian house in Al Khalil
ISM 31 Mar -- Early Thursday morning approximately fifteen to twenty settlers occupied the house of the  Abu Rajab family on Shuhada street near the Qeitun checkopint in Al Khalil (Hebron). The settlers entered the house under the protection of the Israeli army and border police who blocked off access to the house and prevented Palestinians from passing by the streets while settlers moved freely. Throughout the morning settlers continued to enter the house carrying food, pots and pans, cases of alcohol and other household supplies while internationals and Palestinians attempting to come to the aid of the Palestinians still inside the house were violently kept at a distance by the army and border police. All non-settlers, including children from a nearby boys and girls school were prevented from walking on the street in front of the house, and were forced to take a long route home through Qeitun checkpoint.

Israeli brutality: Violent arrests of Palestinians in Hebron and disappearance of Dutch volunteer
ISM 1 Apr -- A Dutch woman and several Palestinians were violently arrested today during an attempt to reclaim a Palestinian house at the entrance of the old city in occupied Al Khalil  (Hebron). About 30 Palestinians and international ISM activists from Canada, Finland, United States and the Netherlands entered a Palestinian house that was taken over by Israeli army around eight years ago. The re-occupation of the house was an attempt to return the house [to] its rightful owner and a response to the takeover of a Palestinian house on Shuhada street by settlers under the protection of the Israeli army and border police ... As activists started cleaning  the house and preparing to spend the night there, the Israeli army prepared  to invade the house with sound bombs, skunk water and soldiers in full riot gear ... The soldiers then entered the house and began to forcefully remove the non-violent protesters by punching, hitting with batons, kicking, pulling people from their hair and grabbing them from their throat before pulling them out of the house. "I was dragged out down a flight of stairs by my ankle by a soldier," said an ISM activist from Canada. "The soldier had his boot on my face," said an ISMer  from Finland. One Palestinian was beaten until he became unconscious....

Report: Israeli army orders Hebron settlers [to] evacuate
TEL AVIV (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- The Israeli army on Monday gave Israeli settlers 24 hours to evacuate a home they took over in Hebron on Thursday, Israeli media reported. Israeli settlers seized the house belonging to the Abu Rajab family and say they have proof they purchased the property legally, the Israeli daily Haaretz said. Israeli settlement monitoring group Peace Now said the owners claim that the property was never sold and filed a complaint with police. Peace Now says settlers are in any case not allowed to enter the house without the approval of the Israeli defense minister for the purchase of the property, according to laws applied in the West Bank.

PM to Barak: Delay Machpelah house eviction
Less than five hours after the Civil Administration ordered settlers who moved into the Machpelah house [the Abu Rajab family's house] in Hebron to leave the premises by 3 pm on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Defense Minister Ehud Barak Monday evening to delay the planned eviction in order to give the settlers ample time to explore all legal avenues and prove they had purchased the house legally. The eviction order drew harsh criticism from rightist Knesset members, who called to overturn the "outrageous" eviction order.,7340,L-4211524,00.html


Man dies of wounds from Israeli West Bank raid
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- A young Palestinian man died on Monday morning from wounds suffered in an Israeli raid on his village near Ramallah last week, his family told Ma‘an. Rashad Theib Shoukha, 28, was critically injured by a gunshot to the chest during a dawn raid on Rammun village on Tuesday. His brothers Anwar and Akram were also injured in the raid. An Israeli army spokeswoman said at the time that an Israeli soldier "was stabbed during routine activity ... the soldiers responded to the attackers in self defense, and three were injured." The military said on Monday the circumstances of the incident were still being reviewed. Relatives said forces did not permit a Palestinian ambulance to evacuate the men, and that they bled for hours before being taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. The army said the brothers received medical care at the scene. Rashad's brothers suffered gunshot wounds to the neck and thigh, villagers said.

Tadamon: IOF soldiers killed 30 Palestinians in March including 3 children
NABLUS (PIC) 1 Apr -- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed 30 Palestinian citizens in the past month, mostly in Gaza Strip, including three children, the Tadamun foundation for human rights said in a report on Sunday. A Palestinian woman in her thirties and a deported ex-prisoner to Gaza were among those killed in the Israeli forces’ assassination spree, the report said. Hamza Zayed Jaradat, 12, [and] Zayed Jomaa Jaradat, 12, from Wadi Al Reem near Hebron, were both killed by the explosion of a suspicious object left by the Israeli occupation army in their region. Jamal Abu Aram, 17, from Yatta town near Hebron, died after confrontations with the occupation forces while [they were] trying to re-arrest a freed captive released in the last prisoners’ exchange deal.
The report noted that the occupation forces continued their campaign of arrests during March, where they arrested 300 citizens including dozens of children, women, and many freed captives who spent so many long years in occupation prisons.

Police: Man attacked in East Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- An ultra Orthodox man was injured in an axe attack near East Jerusalem's Damascus Gate on Monday morning, Israeli police said. He was struck in the head by "an Arab suspect who fled the scene," Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said. The man was lightly to moderately injured and taken to Ein Kerem hospital, he added. Police are searching the area and the investigation is ongoing.

Gaza siege

3 children killed in Gaza fire amid power cuts
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- Three children were killed on Sunday night when a fire broke out in their house in the central Gaza Strip, officials said. The house caught fire as candles used amid power outages in Gaza lit a fuel store in their house, civil defense officials said. Emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya identified the victims as Sabri Raed Bashir and his sisters Nadin and Farah. Their mother also suffered serious burns ... International aid group Oxfam said last week that 85 fires broke out in Gaza in January and February due to electricity problems.

Three children burn to death as Gaza energy crisis bites
AFP 1 Apr -- Three Palestinian children were found dead Sunday in a fire in their room caused by a candle being used due to lack of electricity in Gaza, an emergency services official said ... A fourth child, aged six months, was badly burned and taken to hospital, added Selmiya. The children, aged two, five and six, were members of the Bashir family, a relative said. The Gaza Strip's sole power station shuddered to a halt a week ago,

Medics: 19-year-old killed in Gaza tunnel accident
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- A 19-year-old man died in southern Gaza on Monday after he fell in a tunnel under the border with Egypt, a medical official said. Motaz Abu Jazar, from Rafah, worked in the Gaza tunnel network which provides a lifeline of goods into the blockaded coastal strip. He fell near the Salah al-Din gate on the southern border, emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said. Officials estimate at least 150 Palestinians have died in tunnel-related accidents. In early March, a one-year-old baby died after falling into the opening of a tunnel in southern Gaza.

IOF soldiers open machinegun fire at residential quarters south of Gaza
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 1 Apr -- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened machinegun fire at Palestinian citizens and residential quarters east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Sunday morning, local sources said. The PIC reporter quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the soldiers stationed in Kissufim opened fire at a number of citizens in Farahin area. He added that ambulance cars headed to the site of the attack to evacuate casualties if any were suffered. None were reported so far.

Projectile explosion injures 4 metal workers in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Apr -- Four scrap metal workers were injured on Saturday afternoon when a homemade projectile exploded nearby, in the southern Gaza Strip. The workers were stripping metal at a site near the Rafah smuggling tunnels when the explosion occurred, witnesses said. They were transferred to Abu Yousif An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. One suffered serious injuries, medics said. [from PIC: ... four citizens were wounded on Saturday evening in Rafah, also south of the Strip, when a bomb they were trying to cut into small pieces exploded in them. Local sources told the PIC reporter that the workers, who collect and trade in scrap metal, were hospitalized with one of them in serious condition.]

Agriculture failing due to Gaza power crisis
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Apr -- Agricultural producers in the Gaza Strip are struggling with ongoing power cuts since the advent of a fuel-supply crisis last month. Dozens of farms have reported poultry dying in their thousands as heating systems fail, and veterinary medicines have spoiled as refrigeration is cut off. Produce that also depends on refrigeration has been damaged due to power cuts, with potato farmers saying they have dumped thousands of tons of potatoes. Farmer Hamdi Jirjawi told Ma‘an the failure of his 570-ton potato crop cost him 798, 000 shekels, so he is unable to pay workers' wages.

Video: Gaza fishing industry in dire conditions
Gaza (Press TV) 1 Apr Ashraf Shannon reporting -- kkThe fishing industry in the blockaded coastal enclave is feeling the pinch of lack of fuel like other sectors in Gaza. Thousands of Gazan fishermen were unable to earn a living in recent weeks as their boats sit idle in the fishermen' pier. Egypt's refusal to allow fuel into the Gaza strip has paralyzed the already battered industry after years of Israeli blockade ... The ministry of agriculture in Gaza says fishermen are the hardest hit sector in Gaza due to lack of fuel.

Red Cross sends emergency diesel to Gaza
GAZA CITY (AFP) 2 Apr -- The International Committee of the Red Cross on Monday began transferring emergency fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip where an electricity crisis has hit medical services hard. "This morning we began distributing 150,000 litres of diesel to Gaza’s hospitals and we will have completed the distribution by the end of the day," ICRC Gaza spokesman Ayman al-Shehabi told AFP. The Red Cross said last week it would distribute the emergency supplies to help local hospitals deal with a dire shortage of fuel as Gaza suffers through what residents say is its worst electricity crisis ever. The 150,000 litres of diesel will "help 13 public hospitals maintain essential health services for the next 10 days," the ICRC said in announcing the move last week.

Israel drops leaflets into Gaza warning of no-go zone
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- Israeli planes dropped pamphlets in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday morning, warning Palestinians not to enter a no-go zone on its southern border. The leaflets, signed by Israeli forces general command, include a map of the zone, a Ma‘an correspondent said. An Israeli army spokeswoman said the leaflets were dropped in several locations, and "reiterated to the citizens of the Gaza Strip to keep a 300-meter distance," from the border area.

'Waqaf water' shows Malaysia's concern for Gaza's plight
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) 30 Mar -- ...Concerned by the hardship faced by Gaza residents, Malaysia''s Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) is out to assist the Palestinians via its ‘WaqafWater4Gaza’ (WW4G) initiative. ‘Waqaf’ is a charitable donation in the form of property or money or other valuable items. It is a form of continuous charity or ''Sadaqah Jariah. ’PGPF trustee Tan Sri Dr Shamsudin Hitam said 1.5 million bottles of drinking water (500 ml per bottle) will be given to the Gaza residents as a symbol of Malaysia''s support for their cause.

UNDP grants al-Azhar University €175.000 to build research unit
GAZA (WAFA) 1 Apr -- President of Al-Azhar University in the Gaza Strip Abdul Khaliq al-Farra signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which will grant the university €175,000 to build a Water and Environmental Research Unit, Sunday said a statement by Al-Azhar. The agreement is a part of a German-funded project through the German government-owned development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), added the statement.

Israel starts military training for a new aggression on Gaza
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 1 Apr -- The Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, has ordered the start of military training for operations in the Gaza Strip, Haaretz newspaper said on Sunday. The Hebrew daily quoted Major Yariv Ben-Ezra, the commander of Battalion 50 of the Nahal Brigade, which is stationed on the border with Gaza, as saying that the infantry brigades are scheduled to complete their preparations for these drills shortly. He pointed out that nature of resistance operations has changed since the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit last October.

Political detention / Court actions

Imprisoned Fatah leader placed in solitary confinement
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti has been put in solitary confinement in an Israeli prison after he sent a statement calling for civil resistance last week. Prisons Authority spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said Monday that as punishment for issuing the statement, Barghouti "has been placed in isolation for a week and denied visits and access to the inmates' canteen for a month." Barghouti's lawyer Elias Sabbagh said that contrary to Israeli claims, the popular leader called for non-violent, rather than armed, resistance, "which all Palestinians agree on."

IOF soldiers kidnap Palestinian child from his father's car
RAMALLAH (PIC) 2 Apr -- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped a Palestinian child from his father’s car while en route to school in Nabi Saleh village to the north west of Ramallah on  Monday morning. Sources in the village’s popular resistance committee said that the child Anan Al-Tamimi was taken from his father’s car at the roadblock at the entrance to the village. They said that the soldiers handcuffed the schoolchild and took him to the nearby military watchtower.

IOF soldiers arrest 16 Palestinians including Hamas leader
RAMALLAH (PIC) 2 Apr -- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 16 Palestinians in the West bank at dawn Monday including 55-year-old Hamas leader Mufid Nazzal from Qabatiya village to the east of Jenin ...
IOF troops raided a number of Al-Khalil villages at dawn Monday and installed a number of roadblocks.
Eyewitnesses in Ramallah told the PIC that IOF soldiers stormed the northern areas of Birzeit, north of Ramallah, in 20 armored vehicles and broke into hostels for the Islamic bloc and arrested three students after a big number of them fled the hostels on seeing the vehicles approaching.

Hamas students: Members detained ahead of election campaign
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- Israeli forces raided the dormitories of several Hamas-affiliated university students in Ramallah early Monday, the party's students association said. The association said the raids followed the bloc's decision to participate in university elections. Campaigning for the student election was due to start Monday. Former president of the association Ayman Abu Aram and lecturer Hamdan Saeed were detained from campus, a statement from the group said. The group has not participated in university elections for three years because it made members a target of the security services.

Israeli court extends administrative detention of Nablus lawyer
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 31 Mar – An Israeli military court on Friday extended the administrative detention of Palestinian lawyer from Nablus Yousif Abdul-Haq for two more months. Seventy-year-old Abdul-Haq is a lecturer at Al-Najah National University in Nablus. He is currently detained at Ofer detention center near Ramallah.

61 detainees injured in Nafha
IMEMC 1 Apr -- The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported Sunday that 61 Palestinian political prisoners, held at the Nafha Israeli detention camp in the Negev Desert, were injured after the army attacked them in order to extract DNA samples from them.

MP Haj Ali ends his hunger strike
RAMALLAH (PIC) 2 Apr -- Palestinian MP Ahmed Haj Ali ended his hunger strike after promises to release him in the coming days, according to Tadamon foundation for human rights on Monday ... The Israeli occupation forces arrested Haj Ali, 74, the oldest administrative prisoner, on 7/6/2011 after storming his house in Nablus, and held him in administrative detention. There are two other detainees who are still on hunger strike in Megiddo prison for the past 28 days refusing their administrative detention. They are suffering from serious health conditions.

Israeli court detains Muslim imam for his sermons
NAZARETH (PIC) 2 Apr -- An Israeli court in Nazareth, north of Palestine occupied in 1948, charged a Palestinian Imam with incitement and support of a terrorist organization in his Khutbas (sermons). The indictment list against Sheikh Nazem Abu Salim said that his sermons encouraged "terrorism and violence" and that he used to distribute leaflets in his mosque and in the city of Nazareth championing 'Jihad'. Sheikh Abu Salim, who has been an Imam of Shihabuddin mosque in Nazareth since 1997, was also accused of establishing a website called Muslim-48 in which he publicized his opinions.

Shin Bet: 13 detained over shooting attack
TEL AVIV (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- Israel's internal security service says a Palestinian Authority intelligence officer and two Red Crescent employees are among 13 people detained on suspicion of trying to attack Israeli soldiers, Israeli media reported Monday. The Shin Bet service says 13 residents of Amari refugee camp have been arrested over an incident on Jan. 20 when shots were fired at Israeli soldiers during a raid on Ramallah, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. No one was injured in the shooting attack, the report said. The Shin Bet said the suspects planned other attacks on Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, the report added.

Palestinian prisoner deprived of family visits for 12 years
RAMALLAH (PIC) 1 Apr -- Attiya Abu Mousa, a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails, has been deprived of family visits for the past 12 years, the statistics department at the ministry of prisoners said on Sunday. It said in a press release that Abu Mousa, who has been in prison for 19 years, is from Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip and is serving a life sentence in Nafha desert prison. The ministry recalled that Abu Mousa was affiliated with a Fatah armed wing

The PA and freedom of the press

AG sees 'no problem' with journalist's arrest
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Apr -- The Palestinian Authority attorney general on Sunday defended his arrest of a newspaper reporter and vowed the PA had "no problem" detaining journalists accused of breaking the law. Ahmad al-Maghni told reporters that Yousef al-Shayeb's report on corruption in the foreign ministry, published in January, "was an affront to journalism" and contained many falsehoods ... The world's largest journalists union, meanwhile, called for al-Shayeb's immediate release. "The protection of sources is universally accepted as an essential tenet of independent reporting," Jim Boumelha, president of the International Federation of Journalists, said in a statement.

Palestinian court grants bail to detained journalist
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- A Palestinian magistrate court ruled on Monday to release a journalist jailed for a week over his report in the Jordanian press, on bail of 5,000 Jordanian dinars. Yousef al-Shayeb will be freed while investigation of the case is ongoing, the court said.

Jailing of journalists 'not based on security complaint'
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- The recent detentions of three Palestinian journalists in the West Bank are not based on security complaints but legal charges filed by individuals, the spokesman of the West Bank security services said Sunday. "The Palestinian Authority's security services have no security-related problem with any journalist," Adnan Dmeiri told Ma‘an.

Palestinian arrested over Facebook comments
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Apr -- The public prosecutor in Ramallah has arrested a woman to investigate a recent post on Facebook, attorney general Ahmad al-Maghni told reporters Sunday. Al-Maghni said Ismat Abdul Khaliq posted a number of insulting comments which accused President Mahmoud Abbas of betrayal and called for disbanding the Palestinian Authority.

PA frees journalist after questioning
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- The Palestinian Authority freed journalist Tareq Khamis after questioning him late Sunday, a spokesman for the PA security forces told Ma‘an. Adnan Dmeiri said the reporter for Zaman press was detained in al-Bireh and brought in for questioning in connection with the case of Ismat Abdul Khaliq, another person arrested this week. Abdul Khaliq stands accused of criticizing President Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook.

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

Wadi al Nam marks Land Day by protesting Prawer Plan
Pal. Mon. 2 Apr by Silvia Boarini -- On 30 March, over 2000 Bedouins as well as Jewish and Israeli activists gathered in the unrecognized village of Wadi Al Nam, Naqab (Negev), to mark the anniversary of Land Day. Wadi Al Nam is located south of Beer Sheva and has been earmarked for demolition by Israel. The village is currently home to roughly 10,000 people whose houses are now in the shadow of an electric plant and have no access to electricity nor running water. The proximity to the plant, and the toxic waste it produces, have also been singled out as the cause of chronic illnesses in children and miscarriages in women. The Friday demonstration was not only an occasion to commemorate Land Day but also to keep the momentum going for the anti-Prawer Plan campaign. If implemented, the Prawer Plan will ‘regulate Bedouin settlement in the Negev’ by displacing close to 30,000 people.

Israeli theater must be removed from London festival, top UK cultural figures say
Haaretz 1 Apr -- In an open letter published over the weekend, dozens of prominent members of the U.K.'s theater and film industries protested the inclusion of Israel's national theater, Habima, in an upcoming Shakespeare festival, over what the signatories say was the theater's "shameful record of involvement with illegal Israeli settlements."

Video: Anna Baltzer on United Methodist divestment
2 Apr -- Anna Baltzer is National Organizer at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and author of "Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories." To learn more about this divestment resolution being considered by the United Methodist Church in 2012, visit

France warns pro-Palestinian activists against West Bank trip
PARIS (Reuters) 2 Apr -- France urged pro-Palestinian activists, who plan to visit Bethlehem this month in solidarity for residents of the occupied West Bank, to avoid joining the operation given there was a high risk of being detained or turned back by Israeli authorities. About 1,200 Palestinian supporters throughout Europe have bought plane tickets for the visit on April 15 to help open an international school and a museum at the request of a local organization called "Welcome to Palestine".

Olmert disrupted by activists in Chicago (again)
EI 30 Mar by Maureen Clare Murphy -- Chicago gave former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a proper greeting once again yesterday. Outrageously, the former Israeli premier was invited to speak at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs about 'peace'. The Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago (with which I am an organizer) and the Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights stated today: Approximately 100 Chicagoans, many of them students, protested former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s appearance at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs yesterday. Olmert’s talk, an exclusive event for ticket-holders only, was also disrupted by a courageous activist who attended the 45-minute speech focusing on the 'peace process'.

Political / Diplomatic

Hamas urges Abbas to form government
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Apr -- Hamas on Monday urged Fatah leader and President Mahmoud Abbas to consult with factions and form a unity government. Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal agreed in early February to form a new government to prepare for elections. They decided that Abbas would head the administration. Hamas leader Ismail Radwan told Ma‘an that Abbas has not made any efforts to form a new cabinet, despite his appointment almost two months ago. "Formal contacts haven't stopped but in reality there is no real impetus toward reconciliation" Radwan said.

Haneyya calls on Egypt to restrain Israeli targeting of Palestinian prisoners
GAZA (PIC) 2 Apr -- Palestinian premier in Gaza Ismail Haneyya has called on Egypt, in its capacity as the patron of the prisoners’ exchange deal between Hamas and Israel, to pressure Israel into abiding by articles of the deal. Haneyya, during a visit to liberated prisoner Hana’a Shalabi in Shifa hospital in Gaza on Monday, said that Israel had violated articles of the agreement that banned re-arrest of freed captives in this deal.

Abbas lays foundation stone of new embassy in Cairo
CAIRO (WAFA) 2 Apr – President Mahmoud Abbas Monday laid the foundation stone for the new Palestinian embassy in the Egyptian capital of Cairo. The ceremony took place with the presence of senior Egyptian officials, including the Foreign Minister, Minister of Culture and Mayor of Cairo ... This event came during Abbas’ two-day official visit to Egypt that started on Sunday. Abbas met the chairman of the Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Mohammad Tantawi, earlier on Monday.

PLO downplays statements by Israeli official
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 2 Apr -- PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat Monday downplayed statements by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in which he said that the ball of the peace process was now in the Palestinian court. He described to Voice of Palestine radio the statements as "broken recorded" not worth responding to them.

Arab nations 'to pay PA if Israel freezes tax revenues'
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Apr -- Arab nations meeting at a Baghdad summit last week pledged to compensate the Palestinian Authority if Israel freezes delivery of tax revenues, a senior official told government media. Fatah official Muhammad Shtayyeh told Voice of Palestine radio on Sunday that nations agreed at the Arab League summit pay the PA $100 million per month, roughly the sum of customs taxes collected by Israel on the PA's behalf under international agreements. Israel froze the transfer of tax revenues to the PA twice in 2011, when Hamas and Fatah leaders agreed to end their four-year division.

Israeli racism / discrimination

New round of Israeli soccer-related violence leaves Haifa star in hospital
Haaretz 1 Apr -- Hapoel Haifa’s Ali Khatib was hit in the face on Saturday night during a melee that followed the final whistle of a soccer match against Maccabi Petah Tikva. Khatib was reportedly knocked out by the blow and was treated by Magen David Adom medics before being taken to a nearby hospital ... Other eyewitnesses, along with footage taken by a television crew, revealed that the attackers were Maccabi Petah Tikva’s goalie trainer Ami Ganish and team official Yigal Meman.

Haaretz editorial: It's time to intervene against racism in Israeli soccer
2 Apr -- The State of Israel cannot allow a situation in which a sport avidly followed by hundreds of thousands of people, among them many youngsters, turns into an untreatable abscess of racism and violence ... In March alone, there were four recorded violent incidents linked to Israeli soccer ... Only in Israeli soccer can a club block Arabs from joining its ranks, and harsh violence is treated solely as a disciplinary infraction, to be handled by the Israel Football Association's internal court.-

White tribe, black tribe / Yifat Ben Hay-Segev
Haaretz 2 Apr -- At a time when many involved in the discourse of race insist that the ethnic gap in Israel is no longer important, and preach in favor of all-embracing multiculturalism - this expression emerges, revealing the duality of that discourse, based on inclusion and exclusion at the same time -- The day after the Kadima election, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat was asked how she thought Shaul Mofaz's victory would affect the political map. She answered decisively that she thought Mofaz did not stand a chance, because "the white tribe will turn to Yair Lapid and the Labor Party." Public discourse in Israel is careful when dealing with issues of race. The fear of telling it like it is is great.

Other news

Israel, Greece conduct joint naval drill amid ongoing tension with Turkey
Haaretz 1 Apr -- U.S. Sixth Fleet also participating in the exercise, which includes simulation of attack on offshore natural gas platforms -- Israel, the United States and Greece are in the midst of a naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea, in what Greek media outlets are saying is a message to Turkey following frayed ties with both Israel and Greece.

Hundreds of Christian pilgrims mark Palm Sunday in Jerusalem
AP 1 Apr -- Tourism Ministry expects 125,000 visitors during Holy Week and 300,000 throughout April a 5% increase from last year -- Hundreds of Christian pilgrims marked Palm Sunday in the Holy Land on Sunday, holding masses and processions retracing Jesus' triumphant return to Jerusalem. Palm Sunday marks the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem, where he was greeted by cheering crowds bearing palm fronds, according to the Bible.

Analysis / Opinion

Haaretz editorial: UN probe must take West Bank out of Israeli hands
31 Mar -- No UN investigative committee is needed to understand that the West Bank belongs to another people and its lands are not available to a Jewish and democratic state -- Not for nothing is the government going out of its way to thwart the UN Human Rights Council's decision to investigate the settlements. The map of "available" land for settlements, revealed in Haaretz on Friday by Akiva Eldar, shows that while successive Israeli governments have trumpeted their desire to establish a sustainable Palestinian state alongside Israel, they have spared no economic effort or legal creativity to thwart this solution.

Freedom for Jerusalem, the capital of Israel and Palestine / Akiva Eldar
Haaretz 2 Apr -- On the first night of Passover, the festival of freedom, the song "We were slaves but now we are free" will waft from homes throughout the country as Jews sit down to celebrate the seder. But every year, these words lose some of their luster. Every year, more Israelis go from being free men to slaves. They're slaves to the urge for power and the instinct of fear, slaves to the land, slaves who rule another people.

Is a college really what the Bedouin need right now? / Merav Michaeli
Haaretz 2 Apr -- ...But the Age of the Negev project will not solve the problem of the deprivation of the Bedouin's living expanse, with the Prawer Law still threatening the relocation of most of them - in a manner that will allow the state to register as much land as possible in its name and concentrate the Bedouin on as little land as possible, leaving many of them without property, without rights and without a roof over the heads. And if the Prawer provisions go into effect, the plight of the Bedouin women will be even worse. These women are the most weakened sector in Israel. Time is too short to detail their unique statistics here, but a legal report by Itach-Maaki - Women Lawyers for Social Justice outlines how the law disregards them entirely and prevents many of them from ever achieving the right to ownership, recognition of their children's rights, and the right to shelter for those who need it.
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

YEAR 2012
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29      
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
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