Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~


Report: Israel killed 114 Gazans, wounded 467 others in 2011
GAZA (PIC) 17 Feb -- Al-Mizan center for human rights said the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed last year 114 Palestinian citizens, including 15 children and two women, in the impoverished Gaza Strip. In a report covering Israel's violations in Gaza during 2011, Al-Mizan center added 467 Palestinians, including 120 children and 35 women, were also wounded during Israeli military attacks on the densely-populated enclave. 152 civilian homes sustained different damage and 10 of them were completely destroyed during military operations. Israeli military attacks also inflicted during the reporting year damage upon 31 stores, 23 industrial facilities, 73 public buildings, and 23 vehicles, the report states....
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Israeli army fires on Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Feb -- Israeli forces shelled Gaza east of Breij refugee camp late Friday, causing no injuries or damage, after Israel's army said two projectiles landed near Ashkelon. One missile fell beside a house in Breij, locals said. There were no injuries. An Israeli unit also infiltrated near Abu Samra north of Beit Lahiya, locals said. An Israeli army spokeswoman said Palestinians tried to plant an improvised explosive device targeting an Israeli patrol. "Hamas is accountable and will bear the consequence," she said on Twitter. Israel's Ynet news site said Palestinian operatives shot rocket-propelled grenades at an army unit in Gaza, and detonated an explosive in an attempt to hurt the troops, who returned fire.

5 Palestinian fishermen arrested by Israeli navy, one of them a 13-year-old boy
16 Feb by Rosa Schiano -- ...Last night we visited the family of Adham and Mohammed Abu Ryada in Beach Camp, Gaza City. Gaza is without power, they welcomed us in a room lit only by candlelight. Their father started telling us their story. It was 7 PM on Sunday evening when the two boys were gathering their nets from the sea to sail home. A strong wind had pushed the boat over three nautical miles from the coast. The Israeli Navy came close to their boat and started shooting. They tried to escape but they couldn’t. The Israeli soldiers, as they usually do, asked them to undress, to dive into the water and come on board the navy ship. Once they were on the ship, the soldiers blindfolded them and tied their hands

Air strike in south east Gaza City: 'For the West, you have abandoned us to death'
15 Feb by Rosa Schiano -- Saturday night Israeli F-16′s bombed civilian targets in several areas of the Gaza strip. One of these strikes killed a man and injured his son in the neighborhood of al-Zaytoon, south-east Gaza city. An F-16 dropped a bomb on a farm just before midnight. The watchman of the farm, Abed Alkareem Alzaitooni, 71 years old, was killed. He was sitting in a steel shed next to the animal pen. His son, Mohammed Alzaitooni, 22 years old, was injured. He was bringing some food to his father. Most of the animals in the farm were killed and the equipment was damaged. More photos here

Sniper fire in the 'buffer zone'
PCHR 17 Feb -- Munther Rashad Saleh al-Nakhala, 44, lives in Gaza city. He is widely known by his neighbours for his success in raising canaries and goldfinches and for the care and attention he shows them. At present, he owns more than 50 birds, and although they sell for up to 1,000 NIS in the Gazan market, he refuses to sell them. "I have built special cages for them so I simulate their natural environment. They are very precious for me." Munther enjoys hunting goldfinches and canaries with his green net and a small wooden cage. Four days a week for the last seven years, he has taken his bicycle to go hunting in the neighbouring areas of Gaza city. In the Gaza Strip, however, such a simple hobby has put his life at risk. On the morning of 31 January 2012, Munther was shot three times by Israeli soldiers.

Gaza father appeals for information on missing son
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 17 Feb -- A 25-year-old man went missing from his home in the southern Gaza Strip a week ago, and has not been found despite extensive searches, his father said Friday. Salah Barbakhleft home at 9 a.m. on Sunday and has not been seen despite police and relatives searching the region for him, his father told Ma‘an. He appealed for any information on his son, who is married with a young child.

Land theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid

South Hebron Hills: IDF demolition in Saadet Tha'lah and Ar Rakeez
[photos] Operation Dove 16 Feb -- On 15 February, the Israeli military demolished five buildings in the Palestinian village of Saadet Tha'lah and destroyed a water tank and tore down 50 trees in the Palestinian village of Ar Rakeez ... At around 12 a.m., two bulldozers and three vehicles of the District Coordination Office (DCO) raided the village of Saadet Tha'lah, escorted by four Israeli army jeeps. One house, two water tanks and two stables for the flocks were demolished. Saadet Tha’lah residents said they were not allowed to ensure the safety of their animals, and five lambs died under the rubble. The owners declared that their buildings were under pending demolition orders since 2004 ... The Palestinian villages of Saadet Tha'lah and of Ar Rakeez are situated in the South Hebron Hills area, near the Israeli settlement of Karmel and the Avigayl outpost, which are constantly expanding without any kind of restriction by the Israeli authorities, although the outpost is considered illegal even under Israeli law.

Idhna: Tent replaces home as locals resist Israeli land confiscations
[2 photos] ISM 16 Feb by Sylvia -- ...Ahmed Jeyowi spent three years in prison after his involvement in the Intifada resisting illegal Israeli occupation in Idhna. He has since been blacklisted and is not allowed a permit to work in Israel, and so he is expected to live from what he can cultivate from his land, which is now destroyed by the Israeli military. Ahmed owned two houses before 1988, when Israeli forces demolished his first home. His second home was demolished last month when around 50 Israeli soldiers stormed the house at 6 AM whilst Ahmed was drinking tea and preparing to work his land. The soldiers forced Ahmed’s wife and six children from their beds and gave the family no time to salvage their possessions before they demolished their home.

Jordan Valley demolitions and arrests of two Palestinians
ISM 15 Feb by Satu and John -- On February 14, 2012, in the small village of Twael of the Aqraba district, southeast of Nablus in the Jordan Valley, the home of the Bunni Jaber family was destroyed by an Israeli backhoe protected by 20 soldiers in four military vehicles. Two men from the family were arrested – Ayman Bunni Jaber, aged 36, and Rafie Bunni Jaber, aged 30. The family’s tractor was also confiscated by the Israeli authorities. The Bunni Jaber house was located along the green, rocky hills that dominate the landscape here, built from cloth, plastic sheeting, wire mesh, stones, and dirt. There are four children in the Bunni Jaber family, ranging from toddlers to adolescents. The family are herders, with flocks of sheep and goats, and the arbitrary confiscation of their tractor presents a serious challenge for the family’s livelihood.

Qaryout village: the essence of apartheid
AIC 14 Feb by Abir Kopta -- Unholy alliance: illegal Israeli settlers get the protection of the Israeli army. Here, the two groups mingle. (Photo: OccupiedPalestine blog) -- The Palestinian popular struggle spreads to the West Bank village of Qaryout, which has lost 68 percent of its land to three neighboring Israeli settlements and an outpost, all of which are illegal. Armed settlers roam the area freely while Palestinians are prevented from accessing their land or even protesting about it. This is the essence of apartheid ...In Qaryout, you find the absurdity of armed thieves behaving as landlords, while the owners of the lands might reach a level where the occupying army would be their only protection from those terrorists. While we were marching towards the lands, tear gas was shot at us and live bullets were fired into the air. When we got closer we realized it was the settlers who shot. Not the army.

Palestinian building of Israel settlements: Searching for alternatives
Ramallah (Al-Akhbar) 16 Feb by Fadi Abu-Saadi -- Calls by the Palestinian Authority to stop Israeli settlement activities continue to ring hollow as little is done to find alternatives for Palestinian workers who contribute to settlement building with their sweat and money -- The continued expansion of settlements in the West Bank remains the primary concern for Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli occupation. But the bitter irony is that the laborers physically engaged in building the settlements are themselves Palestinians. In addition, they are obliged to pay money to Israel in exchange for permission to work.

Image: Segregated street for Palestinians, Jews in Hebron / Noam Sheizaf
972mag 15 Feb -- The West Bank has several highways on which Palestinians are not allowed to travel, but in Hebron, even a main street divides the settlers and the local Palestinians. This picture was taken on Monday on the Shuhada street in Hebron. Note who gets the bigger part of the road… well, nobody in Hebron ever claimed that separate is equal.

Photos: Children of Wadi Hilweh play in bulldozed playground
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 16 Feb -- The children of Wadi Hilweh continue to play amidst the rubble made by Israeli bulldozers in the neighborhood playground. In what they see as no less than their God-given right to play, Wadi Hilweh’s children are asserting their entitlement to a childhood in the face of the Israeli authorities, and returned to the playground almost as soon as the bulldozers departed.

Dear editor, I'm giving up my property in Hebron
978mag 15 Feb by Noam Sheizaf -- Some of the most notorious settlements – for example, in Hebron, Sheikh Jarrah or Silwan – are based on the claim that settlers are “returning” to places held by Jews before the creation of the state of Israel. It’s interesting to note, therefore, that in most cases, descendants of Jews that lived in those places oppose the projects undertaken in their name. Check out this letter to the editor, from today’s Haaretz:

Israel to let Golan Druze cross into Syria
16 Feb -- The Kuneitra crossing on the Golan Heights is to be opened Monday to allow 15 Druze students studying in Syria to return, and let families of Syrian massacre victims pay condolence calls and visit the wounded. The decision to open the crossing was made by Interior Minister Eli Yishai, pending the approval of the security establishment.


Jewish settlers burn Palestinian car, cut trees
RAMALLAH (PIC) 16 Feb -- Jewish settlers burnt a Palestinian car in Laban village to the north of Ramallah and damaged other property in a pre-dawn raid on Thursday, local sources said. Ghassan Daghlas, monitoring Israeli settlement activity north of the West Bank, said that the settlers wrote insulting slogans against the prophet and provocative slogans against the Palestinians. He added that other groups of settlers cut an unspecified number of tees in Madma village and 15 olive trees in Burin village.
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Former prisoner's wife miscarried as IOF stormed her home in Salem village near Nablus
IMEMC 17 Feb -- ...The house raids in the period between 9 and 15 February 2012, numbering 72 in total, resulted in the miscarriage of the wife of a former prisoner in Israeli jails in Salem village, east of Nablus ... Karkari’s mother opened the door, and Israeli soldiers entered the house. They ordered her to bring her son. She went to her son’s flat to inform him. Quickly, Karkadi and his wife, Sameera Fu’ad Eshtayeh, 37, who was pregnant in the second month, came down from their flat on the second floor. The soldiers requested Karkari’s ID card, and ordered his wife to bring it. She mounted up very fast on the stairs. While she was descending on the stairs, she tripped and fell down. She then gave the ID card to Israeli soldiers, who verified it and delivered Karkari a notice to refer to the Shabak in Huwara military camp on 13 February 2012. A few hours after IOF had left the house, the wife suffered from severe pains in the abdomen and the back.

Nablus village at the center of settler violence
ASIRA AL-QIBLIYA (Ma‘an) 16 Feb by Charlie Hoyle -- A drive along the northern section of route 60 paints a telling picture of the physical geography of settlements and settler violence in the West Bank. Winding through picturesque Nablus countryside, the main north-south highway acts as a boundary between Israeli settlements on one side and Palestinian villages on the other. Overlooked by these illegal hilltop residences, local Palestinians are all too familiar with the disadvantages of the neighborly proximity, especially given that the Nablus district experienced the majority of settler violence in 2011. "Generally speaking, no week passes without an attack," the mayor of Nablus village Asira al-Qibliya says. Located just off route 60, this village of around 3,000 residents is left to fend for itself in a political power vacuum so common in the West Bank. "The Palestinian Authority can’t do anything for us as they need security clearance," Mayor Ahmed Abdel Hadi says. Such clearance, if approved, could take over 5 hours, he adds. Asira al-Qibliya lies in Area B, designated in the Oslo Accords as being under Israeli security control and PA administrative rule ... Over 90 percent of villages attacked by settlers are under Israeli security control, a Washington-based think tank said recently.

61-year-old released from hospital after Yitzhar settler attack
ISM 15 Feb by Fransisco Reeves -- Following her horrific ordeal of having her family’s vehicle attacked by Zionist settlers in early February, Maysar Abd Al Majeed Ghanem is finally healthy enough to return to home. The attack resulted in Ghanem spending 36 hours in the Intensive Care Unit and a subsequent 11 days in the hospital. No effort has been made to investigate this attack by Israelis or illegal settlers from Yitzhar settlement, where the attackers are based.

24 hours: a diary of Israeli repression / Sergio Yahni
AIC 16 Feb -- Israeli settler and military attacks on the civil population is a routine part of the lives of Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The past 24 hours have witnessed Israeli settlers and soldiers breaking into Palestinian areas, and the Israeli military arresting Palestinians and shelling neighborhoods in Gaza.

Army invades al-Isawiyya in Jerusalem
IMEMC 17 Feb -- The soldiers started their home invasions by breaking into the home of former political prisoner Samer al-Esawy, and harassing him and his family while violently searching the property. Local sources reported that the soldiers violently broke into several homes as the residents slept, terrifying children before searching and ransacking the homes.
Furthermore, dozens of soldiers were deployed in the town, and provoked the residents by firing gas bombs and concussion grenades, an issue that led to clashes with local youths who hurled stones and empty bottles at them.

PCHR weekly report: Elderly man killed. 18 civilians wounded by Israeli troops this week
IMEMC 17 Feb -- ...In that attack, two sheds were destroyed and two houses were damaged. A large number of animals and birds were killed. Israeli forces have continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank. 6 protesters, including 3 media workers, were wounded. Israeli forces have used force against protests in support of Palestinian prisoner Adnan Khader. 8 protesters, including 4 media workers and a Palestinian legislator, were wounded. 250 olive trees and 30 fig trees were uprooted in Tormos'aya, northeast of Ramallah. FULL REPORT


Soldiers break Bil‘in protests anniversary march
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 17 Feb – Israeli soldiers used force to break [up] the weekly anti-settlements anti-wall protests in the Ramallah area village of Bil‘in, which celebrated Friday the seventh anniversary of the launching of its weekly Friday protests, according to a statement by local activists. They said soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas grenades at the protesters once they arrived at a section of the village where the army was building a concrete wall and fence on village land to separate it from area settlements. They also sprayed them with skunk water. Bil‘in spearheaded the launching of similar peaceful demonstrations in many other West Bank villages suffering from Israel’s construction of the wall and land grab to expand settlements.

Jab‘a school bus accident

5-year-old bus crash survivor says bus burnt 'like hell'
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Feb -- Five-year-old Muhammad escaped the deadly crash of his school bus near Qalandiya on Thursday, but he cannot shake off the images of his classmates as the vehicle caught fire. "We were shouting, dancing and singing as we were excited about our school trip, when suddenly I saw a fire and felt heat like our teacher's description of hell," Muhammad Baker Shihadeh, now recuperating in Ramallah public hospital, recounted. His father told Ma‘an that he is bruised and in shock, but in a stable condition ... Muhammad was able to escape from the bus after it overturned, and before a fire whipped through the seats, his father said ... "My son told me when the accident happened the children were crying and screaming in total terror. Some escaped before the fire, but others were terribly injured and were stuck inside the bus between the seats."

2,000 attend funeral of girl killed in Jerusalem bus crash
Ynet 16 Feb -- Some 2,000 people took part in the funeral of a girl from the town of 'Anata who was killed in a bus crash near Jerusalem. Heavy police forces secured the funeral. An 'Anata councilman told Ynet that the other victims who were killed in the incident "are yet to be identified.",7340,L-4190967,00.html

The Jab‘a accident and the infrastructure of occupation / Yousef Munayyer
16 Feb -- ...The children on the school buses were from the Shufaat refugee camp. Shufaat is inside the municipality of Jerusalem. Their destination was toward Ramallah which would mean they’d have to pass through Kufr Aqab, another Palestinian locality inside the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem... [map] The green route, in my estimation, signifies the most logical, shortest, straightforward and safest route to get from Shufaat to Kufr Aqab. However, the bus didn't go that way.
The buses filled with Palestinian school children instead followed, again in my estimation, the red route, which is longer, far more rural, more dangerous, out of the way, narrower, more curvy and hillier than the green route ... So why on earth would a bus filled with Palestinian children take the red route instead of the green route? Because even though both Shufaat and Kufr Aqab are part of the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem, the infrastructure of apartheid, in this case the wall, makes the safest and most convenient route unavailable to these residents of Jerusalem because they were born in the wrong neighborhood- a Palestinian one - on the other side of the wall.

Abbas: Jab‘a accident 'a national catastrophe'
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 16 Feb -- President Mahmoud Abbas visited some of the dozens of injured children at a hospital in Ramallah on Thursday, following the crash he described as a "national catastrophe." Five children and a teacher were killed Thursday in a crash south of Ramallah during a field trip, medics said. Another 39 have been injured, several of them seriously.

Khader Adnan

President, minister press for world to save Khader Adnan
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 17 Feb -- Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe said Friday he will take the case of hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan to the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, as officials said the president was pushing foreign diplomats to step in to save the prisoner.

Khader Adnan: No food without freedom
Al Jazeera 17 Feb -- Friday is the 62nd day of the Palestinian prisoner's protest against his detention by Israel -- ...One of the stories commonly told among Palestinians inside Israeli prisons is of the ten republican prisoners in Northern Ireland who died as a result of their hunger strike in 1981. Most famous among them was 27-year-old Provisional IRA member Bobby Sands, who was elected to the British parliament during his fast, and died after 66 days of refusing to eat. This, and other hunger strikes and organised actions, were believed to have improved prisoners' conditions and made gains for their nationalist cause ... With protests in solidarity with Khader Adnan already happening both in the occupied territories and inside Israel, Abu Maria said there would be widespread rage if Adnan were to die. "I believe, if he dies, the situation in Palestine will change very fast. We can have a third intifada ["uprising"]." ... Randa Adnan, Khader's pregnant wife and the mother of the couple's two young daughters, told the UK's Independent on Thursday: "I know my husband. He will not change his mind. I expect him to die."

Thousands rally in Gaza, West Bank, in support of Palestinian jailed in Israel (Reuters)
17 Feb -- 'We are all Khader Adnan,' chant Palestinians in Gaza, referring to the Islamic Jihad leader who is on the 62nd day of a hunger strike to protest his detention by Israel ... The Israeli army has said in a statement that Adnan was arrested "for activities that threaten regional security". It has not given further details. Adnan owns a bakery and a fruit and vegetable shop in his West Bank village, Arabeh. He has served as a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad, which describes him as a local leader.

Detainees society confirms Khader Adnan alive
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 17 Feb -- The Palestinian Detainees’ Society on Friday confirmed that hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan is alive, despite concerns over his health. Media spokesman Amjad An-Najjar said the society had double-checked his condition with the hospital where Adnan is being held after receiving dozens of concerned calls. [End]

If Khader Adnan was anything but Palestinian / Deema Al-Saafin
16 Feb -- If Khader Adnan was anything but Palestinian, the goals of his hunger strike would be granted to him by his 3rd day of hunger strike because if he was anything but Palestinian, he wouldn’t have to be on hunger strike for dignity, and dignity does not come after demanding it for three days. If Khader Adnan was anything but Palestinian, he would have been given a change of underwear and a nail clipper while imprisoned. If Khader Adnan was anything but Palestinian, Ban Ki Moon would express his deep distraught at the state of which Khader is being kept in, a state which violates humanity, and the UN would insure that Khader’s capturer’s release him soon, and offer compensation and apologies to Khader and Khader’s government...

Khader Adnan: The West Bank's Bobby Sands / Donald Macintyre
Khader Adnan's two-month hunger strike has made him a hero among Palestinians outraged by Israel's policy of arbitrary detention -- It was only after talking with lucidity and animation for an hour about her husband's 61-day hunger strike that Randa Jihad Adnan's eyes, visible though the opening of her nekab, filled with tears. Until then, this articulate 31-year-old graduate in sharia law from Al Najar University in Nablus, the pregnant mother of two young daughters aged four and one and half, had described with almost disconcerting poise the two months following the arrest of her husband, Khader Adnan, on 17 December.

Palestinian's hunger strike challenges detention by Israel
NYTimes the Lede blog by Robert Mackey 16 Feb -- compilation of articles on this story from various places, plus videos.

Other political detention

B'Tselem reports sharp increase in the numbers of Palestinians being held in administrative detention
MEMO 16 Feb -- An Israeli human rights organization has stated that during 2011, the number of Palestinian administrative detainees held by the Israel authorities increased sharply. B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, noted that according to figures received from the Israel Prison Service, the number of Palestinian administrative detainees being held in Israel increased from 219 in January 2011, to 307 in December. In a press release published on its website, B'Tselem also noted that, "At the end of 2011, Israel was holding one minor in administrative detention." "Twenty-nine per cent of the detainees had been held for six months to one year; another 24 per cent from one to two years. Seventeen Palestinians had been in administrative detention continuously for two to four and a half years, and one man has been held for over five years."

Hamas slams Israeli attacks against elected MPs
IMEMC 17 Feb -- Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, issued a press release denouncing the Israeli army’s attacks against homes and officers of elected Palestinian legislators in the occupied West Bank ... On Thursday, Israeli troops broke into the homes of offices of elected legislators, members of Hamas’ Change and Reform Parliamentary bloc, in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. The army searched the office, and homes, of elected legislators Khaled Suleiman, Khaled Yahia, and Ibrahim Dahbour, and interrogated them while ransacking their property and belongings. The legislators were also interrogated in their own homes.

Qalqiliya TV producer released after 8 years in jail
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) -- A TV producer who spent eight years in Israeli jail was released on Thursday, and greeted by crowds at the entrance to West Bank town Qalqiliya. Yaqoub al-Hutari worked for Qalqiliya TV before Israeli forces detained him in 2004, on suspicion of belonging to leftist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Detainee mothers subjected to 'humiliating' search
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 17 Feb -- The mothers and families of Palestinian detainees from Bethlehem say they were exposed to "humiliating" strip searches while they were heading to Rimon prison on Thursday. The mother of Rabie Rabie, who is sentenced to life in prison, told Ma‘an that while the family was on its way for a visit, they were "humiliated" by the Israeli jailers, after they were made to undergo a strip search. Only 24 of 150 Palestinians were able to visit their relatives in the prison after a fist fight broke out between Israeli forces and the detainees after the search of the women, which made the forces cancel the visit.

Political developments

Haniyeh returns to Gaza after regional tour
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 16 Feb -- The prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, on Thursday arrived in the coastal enclave after his second tour which included Qatar, Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, and Egypt. Haniyeh said that some of the countries offered to provide fuel for Gaza in order to end the blackout. He added that he spoke with Egyptian officials who were positive about allowing fuel from any country into Gaza.

In Cyprus, Netanyahu urges natural gas cooperation with Israel
NICOSIA, Cyprus 17 Feb -- Benjamin Netanyahu paid a first-ever visit by an Israeli prime minister to Cyprus on Thursday, stressing the two countries' natural gas interests in the Mediterranean amid rising tensions with Turkey ... Hours before his arrival, the Turks threatened to bar the Cypriots from exploring in waters that Ankara says do not belong to Cyprus. During his visit, Netanyahu signed an agreement to permit Israeli aircraft to enter Cypriot airspace during an emergency or disaster. Despite Netanyahu's assurances that the deal addressed peaceful civilian needs, news agencies reported that the agreement included the establishment of a base for the Israel Air Force and a military alliance between the countries.

Other news

Australian groups accused of aiding PFLP-linked group
JPost 17 Feb -- Israel Law Center accuses World Vision Australia and AusAID of funding terrorism.

Analysis / Opinion

Hamas and the new Mideast puzzle / Sam Bahour
16 Feb -- Hamas, the Palestinian “Islamic Resistance Movement,” is on the move. Hamas is leaving Syria, where it has been based, making a pit stop in Jordan to mend affairs with King Abdullah II, declaring nonviolent resistance the preferred mode of struggle against Israeli occupation, signing (yet another) reconciliation agreement with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and lastly, planning to relocate its headquarters to the State of Qatar. All of this has happened in the span of a few weeks.

Will Palestinians see a unity government?
[with videos, cartoons] Al Jazeera 16 Feb -- Giving it another go, Fatah and Hamas struck a deal to form a unity government to prepare for elections in the West Bank and Gaza. As problems with the agreement already begin to emerge, it has been met with much scepticism by Palestinians who've witnessed previous attempts fail. In this episode of The Stream, we talk to Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, and Ali Abunimah, founder of the Electronic Intifada.

Israeli liberals: because of the Arabs / Michael Warschawski
AIC 16 Feb -- Ari Shavit, senior correspondent for Haaretz and a member of the newspaper's editorial board, is busy with apologetics for Israeli policy. And he is not alone ... No small part of Israeli public opinion, and that of the entire international community, knows that responsibility for failure of what is dubbed the peace process falls entirely on the shoulders of the various Israeli governments, from Peres through Netanyahu ... There were times when Israeli liberals didn’t hesitate to clearly say this. These times, however, have passed, and a recent article by Ari Shavit testifies to this. He writes, without blushing: “After Israel gave (?) the Palestinians the Gaza Strip, a first bus exploded in Dizengoff Center (Tel Aviv). After Israel gave the Palestinians Nablus and Ramallah, buses began exploding in Jerusalem and central Tel Aviv. After Israel offered the Palestinians the establishment of a sovereign state on a majority of the occupied territory – they responded with war and terror {…} After Israel retreated from southern Lebanon, a Shi‘ite missile base was established there which threatens every spot in Israel. After Israel left Gush Katif, an armed Hamastan was established in Gaza which attacked (Israel’s) south {…} ... This is not journalism or an opinion piece, but the cheapest type of propaganda possible.

from May 12, 2002:
Unholy war into the heart of darkness / Anthony Shadid
...Palestinians see that same conflict through the lens of occupation. While Israelis may fear walking their streets, Palestinians point out that they cannot even enter theirs. The curfews, the checkpoints, the overwhelming superiority of arms Israel wields, have produced the humiliation of occupation that is stretching into a second generation. Their uprising is a war for independence, a fight for statehood. They say that their critics chastise them without having endured the subjugation they know all too well.I saw my four days in Ramallah through the lens of dehumanization, the deprivation of humanity that this war inspires. Civilians are combatants in a conflict that has qualitatively changed from the intifadah I first covered.
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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