||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
|Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Restriction of movement|
Israel subsidizes West Bank housing, breaking promise to US
11 Jan -- Revelation comes as PM Netanyahu announces plan to build 277 housing units in Efrat settlement as part of series of reprisals for the PA's admission to UNESCO in October.
Israel 'confiscates PA tent delivery'
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 10 Jan -- Israel on Tuesday confiscated 75 tents belonging to
the Palestinian Authority and detained drivers delivering the tents,
ministers said. Israeli forces confiscated five vehicles
delivering the tents to residents of Khan al-Ahmar near Jericho, the PA
cabinet said in a statement. The drivers of the vehicle and
employees of the company contracted to deliver the tents were detained
and taken to Beit El military camp ... Israel is planning to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin community near Maale
Adumin settlement, and forces have already destroyed homes in the camp.
Settlers have filed a petition for the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar's
Bedouin village of Umm Al Kheer under demolition threat, South Hebron Hills
Operation Dove 10 Jan -- On January 8th, the DCO delivered stop working
orders to 8 infrastructures in the Palestinian village of Umm Al Kheer.
In the morning the Israeli Civil Administration, escorted by an
Israeli army jeep, entered the Palestinian village of Umm Al Kheer.
After examining different buildings, the officers registered the
identity of the owners of eight structures and then issued stop working
orders. Among the identified structures, there is also the fencing of
the football field built on December 30th by Palestinians in cooperation
with an Israeli group. At that time Israeli authorities gave a verbal
permission to the construction. The deadline to appeal to Israeli High
Court is fixed on January 22nd. In case of failure of any appeal, the stop working orders will be
followed by demolition orders. The inhabitants of Umm Al Kheer said that 12 more structures in the village are under demolition orders (eight of which are dwellings) for a total of 20 structures. That means that most of the village risks to be eliminated in the next future.
Professor of hate: Israeli scholar urges ethnic cleansing of Bedouins / Ali Abunimah
EI blog 11 Jan -- A prominent Israeli professor at the University of
Haifa, Arnon Sofer, is urging the government to act fast to ethnically cleanse
Palestinian Bedouins lest Israel be “destroyed” by them. Israel has
mobilized all its resources to complete the ethnic cleansing of Bedouins – Palestinian indigenous people – and the “judaization” of their land. Already much of their land has been taken, and the few places they’ve found refuge are under threat.
Israeli forces bulldoze road near Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Jan -- Israeli forces on Tuesday closed a road leading to Khirbet al-Deir southeast of Bethlehem, witnesses said. The
military bulldozed the road and sealed it with earth mounds, locals told Ma‘an. Residents of Khirbet al-Deir said it was the only road leading
to the area and they could no longer reach their homes by car. [End]
Israel moves to build East Jerusalem park despite pending final approval
11 Jan -- The Jerusalem municipality and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority
have begun work on a planned national park, even though the project
still needs final approval. Residents of the Arab village of Isawiyah
say the earthworks in East Jerusalem are designed to prevent them from
reaching their agricultural land. Last month, the Jerusalem Planning and
Building Committee approved the park, to be located on a slope of Mount
Scopus. It would include land belonging to the Arab villages of Isawiyah
and A-Tur, pending objections that can be submitted until next month.
AFEH: 70 Zionist attacks on holy shrines in 2011
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 11 Jan -- The Aqsa foundation for endowment and
heritage (AFEH) has said that 70 Zionist attacks on Islamic and
Christian holy shrines in Palestine were recorded in 2011. AFEH said in
its annual report published on Tuesday that the Zionist attacks included
burning eight mosques and attempting to torch one and desecrating and
destroying 120 Islamic graves in Mamanullah cemetery in occupied
Jerusalem. It said that the Zionist attacks also include storming and
closing mosques and court orders for their demolition or closure. The
Zionist establishment, whether the government, courts, army, or
settlers, took part in the attacks, the report said, adding that attacks
on the Aqsa mosque were not included and would be published in a
Link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Silwan school without electricity for 20 days
JPost 11 Jan -- Seven hundred students at the largest elementary school in east Jerusalem’s
Silwan neighborhood are staying at home until at least Thursday because the
school has no electricity and it is simply too cold to learn, the head of the
Silwan Parents’ Committee said on Tuesday ... A municipality
spokeswoman said the city had dealt with the problem previously but that it had
recurred over winter break. She added that the city was “working intensively” to
find a permanent solution ... Like many other east Jerusalem
neighborhoods, Silwan suffers from a severe shortage of classrooms. The
classrooms that do exist have serious infrastructure problems, including exposed
wires, broken and cracked courtyards, and areas filled with trash. East
Jerusalem lacks an estimated 1,000 classrooms. This year, the municipality is
building 42 classrooms in Arab neighborhoods.
West Jerusalem councilman denies relation to Gandhi statue
(WAFA) 11 Jan – West Jerusalem councilman Meir
Margalit from the leftist Meretz party denied reports that he proposed
to build a statue for the late Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi on an East
Jerusalem plot to be seized by the government, according to a statement
he published in the local Palestinian papers on Wednesday. Margalit
stressed that he did not initiate and had nothing whatsoever to
do with the project, indicating that he only suggested naming a street
in East Jerusalem after Gandhi as part of a street-naming plan.
In West Bank, buying land isn't always what it seems / Amira Hass
10 Jan -- Having built their homes on privately owned Palestinian lands,
residents of the outposts employ subterfuge to camouflage their
nonexistent land purchases.
Settlers / Right-wing extremists
Suspected 'price tag' in West Bank village
Ynet 11 Jan -- Three cars were torched and a mosque wall was spray painted with the sentence "price tag
Gal Arye Yosef" in the village of Dir Istiya near Ariel in the early
hours of Wednesday morning. The sentence refers to the name of an illegal outpost
that was evacuated in the last few days ... Salaman added that at
first the residents called the Palestinian DCO to report the incident,
later Israeli police along with IDF troops arrived due to the fact that
Dir Istiya is in Area C ... He noted that this was
the second time that village property was vandalized. "The first time
was in September when the Palestinian Authority launched their UN bid,
and then settlers came and unsuccessfully tried to set the mosque on
Extremist Jews storm area south of Jenin
JENIN (WAFA) 10 Jan – A group of extremist Jewish settlers
Tuesday stormed al Hafira area south of the northern West Bank city of
Jenin, under a full protection of the Israeli army, according to
security sources. They said that dozens of settlers stormed the area,
causing damage and photographed the area amid chanting of racist
Medics: Toddler hit by settler car
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 11 Jan -- A Palestinian toddler was injured Tuesday after
was hit by a car driven by an Israeli settler east of Hebron, medics
said. Three-year-old Sarah Jabari was taken to the Ahli Hospital in
Hebron, Red Crescent medic Nasser Qabajeh told Ma‘an. She was hit on a
road near Kiryat Arba settlement, he added.
Settlers 'attack PA security commander'
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 11 Jan -- Israeli settlers on Wednesday attacked cars
carrying a senior Palestinian Authority security official and injured an
officer in the northern West Bank, the security commander said. Major
General Ibrahim Hneihin told Ma'an that his vehicle and another car
were driving on the road between Ramallah and Tulkarem near Shilo
settlement when local settlers started shooting at them and pelted the
cars with stones. The security commander for the Tulkarem
district said one of his entourage Suleiman Abed Rabbo was injured and
taken to hospital.
ISM volunteers encounter settler attack and sexual harassment in Hebron
ISM 10 Jan, by Emma and Meriam -- Around midnight on January 10th two
international, female activists were attacked by a middle aged settler
woman living in the occupied area of Hebron. After entering Shuhada Street, which is
closed to Palestinians, the two women encountered a settler woman who
threw a large rock at them unprovoked. When they turned to see their
attacker, the woman kicked them and tried to choke them by their
kuffiyehs, Palestinian scarves worn in solidarity. Both internationals
called for help and screamed, but the Israeli soldier on duty some 30
meters away did not intervene. The settler woman once again picked up a
rock to renew her attack.
Knowing that if they were to defend
themselves they would face assault charges, the two activists chose to
flee their attacker instead ... When the police finally arrived, the same soldier translated since the
police officer refused to bring along an English speaker. The police and
soldiers took advantage of the situation to make fun of, cat call, and
attempt to flirt with the international women..
IDF soldier: Burn all leftists, Arabs
Ynet 11 Jan -- Amihy Zoaretz, a soldier
from the Paratroopers Brigade's 890th Battalion
was arrested by Military Police earlier this week on suspicion he
disclosed information to right-wing activists who were charged with
organizing last month's raid
on the Ephraim Territorial Brigade base
in the West Bank. The investigation against Zoaretz
is still ongoing. The soldier is not cooperating with investigators
and, according to his attorney, has denied the allegations. However, his
Facebook page reveals his radical views.
Army invades two areas in Gaza
IMEMC 11 Jan -- Israeli troops conducted, late on Tuesday evening, a limited invasion
targeting Dir Al Balah and the Al Maghazi refugee camp in the Gaza
Strip. Resistance fighters exchanged fire with the invading forces, and
fired a number of mortars at them. Local sources reported that several armored vehicles and military
bulldozers invaded the two areas and leveled some lands while military
choppers were clearly noticed overhead.
PA health ministry sends dialysis supplies to Gaza
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 10 Jan -- The PA ministry of health transferred five truckloads
of medicines for kidney dialysis to the International Red Cross for
delivery to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the ministry said. Gaza,
which is under an Israeli blockade, is suffering a critical shortage of
medical supplies and a Palestinian human rights group had accused the
Ramallah-based ministry of holding up delivery of dialysis supplies for
political reasons. Dialysis for all renal failure patients in the
blockaded strip, which include 15 children, had been stopped, the
Palestinian Center for Human Rights said.
On Tuesday Ministry official Omar al-Nasr accused his Gaza counterparts
of damaging the health system, due to "practices by certain groups
within Hamas," pointing to the blocking of Gaza medics from attending a
conference in Jerusalem in December. The Ramallah health
ministry has invited UN, WHO and Red Cross representatives to an urgent
meeting with health minister Fathi Abu Moghli to discuss the medical
situation in Gaza, officials said.
Jordanian convoy readies to send aid to Gaza
IMEMC 10 Jan -- Head of the Artery of Life Committee, Engineer, Wael Al-Saqqa, stated
that Jordanian figures and popular institutions are ongoing with the
preparations for the “Ansar 2” convoy to break the Israeli siege on
Gaza, and deliver urgently needed humanitarian and medical supplies.
OIC ships 6,000 hemodialysis filters to Gaza
Kuala Lumpur (Bernama) 11 Jan -- The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
has sent 6,000 filters for hemodialysis machines to the Gaza Strip
following an appeal by the OIC secretary-general, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
... The 6,000 filters were provided by Islamic Relief in the United
Kingdom, the OIC said in a statement.
Israel 'holding 2,400 new cars' bought by Gaza dealers
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 Jan -- Israeli authorities are delaying the entry of 2,400
new cars into the Gaza Strip, the head of the union of car dealers in
Gaza said on Tuesday. The vehicles purchased by local car
dealers that are pending entry approval are worth $100 million, Ismail
Nakhala said in a statement. Hundreds of cars have accumulated in
Israeli harbors, while some dealers have transferred their purchases
for storage in the West Bank to save costs, he said. Traders complain
that Israel charges businesses excessively to store goods while it holds
up their transferal to Palestinian territories.
Hamas sentences Palestinian to death
CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) 11 Jan -- A Hamas official in Gaza says the
militant group has sentenced a local Palestinian to death for
collaborating with Israel. The official said the man was sentenced
Wednesday to death by firing squad at a military court in Gaza. He spoke
on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak with
reporters. Palestinians who collaborate with Israeli intelligence are
widely loathed within Palestinian society. The Palestinian Center for
Human Rights' says Hamas has issued 36 death sentences since it seized
Gaza from the rival Fatah party in 2007. About 15 executions have
actually been carried out.
How my uncle in Gaza filled me with hope of return / Fidaa Elaydi
Maghazi refugee camp (EI) 10 Jan -- The date is 21 December 2011, a day
that will live within me for the rest of my life. As I went through the Rafah crossing,
my eyes scanned the faces of every man before me; I was searching for
my uncle, Hazem Elaydi. I had not seen him in more than twenty years,
since before he was illegally imprisoned by Israel during the first
intifada. I traveled across the world to see him after his release during the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas in October ... Everyone in my family asked me what I did when I first saw my uncle. Did
I cry like my older brother? Did I pass out from shock like my cousin?
My reaction included neither tears nor the loss of consciousness.
Although it’s not as exciting a story, my reaction to seeing him came in
small, nearly overwhelming doses of sudden awareness.
Remembering the 'Cast Lead' assault on Gaza
11 January 2009: The Hamouda family
PCHR 11 Jan 2012 -- “I cannot even pick up another child in my arms, I
had a new grandchild, he is six months old, but I have yet to take him
in my arms, I feel that place belongs to Fares” -- In the early morning
of 11 January 2009, the home of Intissar Hamouda, 41, in Tal Al-Hawa.
Gaza City, came under attack from Israeli forces. Israeli tank fire
resulted in the death of her son, Fares Hamouda, who was two years old
at the time of the attack, and her step son Muhammed who she cared for
with her husband Talat, 54, Muhammed’s father. Fares died immediately in
Intissar’s arms, while Muhammed bled to death as medical crews were
unable to reach them ... Throughout their brief time together the
brothers remained close. “Fares
would refuse to go to sleep until Muhammed came home from school. On
the day of the attack Fares was sick, but he refused to take medicine
from me, he wanted it from Muhammed,” says Intissar.
Political detention / Court actions
Military court approves illegal interrogation of a minor
10 Jan -- Major Sharon Rivlin, a judge at the Ofer Military Court,
accepted as admissible the testimony of a 14 year-old Palestinian boy
who was unlawfully arrested in the dead of night, questioned without
being allowed sleep, denied his right to legal counsel and not told of
his right to remain silent ... the military judge determined that the
boy’s confession should not be ruled inadmissible saying that “In
my opinion, the infringement on the defendant’s rights in this concrete
case, did not amount to a violation of his right in a way that will
sufficiently endanger his right to a fair trial [...].” The
decision was made despite a psychiatric expert opinion handed to the
court which determined that a boy of 14 undergoing such an interrogation
could not be considered to have given a statement of his own free will.
9 activists arrested, others injured during Israeli forces' suppression of Al Walaja demonstration
Bethlehem – Najib Farraj (PNN) 11 Jan -- The Israeli forces arrested 9
foreigner activists including 4 Israeli peace activists, in the process
of suppressing of a demonstration in al-Walaja village to the north west
of Bethlehem. Tens of Palestinian activists and foreigners had
organized an unexpected demonstration that started in the early hours of
the morning. It went from the village towards the apartheid wall, where
Israeli bulldozers have been working for several months to build the
wall and isolate thousands of acres from the village; to take over and
later build huge settlement projects on. The activists sat in front of
these bulldozers to stop them from working, which went on for over 2
hours. Then reinforcement came, from policemen to soldiers to border
guards, all armed with guns and sticks. They attacked the protesters and
beat them up with the sticks and the bottom sides of their guns, which
led to injuring 3 protesters at least, who had to be treated on field.
Four Palestinians detained in Nablus and Hebron
11 Jan -- Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Wednesday, four Palestinians,
two 17-year-olds, in the West Bank cities of Nablus and Hebron, the
News Agency reported [Arabic version?]. Troops invaded the village of
Yitma, in the southern part of the
northern West Bank city of Nablus, and kidnapped Ra'fat Soner, 20, after
breaking into his home and violently searching it, causing damage to
furniture. The army invaded a Palestinian village south of Nablus, and
drove in its
streets in a provocative manner, no arrests were reported. Also, the
Israeli army invaded Beit Ummar town, near the southern West
Bank city of Hebron, and kidnapped detained three residents after
breaking into and searching their homes ... Ayyad added that Israeli
soldiers kidnapped ten Palestinians, including
five children, since the beginning of 2012 (11 days ago).
Israel arrests 10 Palestinians in West Bank
WEST BANK (WAFA) 11 Jan – Israeli forces Wednesday arrested 10
Palestinians from across the West Bank, according to security sources.
In Jenin, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians from Jenin refugee
after raiding their houses, searching them and tampering with their
contents, according to the sources. They also raided a garage and
confiscated four cars. Forces also raided several Palestinian houses in
Battir, a village west
of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, searched them thoroughly
and arrested three Palestinians, including a 16-year-old boy.
Islamic Jihad prisoners protest Negev jail removal
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 10 Jan -- Prisoners affiliated to Islamic Jihad are
protesting their removal from a southern Israeli jail, which will split
the group into different prisons throughout Israel. Detainees
told Ma‘an on Tuesday that the Islamic Jihad prisoners are demanding to
remain housed as a group in whichever jail they are transferred to after
the tented facility housing 730 prisoners at Israel's Negev jail is
Political developments / Diplomacy
Reconciliation committee to start work 'immediately'
CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Jan -- The committee tasked with implementing the
reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah has finalized all
administrative preparations and will begin work immediately, committee
head Rabah Mhannah said Wednesday. Speaking to reporters after a
committee meeting in Gaza City, Mhannah said members were allocated
aspects of the agreement to work on. The cross-party committee is tasked
with hammering out a number of
tenets of the unity deal signed in May, including the release of
political prisoners, the reopening of closed institutions, travel bans
and freedom of political expression. PLO official and committee member
Yasser al-Wadiyeh told Ma'an the committee's structure had been agreed
Haniyeh returns to Gaza after international tour
CITY (Ma‘an) 11 Jan -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh returned to
coastal enclave on Tuesday evening after completing a regional tour.
of people and Hamas officials welcomed Haniyeh home after an
international tour which included visits to Egypt, Sudan, Turkey and
Tunisia. Haniyeh left Gaza on Dec. 25 for his first tour since Israel
imposed a crippling blockade on the coastal strip in 2007. He met with
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi and Muslim Brotherhood
chairman Muhammad Badie. The Hamas leader told reporters in Gaza that he
had made important
agreements during the tour to support the Palestinian cause and was
ready to visit other Arab and Islamic countries.
Hamas popularity up but Farah still ahead: poll
11 Jan -- Hamas's popularity rose among the Palestinian public after a
prisoner swap deal with Israel but its Fatah rival remains favourite to
win the next elections, a poll has shown. And the public is divided over
whether the two rival factions will make good on a landmark
reconciliation deal they signed last May, with 50 percent expressing
optimism and 46 percent saying it would fail. The findings were laid out
in a quarterly survey carried out by the Palestinian Centre for Policy
and Survey Research (PSR) that was released late on Tuesday.
Israel-Palestinian talks 'absurd': Jordan Islamists
AFP 11 Jan -- Jordan's powerful opposition Islamists urged Palestinians
on Wednesday to quit "absurd" negotiations with Israel, two days after
Amman hosted the second round of informal talks between the two sides.
"We demand the Palestinian Authority leave the dark tunnel of absurd
negotiations with Israel that only serves Zionist and American
interests," the Islamic Action Front (IAF) said in a statement on its
website. "Going back to negotiations in light of increasing settlement
building in the West Bank and Jerusalem means neglecting Palestinian
Ashrawi: Amman talks were fruitless due to Israeli intransigence
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 10 Jan – PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan
Ashrwai Tuesday stated that the Palestinian-Israeli talks that took
place in Jordan were fruitless due to the Israeli intransigence opposing
the peace process. She said, during a press conference in Ramallah, that the Palestinians
will not resume negotiations with the Israel unless it approves freezing
settlement activities in the West Bank and establishing a Palestinian
state based on the 1967 borders.
Italy accepts credentials of first Palestinian ambassador
ROME (WAFA) 11 Jan – Italian President Giorgio Napolitano
accepted the credentials of the first Palestinian ambassador to Italy,
Tuesday said sources at the Palestinian delegation in Rome
Italy upgrades status of Palestinian mission
IMEMC 10 Jan -- Italian President Giorgio Napolitano accepted on Tuesday the official
documents of Palestinian Ambassador, Sabri Atiyya, as part of the
Italian decision to upgrade the status of the Palestinian mission in the
Hundreds protest Barak's visit to Greece
IMEMC 11 Jan -- Hundreds of Greeks, Palestinian and Arabs held a protest in front of the
Greek Parliament to protest the visiting Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud
Barak, and demanding his arrest for war crimes against the Palestinian
people. Several leftist political groups and coalitions also participated in the
protest that was held in front of the parliament despite the cold
Abbas meets Kerry in Amman
IMEMC 10 Jan -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met in Amman on Tuesday the head of
the U.S Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry, and discussed
the latest developments in the Middle East, the official Palestinian
& Info Agency, WAFA, reported.
UK minister ends West Bank visit
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 10 Jan -- UK Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt
Tuesday ended his visit to the West Bank after meeting Palestinian
Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and PLO official Saeb Erekat. Burt
conveyed Britain's support for "a negotiated solution to this dispute"
the UK consulate in Jerusalem said in a statement.
Al-Tirawi: Hamas counting on Muslim Brotherhood victory
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Jan -- Hamas is avoiding reconciliation with Fatah because
it believes it will be strengthened by a Muslim Brotherhood victory in
Egyptian elections, senior Fatah official Tawfiq al-Tirawi said
Another Israeli extrajudicial killing?
Report: Tehran car bomb kills Iranian nuclear scientist
11 Jan -- Semi-official Fars news agency reports that Ahmadi Roshan,
32, supervised department at Natanz uranium enrichment facility in
Isfahan; Tehran official blames Israel for bombing -- Iranian media
reported Wednesday that a nuclear scientist was killed by a bomb placed
on his car by a motorcyclist in Tehran ...
Deputy Governor Safarali Baratloo blamed Israel for the
it was similar to ones targeting nuclear scientists a year ago. "The
bomb was a magnetic one and the same as the ones previously used
for the assassination of the scientists, and is the work of the
Zionists [Israelis]" Fars quoted Baratloo as saying. The attack
coincided with the second anniversary of a explosion that killed senior
Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari.
TIMELINE / Mysterious blasts and deaths linked to Iran's nuclear program
Haaretz 11 Jan -- A timeline of explosions that killed Iranian
scientists and blasts that rocked Iranian nuclear facilities from
January 12, 2010 to January 11, 2012.
US denies role in killing of Iranian nuclear scientist
AP 11 Jan -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. played no role in the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist
and said the U.S. is looking for an international understanding with
Iran that ends its uranium enrichment program. Clinton categorically
denied any U.S. involvement in Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan's death.
Israeli source: Assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist joint Mossad-MEK operation / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 11 Jan -- ...France’s right-wing Le Figaro newspaper offers (this is an English language report
on the story) a window into the types of training and recruitment the
Mossad engages in to prepare for such sabotage missions. It reports
that Israeli agents identify Iranian Kurdish recruits who are living in
exile in Iraqi Kurdistan. There they train them in “spycraft and
sabotage:” "The Iranian assets are being prepared for conducting operations inside [Iran] as part of Israel’s undercover intelligence war against
Iran’s nuclear energy program. The Baghdad source told the French daily
that part of Israel’s sabotage program against sensitive Iranian
nuclear facilities, which includes targeted assassinations of Iranian
nuclear experts, is directed out of the autonomous region of Iraqi
Kurdistan, “where [Mossad] agents have stepped up their penetration.”
For this, “the Israelis are using Kurdish oppositionists to the regime
in Iran, who are living as refugees in the Kurdish regions of Iraq”, the
source told Le Figaro.
Israel uses risky 'hits' in shadow war
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 11 Jan -- If Mossad assassins were behind the killing of an
Iranian nuclear scientist on Wednesday, it would be the latest chapter
in a long history of Israeli covert action against foes best not
confronted with full force. As always, Israeli officials declined
any comment on the death of Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, who was blown up in
his car, while Iran itself immediately pinned the blame on Israel. Cold-eyed
calculus guides what Israeli officials call "precision thwarting," a
euphemism that strives to focus blame on those marked for death while
conveying reluctance to escalate the shadow war. Critics condemn all such attacks on moral grounds, and also question the
long-term efficiency of targeted killings, but Israeli officials,
drawing on years of experience in the murky practice, believe they play a
vital role in defending the state.
Israeli Racism / Discrimination
Bill: Citizens who didn't complete Army service can't be MKs
Ynet 11 Jan -- Ynet learned that
Knesset Member Moshe Matalon submitted the proposal on Tuesday.
According to the bill, Israelis who did not serve in the IDF or complete
the National Service program will not be able to run for Knesset. If
passed, the bill would essentially mean that the haredi and Arab parties
would be dissolved. Yisrael Beiteinu realizes it will be difficult to
pass the bill into law ... The proposal falls into the category of the controversial "citizenship-loyalty bills"
promoted by Yisrael Beiteinu.
Israel's High Court rejects petitions against 'citizenship law'
Haaretz 11 Jan -- Israel’s High Court rejected on Wednesday petitions against the
Citizenship Law, which prevents Palestinians married to Israeli Arabs
from receiving Israeli citizenship or residency. Six judges voted to
reject the petitions, while five voted to accept them.
New law jails asylum seekers for longest in West
11 Jan -- Amnesty International says no other country in the world has a
detention center of the size Israel plans to build to enforce the law,
which will have room for 10,000 inmates -- A new
law passed by the Knesset Monday night will make Israel the
developed country that detains illegal immigrants without trial for the
longest period, according to data collected by Amnesty International's
Israel office. The law allows people who enter Israel illegally to be
incarcerated for up to three years ... "When you compare the Israeli law
to laws in Western countries, you can
see that three years is extraordinary," said Sara Robinson, refugee
rights coordinator for Amnesty International Israel.
Knesset puts up scant resistance to anti-asylum bill
11 Jan -- The Knesset approved a law late Monday night that allows illegal
infiltrators to be jailed for up to three years even if they haven't
been convicted of any crime. Though the law aroused much controversy, it
ultimately passed easily, by a vote of 37-8, because the vast majority
of opposition MKs didn't bother to stay to the end of the lengthy debate
to attend the vote.
Hundreds of Ethiopian demonstrators protest against racism in Israel
10 Jan -- Ethiopians claim Kiryat Malachi housing committees refuse to
sell them apartments; hundreds of protesters include various groups who
feel weak in Israeli society.
Israel police open probe into alleged racism against Ethiopian immigrants
11 Jan -- Attorney General: A democratic society cannot tolerate
discrimination; Immigration Absorption Minister said on Wednesday that
Ethiopian immigrants should be grateful to Israel.
Israel to deport Japanese researcher over fear he will 'settle down' after studies
11 Jan -- More than 300 lecturers and doctoral students sent on Tuesday letters to
Israel’s President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar to protest the Immigration Authority’s
decision not to extend a foreign student’s visa. In its decision, the
Immigration Authority said it feared the student – who asked to extend
his visa so he can finish his doctorate, might “strike down roots” in
State denies entry to Israeli's Nigerian husband for being 'just a sperm donor'
11 Jan -- Yifat Zohar married Goodluck Ayemo in Nigeria and applied for
permission for him to come to Israel to start the naturalization process
as her spouse, but the ministry refused to let him into the country.
Livnat, Beit Shemesh mayor butt heads over 'women's chatter' sign
Ynet 11 Jan -- Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat (Likud)
and Beit Shemesh
Mayor Moshe Abutbul got into a heated argument Wednesday during a discussion on the exclusion
of women from the public sphere. During a meeting of an
inter-ministerial taskforce that was set up to deal with the phenomenon,
Abutbul explained that a sign placed near a synagogue in his city,
which instructs women to walk on the opposite sidewalk, also contains a
"gracious" request that women refrain from "chattering" as men leave the
Israeli air force rabbi quits in sex-segregation flap
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 11 Jan -- A top Israeli military rabbi resigned on Tuesday
after making comments that appeared to condone allowing ultra-Orthodox
troops to avoid contact with women, which stirred debate over the sway
of religion in Israel.
Thousands of US troops to arrive in Israel this week
IMEMC 10 Jan -- Accompanied by a US aircraft carrier, 9,000 US troops including airmen,
missile interceptor teams, marines, technicians and intelligence
officers are scheduled to land in Israel in the coming weeks. Many will
stay up to the end of the year as part of the US-Israeli Army deployment
in readiness for a military engagement with Iran, aiming at a
synchronized military front against Iran. US Third Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc commented in his visit two
weeks ago that the coming action is more a "deployment" than an
"exercise,”. The joint force will now be in place ready for a decision
to attack Iran's nuclear installations or any combat emergency.
EU donates €11 million to PA
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Jan -- The European Union on Wednesday donated around $14
million to the Palestinian Authority to promote economic growth, an EU
statement said. The €11 million donation will support
agricultural businesses in Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank under
full Israeli military control, the EU said. It will also be used to
improve the internal capacities of businesses in Gaza.
Israel says to take in Syrian refugees if Assad falls
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 10 Jan -- Israel is making preparations to house refugees
from Syrian President Bashar Assad's minority Alawite sect should his
government fall, Israel's military chief told a parliamentary committee
on Tuesday. "On the day that the regime falls, it is expected to
result in a blow to the Alawite sect. We are preparing to take in
Alawite refugees on the Golan Heights," a committee spokesman quoted
Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz as saying. [The Golan Heights IS Syria, of course]
Israel drops 'unknown object' on Lebanon
11 Jan -- Israeli warplanes have dropped an “unidentified object” in a
valley between the towns of Houla and Tallouse in southern Lebanon.
Lebanese officials said the army had difficulties to search for the
object because unexploded cluster bombs dropped by Israel during its war
against the resistance movement of Hezbollah in 2006 still remain in
Israel also fired 75 shells during a Tuesday military exercise into the occupied Lebanese territory of Sheba‘a Farms.
Israel moves to outlaw use of Nazi symbols
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 11 Jan -- Israel's parliament gave initial approval on
Wednesday to laws to curb public use of Nazi symbols after
ultra-Orthodox protesters caused outrage by calling police Nazis and
wearing concentration camp garb. Four bills swiftly passed one of
five rounds of voting needed to become law, even though a spectrum of
critics denounced them as a violation of free speech. The laws call for up to a year in jail and stiff fines for anyone
convicted of visually or verbally misusing symbols such as swastikas,
the term Nazi or epithets related to the killing of six million Jews
before and during World War Two. Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu's cabinet approved the bills before they went to parliament,
seizing on public outrage at devout Jews who dressed last month as
Holocaust victims to show they felt persecuted by objections to their
efforts to achieve gender segregation in public.
Ohio charity accused by US of Hamas ties disbands
Ohio (AP) 9 Jan – A charity that the government suspected of having
ties to the militant Islamic group Hamas has shut down but is still
negotiating a settlement with the U.S. Department of the Treasury over
its frozen assets. The filing made last week comes nearly six years
after the Treasury Department essentially closed the charity's operation
when it ordered U.S. banks to freeze the group's assets, saying it was
funneling money to a terrorist organization. The leaders of KindHearts
for Charitable Humanitarian Development in Toledo denied being connected
to any terrorist group and sued the government after it refused to say
why the charity's money was frozen.
Guantánamo ten years on
Guantánamo turns ten / Jonathan Hafetz
Jan -- Guantánamo's life as the flagship prison in the war on terror
may be divided into three stages. While these stages overlap, they
provide a useful way of examining how US policy has changed - and failed
to change - over time. The prison outside the law Guantánamo's
early and defining years were marked by the Bush administration's
overriding goal of creating a prison beyond the law. Guantánamo seemed
suited for this purpose: an enclave over which the
United States exercised total jurisdiction and control but lacked formal
sovereignty (Guantánamo still nominally belongs to Cuba under a 1903
treaty and subsequent lease agreements). Seizing on the legal fiction
that Guantánamo was not part of the United States, the Bush
administration argued that prisoners held there were necessarily outside
the protection of the US Constitution and court system. Further, the
Bush administration invented a label - "enemy combatant" - as a way of
denying detainees any protections under the Geneva Conventions. The
result, as noted British jurist Johan Steyn explained, was the
establishment of a "legal black hole".
The shame of Guantánamo Bay / Anthony D. Romero, Exec. Dir. of the ACLU
York, New York - This week marks the 10-year anniversary of the first
prisoner arriving at Guantánamo Bay, making it the longest-standing war
prison in US history. Guantanamo has been a catastrophic failure on
every front. It has long been past the time for this shameful episode in
American history to be brought to a close. President Obama has failed
to shutter Guantánamo, even though on his second day in office he signed
an executive order to close the prison and restore "core constitutional
values". In fact, the 2012 National Defence Authorization Act that
Obama signed on New Year's Eve contains a sweeping provision that makes
indefinite military detention, including of people captured far from any
battlefield, a permanent part of American law for the first time in
this country's history. This is not just unconstitutional - it's just
plain wrong. Guantánamo was fashioned as an "island outside the law"
where terrorism suspects could be held without charge and interrogated
without restraint. Almost 800 men have passed through its cells. Today,
Guantánamo case profiles / Amnesty International
Jan -- Abu Zubaydah, Stateless Palestinian: Subjected to enforced
disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment, and now in indefinite
military custody without charge or criminal trial ... Musa'ab Omar Al
Madhwani: Yemeni: No accountability despite judicial finding of abuse;
held without charge or trial; unsuccessful habeas corpus petition.
Seeking Supreme Court review ... Mohamedou Ould Slahi: Mauritanian:
Subjected to torture or other ill-treatment in Guantánamo, indefinite
detention without charge or trial, won habeas ruling, reversed on appeal
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda