||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land theft / Settlements
West Bank Jews detained near torched Palestinian olive grove won't be
prosecuted. 'Affair a leftist provocation,' one of them says -- Human
rights group Yesh Din called the decision ' outrageous', saying it
constitutes a failure on the part of the prosecution and Israel Police
to enforce laws aimed at preventing "ideologically-motivated offenses"
against Palestinians in the West Bank.
26 Mar - From now on, I can never say I didn't know. This, thanks to
Hagit Ofran, director of Peace Now's "Settlement Watch," who spends four
hours schlepping us around East Jerusalem to see Palestinian properties
that have been expropriated by the Israeli government or by Jewish
settlers. We're a six-member delegation from Americans for Peace Now,
the U.S. counterpart of Ofran's group, and we've come to assess the
Violence / Clashes / Incursions
Israeli settlers attacked on Friday Rifqa Al
Kurd, 89, and her daughter Nadia, 50, in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in
East Jerusalem, the Maan News Agency reported. The attack took place
after nearly 200 residents and peace activists held a protest on Friday
evening demanding an end to the provocative attacks and violations
carried out by the settlers against the residents of East Jerusalem.
Ramallah, April 3, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) - Israeli occupation forces
broke into Abood Secondary School in west of Ramallah and tried to
detain number of its students under the pretext of throwing stones after
a day of killing one of the school students ... The school went in a
strike a day after an Israeli settler ran over a student in the school
and killed her intentionally.
medics found a body late Friday near the site of recent clashes along
the Israeli border fence in southern Gaza. The corpse, discovered in
Khuza'a, east of Khan Younis, was identified as Jihad Ei'tah Ad-Dughmah,
23, by medics at An-Nasser Hospital. Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades
said the man was killed in clashes eight days earlier during which two
Palestinians and two Israelis died.
Activism / Solidarity
the third week in a row, Palestinians, Israelis and internationals
marched toward Israel's separation wall in violation of military orders
declaring the areas closed.
A group of internationals, including two ISM activists, joined
supporters from Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank in assisting
the villagers of Qarawat Bani Hassan repair and rehabilitate the
historic natural springs which lie in the nearby Wadi Qana ... From
time immemorial they have been the source of water for those villagers
without their own wells ... Settlers routinely trespass onto village
lands and two weeks previously, in an act of deplorable vandalism,
emptied sacks of cement and steel mesh into one of the Roman-era tanks.
This followed upon the previous dynamiting of a nearby cave which, too,
contained a natural spring and pool.
After announcing the purchase of a new cargo
ship in Ireland, which will participate in a planned caravan to break
the blockade in Gaza, the Free Gaza movement received a message of
support from Palestinian Legislative Council memebr Jamal
El-Khoudary. El-Khoudary cheered the upcoming aid caravan to Gaza, which
he said will consist of a flotilla of between ten and twenty ships
filled with humanitarian aid meant to break the Israeli siege on the
Restriction of movement / Siege /
diabetic Palestinian died on Saturday after being prevented from
crossing the Al-Hamra military checkpoint in the Jordan Valley on
Saturday. Mohammad Damen Abed Al-Karim E'lieyat, 62, from the village
of Dir Abu Da'eef in Jenin was en route to Jordan but was barred from
transit. Ma'an's correspondent said E'lieyat made several attempts to
cross but was turned back by Israeli authorities who said that he was
unable to pass because he held French citizenship.
Hebrew word for the closure that the army imposes on Palestinian areas
around Jewish festivals, is the most frequent Palestinian holiday. The
West Bank celebrates seger night on Independence Day, Hanukkah, Purim
and the fall holidays - Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot - which
take up almost an entire month. And Gazans have been celebrating the
intermediate days of Passover for several years.
The festivities started as boy-scouts bands
played music and marched throughout the streets of Biet Sahour. People
of the town waited for the light to come from the church of the Holy
Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Today Israel deployed thousands of police
officers in the Jerusalem’s old city and around it. Police allowed only
limited number of people to the church of the Holy Sepulcher casting a
shadow over the festivities in Jerusalem.
Thousands of Palestinian pilgrims are celebrating Easter week's fire
ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre - which is built on
Christianity's holiest shrine in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, thousands of
Christians in the occupied West Bank are not being allowed to attend the
rituals because all Palestinians in the territory have been banned
by Israel from visiting the Holy city.
Nour Odeh reports from Jifna, a Christian majority village in Palestine -
on how many of them are raising their voices against Israel's
occupation, which continues to take away fundamental rights.
men broke through an Israeli police barricade which prevented them from
accessing the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, as discord over entry
policies was reported throughout the ancient district, including the
Christian Quarter and around the Roman Orthodox convent. Injuries were
reported among worshipers. Roman Orthodox patriarch says worshipers
barred from access to church -- Roman Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III
of Jerusalem said Saturday that "all of the people have the right to
access their holy site without harassment, to practice their traditions
that have been performed for hundreds of years without any obstacles."
Rumors abound about whether or not Palestinian Christians from the West
Bank will be able to access Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy
Sepulchre over Easter, as crossings into the city remain locked and a
general closure prevails on the West Bank. Access restrictions will be
implemented by several arms of the Israeli military, police and Border
Police units, many of which overlap or cancel each other out.
During a court appearance for the Palm Sunday detainees, released on
bail Thursday, an Israeli military judge rebuked the country's army for
the detention of Palestinians engaged in a peaceful protest. Judge Dahan
of the Ofer Military Court voiced his criticism of the actions taken by
police and prosecution, saying in his decision that "There is no
dispute that the march was not violent, and that no harm was done to
anyone or to property, except for the force used by police officers
during the arrests."
...The data suggests that 5.7 million liters of fuel was shipped in
March while in February, 6.3 million liters entered Gaza. The report
highlighted that the power station already suffered a 40-percent
shortage in diesel supplies reducing almost half of its generating
capacity. The report also pointed out that Gaza suffers from 35-percent
shortage in domestic gas deliveries.
Commercial crossings into Gaza will close Friday and Saturday, Israeli
officials told Palestinian liaison officers in the coastal enclave,
representative Raed Fattouh said. Although the crossing was closed an
extra day for Passover, several new items were permitted for transport
while the total number of truckloads entering the area remained low.
Israeli paper, Maariv, reported Friday that
for the first time since the siege was imposed by Israel on the Gaza
Strip more than three years ago, the Israeli government decided to allow
the entry of construction materials starting next week. The decision
would allow the entry of the much needed Iron, construction materials
and tools into the besieged and impoverished coastal region.
authorities on Thursday deported three Swedish citizens who arrived in
the country earlier that day in a delegation of seven young people with
Jewish and Palestinian roots. Two of the three women were born in Sweden
to Palestinian parents. The third was born in Syria, but immigrated to
Sweden at a young age and has never been in either the Occupied
Palestinian Territories or in Israel before. The three were put on a
plane back to Sweden after eight hours of questioning at Ben Gurion
Airport, by a number of different interrogators whose identities and
positions were never clarified. Four of the Jewish participants in the
delegation - two of whom hold dual Israeli and Swedish citizenship -
were permitted entry.
The Color Red anti-rocket alert system activated in the Ashkelon area
earlier Friday was a false alarm, the IDF said. According to earlier
reports, a Qassam rocket was launched at southern Israel from the Gaza
Strip Friday morning, and landed in an open area in the Ashkelon region
A mortar fired by Palestinians in north Gaza at around noon Saturday
landed in an open area near an Israeli community located in the Sha'ar
HaNegev Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported. Residents
reported hearing the shell explode, but the "Color Red" alert system
did not sound. The exact location of the mortar's landing site has yet
to be traced by security forces.
1 Apr - The Shin Bet security services have arrested an Israeli
Arab suspected of hurling explosive devices and firebombs at Jewish
towns in the North, it was revealed on Thursday.
Kabat Jabarin, a
31-year-old resident of Umm al-Fahm, was detained two weeks ago for
allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at the gate of the Mei Ami
community on March 16. Two nights later, he was arrested for hurling
another firebomb at a different community gate.
In a statement, Hamas said its members were detained in the West Bank
cities of Ramallah, Qalqiliya, Tulkarem, and Hebron. Some were
apprehended from their homes, while others were summoned for questioning
and detained upon arrival, Hamas said.
The Israeli army detained three Palestinians from the Old City of the
West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday ... Soldiers reportedly told them
that the detentions were made as the three attempted to remove a metal
fence installed in the area. Locals said the fence was being moved for
clearing work being carried out in the area, with Israeli forces
overlooking. The three detained were not participating in the clearing
effort, locals added.
Israeli forces reportedly seized a young Palestinian man from Huwwara,
south of Nablus, and injured two others with rubber-coated bullets near
the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday. Palestinian Authority
police said Israeli forces raided Huwwara and detained 20-year-old Alaa
Ma'moun Zawahra, 20, from Doha in Bethlehem, was sentenced to three
years and 50 months probation, as well as a 6,000-shekel fine. After his
uncle and three other Fatah and Islamic Jihad affiliates were
assassinated by Israeli forces operating in Bethlehem, the Israeli
prosecution appealed the decision. A court added an additional year onto
his sentence, which he served until Friday.
Israel has refused to release two Palestinian prisoners even though they
completed their sentences, the Popular Movement for the Support of
Prisoners and Palestinian Rights reported Friday ... All detainees held
under the law are automatically assumed to be a security threat and can
be held without charge or trial as long as hostilities against Israel
Israel's Arab helpers
April 3, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – The Egyptian security forces exploded a
tunnel in Gaza- Egypt border today ... opposite to Salah Al-Dain Gate
in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip.
Egyptian authorities on Friday released 17 Palestinians who were
detained for sneaking into Egypt last week, officials said, including 12
boys who were questioned about tunnel locations, leading to at least
has detained a high-profile bank officer on the charge of collaboration
with Israel, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported Saturday ...
According to Al-Akhbar, quoting security sources, the suspect admitted
he was recruited by Israeli intelligence in 2005. However, the report
asserted that until Friday, Lebanon had refused to reveal details about
A Palestinian teenager reportedly killed by Israeli forces has returned
home alive and well, his family said Friday. The Health Ministry in Gaza
reported Tuesday that Muhammad Zen Ismail Al-Farmawi, 15, was killed
when Israeli forces opened fire on a Land Day rally near the defunct
Yasser Arafat International Airport in Rafah. It turns out Al-Farmawi
was among 17 Palestinians detained by Egyptian forces shortly after the
infiltrated the Egyptian side of Rafah via one of Gaza's numerous
underground smuggling tunnels.
...An Egyptian security official said border guards have shot and
wounded five African migrants and arrested 15 others trying to cross
illegally into Israel. The official said the guards first fired warning
shots Saturday to stop the migrants from crossing the border south of
Rafah and at the al-Kontella crossing with Israel.
Egyptian guard was shot by a smuggler amid clashes along the
Israel-Egypt border on Friday, security sources said. The officer was
identified as Salameh Ibrahim, 22. He was hospitalized in Rafah with a
bullet wound to the leg. Fierce clashes erupted after Egyptian forces
discovered a group of African migrants approaching a fence at Israel's
Freedom of the Press?
RAMALLAH – An Israeli journalist remains under house arrest and another
lives abroad after they broke news on Israeli undercover units carrying
out assassinations or "targeted killings" of non-combatant Palestinian
political opponents. Anat Kam, 23, who used to work for the Israeli news
site Walla, was arrested last December for allegedly copying secret
Israeli Defense Force (IDF) documents during her compulsory military
service. These documents outlined how Israeli assassination squads would
plan the killing of Palestinian political leaders and fighters months
beforehand and then pass their deaths off as "mishaps" during "failed"
attempts to arrest them.
2 April - Anat Kam, 23, goes on trial
in two weeks on treason and espionage charges and could face up to 14
years in jail. A court-imposed gagging order, proposed by the state and
more recently by the defence, is preventing media coverage of the arrest
and charges in Israel.
press freedom group has called on Israel to rescind a gag order
preventing news media from reporting that a journalist, Anat Kam,
23, has been held under house arrest for almost four months. The Committee
to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Friday threw its support behind a group
of Israeli journalists who on 12 April will challenge the secret ban in
court, joining other free media advocates against censorship.
Reporters Without Borders reported that the
Israeli army is violating the freedom of press in the occupied
territories and repeatedly opened fire at them. At least eight
Palestinian reporters were wounded by Israeli army fire in March, in the
West Bank and in Jerusalem. It stated that these incidents “continue
without impunity”, and that the soldiers involved in the attacks are
rarely brought to justice, and that the superiors of the soldiers
endorse this violence.
This is Zionism
Yaniv Golan writes about Japanese-born friend kicked out of Israel
because she isn’t Jewish
developments / Diplomacy
The British Foreign Office expressed its concern over the IDF's attacks
on the Gaza Strip and the escalation of violence in the region,
according to British TV news channel, Sky News. In addition, Britain
called upon actors in the region to act with restraint.
says Israel has right to self-defense, but stresses that talks are only
solution to Mideastern conflict; State Department spokesman urges sides
to embark on proximity talks, 'focus on substance'
Bahar, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said
Saturday the US stance urging Israel and Hamas to end escalating
violence was biased toward Israel. "The US' dealing with Israel and
Hamas places them on an equal footing, putting criminal and victim in
the same category
Security Council Middle East Senior Director Dan Shapiro stressed to
American Jews that that the U.S. did not intend to insist that Israel
halt construction in East Jerusalem, and that the recent bout of tension
was a matter of bad timing which was overblown by the media.
Several high-profile former US officials, some with close ties to the
Obama administration, met with leaders of Hamas in recent months, an
American newspaper reported Friday. White House officials and
participants in the talks have emphasized that the meetings were not
sanctioned by Washington, nor has there been any change to US policy
toward Hamas, The Wall Street Journal reported.
A Palestinian Authority commission of inquiry has completed
its investigation into corruption and solicitation allegations against
former chief of staff Rafiq Al-Husseini, who stepped down in February.
The inquiry was charged with investigating corruption and abuse of
power, after Al-Husseini was shown on video allegedly soliciting sex in
exchange for employment. Details of the findings and recommendations
have yet to be revealed.
More than a year after Israel's military offensive in
Gaza, many Palestinians in the territory are still being killed or
injured by unexploded bombs and mortars left behind. A UN bomb disposal
team is now working to help clear the region of the danger. The team's
leader says they have found traces of white phosphorous - a highly toxic
chemical compound - in some of the explosives. Casey Kauffman reports
from Gaza on the highly challenging UN mission.
bus line that separates between men and women has begun operating in
Tel Aviv, odd news for many who consider it Israel's capital of
liberality and equality.
Opinion / Analysis
/ Human interest
The question always catches me off-guard. What doesn’t compel me to do
that? I teach students whose depth of experience is only matched by
their quest to learn. And as we go through each lesson, I feel that it
is I who am the student, sitting at the feet of those who offer their
wisdom and friendship unreservedly, despite my very different
background. Who entrust me with personal accounts of their lives in
occupied cities and villages, and with rational political views for
which they could be jailed. Facing the deepest of tensions, the most
stifling of conditions, their first impulse remains kindness, not
suspicion. They walk upright in an increasingly crooked world, and offer
their hospitality to me with pride and honor. I travel every Thursday,
using only Palestinian transportation.
Bilal al-Ahmar returned
home a few weeks ago. For nine years, he hadn't been back to his house,
on the outskirts of Bethlehem. His elderly mother now lives on the first
floor; the second floor is home to his brother Abed, Abed's wife,
Jewish American lawyer Allegra Pacheco, and their three children: Quds,
Jalil and Carmel. Pacheco's aunt lives not far away, in the settlement
of Efrat, and one of her cousins lives in nearby Alon Shvut. Abed and
Allegra, who is originally from New York, speak Hebrew to each other;
Allegra speaks English with the children and Abed speaks Arabic to
Delegitimization — it’s the new buzzword in the world of pro-Israel
activism. The term, used to describe a broad spectrum of anti-Israel
protests, has become a major rallying point for the American Jewish
community and is the up-and-coming cause for Jewish organizations. In
particular, supporters of this emerging advocacy effort point to
the campaign to boycott, divest from and sanction — BDS — Israel as a
primary marker distinguishing “delegitimizers” from genuine critics.
My earliest memory of the Land Day was when I was a
small child staying at my grandparents house in Dheisheh refugee camp.
That morning, the house was completely empty except for my grandmother,
my sister and me. After hearing the rain of bullets outside and being
told by a neighbour that the soldiers are shooting at school children,
my grandmother told my sister and me to stay in the bedroom and not
leave the house and went to the UNRWA school to protect the children. At
home, hearing the gun shots, the screams, the sounds of clashes
outside, my sister and I took refuge under the bed and I only left it
when I heard a big bang in the house and went to look what had happened;
a gas bomb had crashed into the house through the bathroom window and
had filled the whole house with suffocating gas.
Iraq, other Mideast
Excerpt: At least six Iraqis were killed and two more were wounded in
the latest violence Also, U.S. Navy Adm. The head of the Supreme Islamic
Iraqi Council (SIIC), Ammar al-Hakim, said that his party would not
participate in the new government without Iraqiya and are open to
aligning themselves with the Iraqiya list.
BAGHDAD, April 3 (Reuters) - Gunmen wearing
military uniforms stormed a Sunni Muslim village near Baghdad and killed
24 people, some of them former insurgents who turned against al Qaeda,
Iraqi authorities said on Saturday. The attackers may have been
pretending to be U.S. soldiers because they wore U.S.-style uniforms,
sunglasses, and spoke some English, according to an Iraqi military
source at the scene.
MOSUL, Iraq, April 2 (Reuters) - Twenty-three prisoners convicted of
terrorism charges escaped from a prison in Iraq's turbulent city of
Mosul on Friday, police said. The inmates fled through a hole they made
in a wall at Ghazlani prison in the southern area of the city, which is
an al Qaeda stronghold about 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad. The
escape happened in the morning but prison guards did not discover it
until the afternoon, police said.
Despite much being made of the so-called August timetable that would
spell an end to “combat” missions in Iraq and cut the US forces to about
50,000, SOCOM head Admiral Eric Olson today announced that this would
not affect his troops, which are involved in some of the heaviest
1 April 2010 (IRIN) - The Iraqi government has decided to cut by half
the number of items in state food aid parcels - something that could
affect roughly half the population, according to the Trade Ministry. In
future, parcels would contain only flour, rice, sugar, cooking oil and
women who wish to marry non-Saudi Muslims face social prejudice and
US, UK, other
...all these repressive measures have their root in what is now well
known to be "…one of the most elaborate systems of surveillance ever
seen in Britain" in the form of the government’s PREVENT programme, one
of the key agendas in its ‘counter-terrorism’ strategy. The programme
has been in operation in England since 2007 and promises to soon take
root in Scotland. This programme involves a massive intelligence drive,
it is inherently racist in nature, exclusively targeting Muslims and
viewing the Muslim community as ’suspect,’while Muslim opposition to the
War in Afghanistan is disingenuously linked to ‘violent extremism’
despite broader opposition.
03, 2010 — The UK government has introduced new legislation that makes
it mandatory for all non-EU passport holders to be able to speak English
fluently [already] in order to live in the UK. Officials say they are
cracking down on possible abuses of the visa system, but the move has
angered many of Britain's language schools and students, while critics
argue it could lose the country revenue. Al Jazeera's Emma Hayward
reports from London.
Fliers from abroad will be evaluated based on personal traits rather
than nationality -- Reporting from Washington - The Obama administration
will announce Friday a new screening system for flights to the United
States under which passengers who fit an intelligence profile of
potential terrorists will be searched before boarding their planes, a
senior administration official said.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda