Today in Palestine! ~ Thursday, 7 July 2011 ~

Land, property, resources, culture theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid

Candlelit rally in J’lem in solidarity with officials threatened with exile
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 6 July — Hundreds of Jerusalemite natives went on a candle march on Tuesday evening in solidarity with the three officials who are still facing a deportation order from their holy city issued by the Israeli occupation authority (IOA).  The protesters gathered in the soccer field of the neighborhood before heading to the Red Cross headquarters in the holy city where they held a candlelit vigil outside the building … The Red Cross building has become the home of two Jerusalemite lawmakers and one former minister since the IOA issued its arbitrary exile order against them last year.

IOF storm Issawiya area, violently attack its young men
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 7 July — A number of Palestinian young men from Issawiya district in occupied Jerusalem were badly wounded last night when an Israeli military force stormed their area all of a sudden and started to open fire at them. Eyewitnesses said one of the young men called Ahmed Al-Masri sustained a serious injury in his neck as he was near his workplace in the area …
In a separate incident, the IOF on Wednesday stormed Marda village in Salfit district and ransacked the house of a Palestinian detainee in Israeli jails. Eyewitnesses said Israeli troops violently raided the house of prisoner Rami Suleiman and smashed its furniture after they locked up all members of his family in one room for nearly two hours. The mother of prisoner Suleiman suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of the violent raid and was taken to a hospital in Nablus city to receive medical care. The IOF also kidnapped Hosam Suleiman, a student at Annajah university, from his home in Marda village. Another family in the same village was handed a summons from the invading troops ordering their 19-year old son, Qutaiba Rasmi, to meet intelligence officers for interrogation.

Rebuilding Al Hadidiya (video included)
JVS 6 July — Today activists from the Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign joined the community of Al Hadidya as they pitched new tents, replacing ones that had been destroyed 2 weeks ago by the Israeli Occupation Forces. Six tents were distributed to four different families affected by the demolitions, and errected meters from where their former tents stood. The families have remained steadfast on their land despite repeated attempts to displace them, and continue to rebuild despite repeated demolitions … Al Hadidya is located in the northern Jordan Valley between the illegal settlements Ro’i and Beka’ot, which were built partly on their farmland.

South Africa ASA ruling: Israel can be labeled an apartheid state
Johannesburg (PNN) 7 July — Earlier this week in a bold statement against Israel, South Africa’s media watchdog the ‘Advertising Standards Agency’ (ASA), dismissed complaints relating to an advert of 5fm radio that called for a boycott of Israel while comparing Israel to Apartheid South Africa. The advert aired in South Africa in February this year, starred Dave Randall, lead guitarist of the band Faithless, where he stated: “Twenty years ago I would not have played in apartheid South Africa; today I refuse to play in Israel. Be on the right side of history. Don’t entertain apartheid. Join the international boycott of Israel.” As a result an official complaint was filed to ASA by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), expressing that the adverts claim that Israel was an Apartheid State was “untrue, not supported by any evidence… and contains a lie which amounts to false propaganda.” This week the ASA completely dismissed every complaint made by SAJBD against the advert.


PA report: Israeli settler violence on the rise
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an/AFP) 7 July — Israeli settler violence against Palestinians increased “dramatically” in June, according to a Palestinian Authority report released Wednesday. The report documented 139 attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank by the Israeli army and settlers during the month, including the demolition of 95 buildings and over 3,600 olive trees and vines. Fires in the villages of Madama on Tuesday, and in Aqraba on Monday, both near Nablus, were also attributed to settler violence, the report said … A spokesperson from the Palestinian government media center said the incidents “are part of a campaign to terrorize Palestinian farmers and their families. When settlers destroy trees by burning or bulldozing, they are destroying a family’s means of earning its living.” The spokesperson highlighted poor accountability for settler violence saying “such attacks are so frequent that the Israeli authorities must be able to take action if they choose to. But there is little evidence of settlers being brought to justice. They seem to be above Israeli law.”
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP he was unaware of any statistics indicating a rise in violence in the West Bank.”Any reports of violence, whether by settlers or by Palestinians, is investigated and dealt with after an official complaint is received,” he said. Annual figures compiled by Israeli rights group Yesh Din about complaints of settler offenses have repeatedly shown that nine out of 10 police investigations fail to lead to a prosecution.

More than a half million settlers in West Bank, East Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 7 July — The Israeli Population Registry said Thursday that there are more than 334,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank. According to Israeli media outlets, data suggests that the greatest hike in settler population was recorded in Kiryat Sever. But the figure does not include settlements surrounding occupied Jerusalem. The latest data shows that nearly 180,000 Jews have settled there, placing the number of Jewish settlers in the territories occupied after 1967 at over a half million.

Violence / Incursions

IOF soldiers advance hundreds of meters [into the] south of Gaza Strip
KHAN YOUNIS (PIC) 7 July — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) advanced hundreds of meters to the east of Khan Younis on Thursday morning amidst indiscriminate shooting and firing of smoke bombs. Local sources told the PIC reporter that IOF troops in a number of army tanks and military bulldozers infiltrated 300 meters east of Abasan Al-Kabira and bulldozed the area amidst random firing of live bullets. The sources said that the soldiers were bulldozing land along the border fence and were heading southwards toward Khuza‘a village in the vicinity of Khan Younis.

Israeli soldier injured by explosion in Gaza
GAZA (Ma‘an) 7 July 16:08 — An explosion in Khan Younis lightly injured an Israeli soldier Thursday morning, Israeli media reported. Five Israeli tanks and several bulldozers entered approximately 300 meters into the southern Gaza governorate, witnesses said. Israeli daily Haaretz reported that an explosive device planted near the soldiers tank had exploded causing shrapnel wounds.

Fatah group claims responsibility for Gaza explosion
GAZA (Ma‘an) 7 July 21:57 — An armed group affiliated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs brigade, the armed wing of Fatah, claimed responsibility on Thursday for detonating an explosive charge near Israeli armored vehicles in Khan Younis, southern Gaza.

Israeli forces surround Jenin refugee camp
JENIN (Ma‘an) 7 July — Israeli forces entered Jenin Thursday morning, surrounding the city’s refugee camp, locals said Thursday, noting that no detentions were reported. Police told Ma‘an that 15 Israeli military vehicles approached Jenin camp and surrounded it for around an hour, before withdrawing without any house raids or detentions.


Egypt to increase passenger numbers at Rafah crossing
GAZA (Ma‘an) 7 July — The Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Gaza Strip Mohammad Awad said Thursday that the government has received assurances from Egyptian officials that the country will begin increasing the volume of passengers using the Rafah crossing. “The problem of the crossing was presented to more than one official in the Egyptian government, the military council, intelligence and ministry of foreign affairs, who promised to help in gradually increasing the number.” … The Egyptians did not set a deadline for completing improvements to the Rafah crossing.

In Pictures: Women of Gaza
AJE 6 July — Despite the devastation Palestinians of the Gaza Strip have faced due to the ongoing Israeli siege and occupation, an elegant community spirit prevails. Life continues, as do traditions and self-respect – resistance to suffering has become standard. Women are continuing to care for their families, striving for education and pursuing careers. This is a look at the everyday lives of women in Gaza.

There’s more to Gaza than broken slabs of concrete / Sami Kishawi
[photos] EI 7 July — …Decades of occupation, years of siege, and intermittent invasions are typically employed as subject headers for most reporting about the Gaza Strip. But despite how these topics represent one very dominating aspect of life in Gaza, they inexcusably ignore the more uplifting aspects of reality including Gaza’s cultural vibrancy, its territory-wide coziness, and its population’s sheer resiliency in resisting the oppression that constantly befalls it … When was the last time you saw photographs of Gaza’s rooftops and its glowing night lights? When was the last time you read an article on a businessman’s success story in Gaza? Have you ever even heard of the Thai stir-fry with an Arab twist served in the busy al-Rimal district of Gaza City to hungry bystanders? These are the questions I face from Gaza’s city-dwellers on a daily basis and these are the questions that journalists and news agencies should really begin to consider and incorporate in their reportage of life in the Gaza Strip.

Remembering Vittorio Arrigoni  — Stay Human summer camp
ISM 7 July — At Vittorio’s funeral in Gaza the crowds chanted “Viktor is with the fisherman, Viktor is with the farmers”, Vittorio is still with the people of Gaza. He lives on in their hearts. He has been honored with a football tournament in Rafah, with a street in Gaza, with a school in the Jordan Valley, but I think that perhaps the honor that would be closest to his heart is the Vittorio Arrigoni — Stay Human summer camp in Beit Hanoun. Vittorio had worked in Beit Hanoun his entire time in Gaza. Riding in ambulances during Cast Lead and supporting the weekly demonstrations against the buffer zone since then. The Fursan Al Ghad Youth Center honored him by naming their summer camp in his honor

UNRWA: Name has not changed
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 July — An UNRWA spokesperson said Thursday that the Palestinian refugee agency has not changed its name, after reports of a new title sparked protests in Gaza on Tuesday. Adnan Abu Hasnah said the only change was a logo update which actually added the term UNRWA, in English and Arabic, to the image.


Children not exempt from widespread torture in Israeli detention
EI 6 July — Sleep-deprived and suffering from a broken leg, 16-year-old Muhammad Halabiyeh endured days of torture at the hands of Israeli soldiers and police officers, who punched him repeatedly in the face and abdomen, shoved needles into his hand and leg and threatened the Palestinian teenager with sexual abuse. Arrested near his home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis in February 2010, Halabiyeh confessed after days of abuse and torture to the charge that he threw a Molotov cocktail at an Israeli army base. More than one year after his arrest, which was spent in Israeli custody, Halabiyeh was found guilty in an Israeli military court. His conviction came despite the fact that the Israeli military judge in his case stated that she believed the teenager was tortured. However, the judge argued that there was no evidence that his confession was the direct result of the torture he endured..

Group says three detainees placed in solitary confinement
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 6 July — Three Palestinians in Israeli custody were placed in solitary confinement Tuesday, a prisoners rights group said, as Israel stripped detainees of privileges under new guidelines. Rawhi Mishthi, Atef Al-Masri and Hassan Fayyad were placed in solitary confinement at the Hadarim prison in line with a new policy of pressuring Hamas by placing supporters under stress, the detainees center said.

Report: The number of children kidnapped this year markedly rose
RAMALLAH (PIC) 7 July — Ansar Al-Asra (advocates for prisoners) society said it documented the detention of 1,552 Palestinian citizens in the first half of this year, including 215 children. According a report released by the society on Thursday, there was a marked increase in the kidnapping of Palestinian minors this year and their number rose to 350 children. 19 Palestinian lawmakers from Hamas Movement were also among the detainees who were kidnapped during this year.

Israeli forces arrest daughter of Al-Bireh mayor
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 6 July — “Israel’s army has arrested Bushra Al-Tawil, 18, daughter of Jamal Al-Tawil, Mayor of Al-Bireh, after raiding her family home in the Um Ash-Sharayet neighborhood in Al-Bireh,” a researcher from the organization Ahmed Al-Beitawi said. Israeli soldiers raided the house and seized computers and personal documents, before taking Bushra to the Russian compound for interrogation. Bushra Al-Tawil had finished her Tawjihi, or general secondary, exams two days ago, Al-Beitawi said. Israeli forces had arrested her father, the current mayor of Al-Bireh, during the first Intifada. Jamal Al-Tawil was detained for several months under administrative detention without being charged.

Soldiers seize Palestinian in raid on Bethlehem camp
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 July — Israeli forces detained a young man at dawn Wednesday in the occupied West Bank. Abdul Qader Al-Zighari, 24, of Duheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, was detained, his brother Ali said. An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma‘an the army arrested four Palestinians in the West Bank overnight.

Israeli military court sends MP Zeidan to administrative detention
RAMALLAH (PIC) 7 July — An Israeli military court on Wednesday transferred Palestinian lawmaker from Hamas Abdulrahman Zeidan to administrative detention for six months … The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped MP Zeidan from his home in Deir Ghusun village, northeast of Tulkarem, earlier last month and locked him in Megiddo jail.
The same Israeli court also ordered on the same day the administrative detention of senior Hamas official Nazih Abu Aoun and his son-in-law Ahmed Malaysha for six months. Abu Aoun and his son-in-law were kidnapped a few days ago from their home and taken to Megiddo prison.

Tamimi still on hunger strike
GAZA (PIC) 7 July — The Waed society for prisoners affirmed that the Palestinian prisoner Ahlam Al-Tamimi was still on hunger strike for the 9th day running insisting on meeting all her demands. Former prisoner and board member of Waed Samar Subaih told the PIC on Thursday that news reports that Tamimi ended her hunger strike were not true.

Israeli Druze sentenced to 8 months in prison for violence on Naksa Day
Haaretz 7 July — A Nazareth court sentenced a Majdal Shams resident to eight months in prison for hurling rocks at Israeli security forces on Naksa Day, June 5th. The resident of the northern Druze village, 37-year-old Nasser Shaer, was also fined 2,500 shekels.

Nablus court sentences man to 7 years for ‘aiding enemy’
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 7 July — A Nablus court sentenced a man to seven years imprisonment and hard labor on Thursday for collaboration with Israel. The man, identified only as A.J. from Nablus in the northern West Bank, was charged with aiding the Israeli military since 2005. Public Prosecutor’s Office representative Hussam Khalaf said the man was charged under article 110 of the Penal Code of 1960.

Security arrests longest running spy in Gaza Strip
GAZA (PIC) 7 July — Security services have arrested the longest running Israeli agent in the Gaza Strip, security sources said. The agent, A.H., is in his fifties and has been spying for Israel for the past 23 years after returning from a neighboring Arab state, Al-Majd security site said, quoting sources. The source said A.H. continued to cooperate with Israeli intelligence during this period. He also frequently travelled to the West Bank and Arab countries. According to the sources, A.H. held several sensitive and prestigious positions in the former authority and had links with leading figures in one Palestinian organization.


French boat to Gaza blocked in Crete
JERUSALEM (AFP) 7 July  — A lone French yacht carrying activists hoping to run the Israeli blockade on Gaza was on Thursday blocked in Crete by the Greek coast guard when it stopped to refuel, an organizer said. “The Dignite/Al Karama was taken to Sitia in Crete by the Greek coast guard after being stopped in a nearby port while it was refueling,” Claude Leostic told AFP by telephone from Paris. “The authorities are stopping the boat from setting sail for various administrative reasons,” Leostic said. The boat, which is carrying 12 pro-Palestinian activists, had sneaked out of a Greek port early on Tuesday

Second flotilla ship sets sail to Gaza
ATHENS (PIC) 7 July 09:14 — A Swedish-Norwegian ship [Juliano] has managed to set sail to Gaza as the second ship on Freedom Flotilla II despite an official ban that Greek authorities have enforced on the flotilla’s vessels, the European campaign to end the siege on Gaza has reported. That was after the crew managed to repair the ship’s propeller, which was sabotaged by men suspected of having links with the Israeli Mossad. The ECESG, a key flotilla organizer, said in a press statement that technicians have repaired the damage and the crew has been able to meet onerous conditions Greek authorities have set on the ship’s sailing to Gaza to challenge Israel’s maritime siege of the tiny coastal enclave.

In dealing with the flotilla, Israel is anything but smart / Amira Hass
Haaretz 7 July — Outsourcing, aggressive and vocal diplomacy and ridiculous lies thwarted the flotilla, but they have not taken Gaza off the international agenda.

Flotilla report delayed at Turkey’s behest
Ynet 7 July —  Though an inquiry committee investigating the 2010 flotilla has already drawn conclusions, the UN has agreed to postpone its due date for the report until Turkey and Israel come to an agreement on its content, Israeli officials say. The request to delay the report came from Turkey. Its findings, some of which have already been published, indicate that Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip is legal as well as its raid of the Mavi Marmara.,7340,L-4092602,00.html

Fly-in / Flytilla / Flightilla

Tourism Ministry launches ‘Welcome Mat’ initiative
Ynet 7 July 11:34 —  Following the near military operation-style preparations for the foreign activists “Gaza fly-in” to Ben Gurion International Airport, the Tourism Ministry announced Thursday that it was “preparing to welcome the thousands of tourists expected to arrive in Israel this weekend.” The ministry also said that the Ben Gurion Airport branch of the Tourism Ministry would be reinforced by additional employees who will welcome the tourists with flowers and explanatory pamphlets.,7340,L-4092282,00.html

Incoming tourists receive flowers
Ynet 7 July 23:47 — One tourist hopes some flowers are saved for fly-in activists, ‘to show them Israel is not just scary’ — Representatives of Israel’s Tourism Ministry handed out flowers to people arriving in Ben Gurion International Airport Thursday evening, as promised earlier by Minister Stats Misezhnikov. Incoming passengers mainly appeared bewildered by the gesture,7340,L-4092632,00.html

Israel police decrease presence at airport after pro-Palestinian activists stopped abroad
Haaretz 7 July 22:57 — Police believe most of the 300 pro-Palestinian activists blacklisted by Israel to be prevented from flying at airports abroad; Israel security forces lower state of alert — The first wave of activists is due to arrive between 1 A.M. and 4 A.M. overnight Thursday, but police believe only a small number of activists will actually be arriving …
France’s foreign ministry expressed concern about the risk of clashes between activists and Israeli security forces if the former reached their destination. “France is worried by the risk of incidents and clashes that could develop at Tel Aviv airport on Friday,” spokesman Bernard Valero said in a statement. [How nice to know they are so concerned for activists’ welfare — just like the Greek gov’t with the flotilla.]

Israel instructs foreign airlines to prevent departure of 300 pro-Palestinian activists
Haaretz 7 July 19:07 — Transportation Ministry hands foreign airlines blacklist of 300 passengers who will be refused entry to Israel; move may prevent activists from reaching IsraelThus far, no activists were known to be prevented from boarding flights abroad, but most of the flights are only expected to depart on Thursday night. “This event will end with either no problems or as a catastrophe. There will not be a middle ground,” a senior official at Ben-Gurion International Airport told Haaretz. He said that it only takes about 30 activists to make a scene at the airport for media outlets to widely report on it and thus hand the activists their victory. A senior official at a European airline told Haaretz that this was an unprecedented request on Israel’s part. “In the past we have gotten one or two names that authorities had banned their entry,” he said. “This move is problematic because if we receive an updated list later on, we will have to fly back the plane at the expense of other passengers who had purchased regular tickets.” On Thursday at 10 P.M., a military command post will be opened at Ben-Gurion, in order to directly tend to the pro-Palestinian activists expected to arrive over the weekend.

Israel bars 300 activists from flying to Israel
Ynet 7 July 18:34 — Ahead of fly-in, state issues blacklist of pro-Palestinian activists blocked from boarding Israel-bound flights. Organizer says airlines complying, cites emails sent to passengers canceling trips ‘as per Israel’s instructions’ .. .Israel told the airlines that the blacklisted individuals, most of whom come from France, are unauthorized to enter the state … One organizer, Nicholas Shashani, told Ynet that an airline official told them that she was following the Israeli Interior Ministry’s orders, and showed them the list of barred individuals. Shashani claimed that they filed a complaint with police at the airport.,7340,L-4092539,00.html

Gaza fly-in organizers thank Bibi for PR
Ynet 7 July — Left wing activists and the organizers of the planned pro-Palestinian fly-in to Ben Gurion Airport thanked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch for the extensive publicity their endeavor has been garnering in the global media.  “We should be thanking Netanyahu because without him this wouldn’t have worked,” one of the fly-in organizers said Thursday. “If we would have paid thousands of shekels in PR it would not have worked our so well,” he added.,7340,L-4092447,00.html

Political / Diplomatic / International news

US renews objections to Palestinian statehood bid
WASHINGTON (AFP) 7 July — The United States warned Palestinians against seeking UN recognition of a future state not first defined in talks with Israel, as a top Palestinian official met with US diplomats. “We don’t see a contradiction between the efforts being exerted to revive the peace process and our bid to go to the UN,” senior PLO official and former chief negotiator Saeb Erakat told reporters after his talks at the US State Department.
Amid the diplomatic tussling, the US House of Representatives churned towards voting by week’s end on a symbolic resolution warning the Palestinians they risk US aid cuts if they pursue their plans at the United Nations. The House was expected to overwhelmingly back the measure authored by Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Democratic House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer just one week after the Senate passed a similar resolution.
The resolution also urges Obama to consider suspending aid to the Palestinian Authority pending a view of a unity deal between president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the rival faction Hamas. “Any Palestinian unity government must publicly and formally forswear terrorism, accept Israel’s right to exist, and reaffirm previous agreements made with Israel,” it says.

Abbas postpones formation of unity government in bid to appease Western allies
Haaretz/AP 7 July — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may hold off on the formation of a unity government with the Islamic militant group Hamas to avoid alienating his Western allies ahead of a UN vote on statehood, a senior PLO official said Thursday.

Netanyahu falls short of securing Bulgarian pledge against Palestinian UN bid
Reuters 7 July — PM meets with Bulgarian counterpart in Sofia, commends him on Bulgaria’s Holocaust record in effort to buttress Balkan bonds ahead of UN vote on Palestinians state in September.

Turkmenistan rejects Israeli ambassador, says he is ‘Mossad spy’
Haaretz 6 July — Turkmen Foreign Ministry says Israel’s designated ambassador Haim Koren’s past employment as instructor at the National Security College is proof of his involvement in espionage…This follows Turkmenistan’s refusal in late 2009 to accept Israel’s first candidate, Reuven Daniel, who had served in the Mossad in the past.

China grants Israeli envoy honorary citizenship
Ynet 6 July — Mayor of Chengdu holds ceremony for Amos Nadai, first foreign ambassador ever to be given such honor … The ties between both countries grew stronger following the devastating earthquake that took place in China in 2008, when Israel helped out with the rehabilitation efforts. Last November the relations between Israel and the city of Chengdu peaked when the Chinese celebrated “Israel Week.”,7340,L-4092082,00.html

US: Israel included in terror watch list by mistake
WASHINGTON (Ynet) 7 July – Israeli diplomats stationed in the United States was surprised to discover that Israel was one of 36 countries included in a new Homeland Security terror watch list.  The list, which was attached to a May 10 document from the DHS Inspector General’s office, also included a number of other close US allies such as Turkey, Bahrain, Morocco and Philippines.,7340,L-4092186,00.html

Other news

MADA reports 13 violations against journalists in occupied territories last month
Ramallah (PNN) 7 July — The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) has reported today that it monitored 13 violations against journalists during the month of June. The occupying Israeli army was the main perpetrator of the violations; however violations from the Palestinian security services also exist. The Israeli occupying force was involved in arresting, detaining, assaulting and preventing travel of journalists. Such abuses greatly obstruct journalists from doing their work.[Details of some violations follow]

PCBS: Graduate unemployment improving, but slowly
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) 7 July — …The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said 44.8 percent of Palestinians who completed university degrees were not in employment, an improvement on the 2009 figure of 47 percent.

British documents reveal Begin refused entry to UK in 1950s
Haaretz 7 July — Britain refused to allow Menachem Begin, “leader of the notorious terrorist organisation Irgun,” to visit London in the 1950s, documents released by Britain’s National Archives this week reveal.

Ministers facing corruption charges could lose immunity
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 7 July — The Palestinian Authority anti-corruption chief announced Thursday that the legal immunity of several ministers has been removed to make way for corruption charges. Head of the anti-corruption commission Rafiq An-Natsheh told state radio broadcaster Voice of Palestine that President Mahmoud Abbas supported the move in order to end corruption in the government. A number of ministers are accused of presiding over financial and administrative mismanagement, unfair hiring policies, and pilfering ministerial budgets for their own use, An-Natsheh said.

Leak causes Negev’s worst ever environmental disaster
Ynet 7 July — Ministry takes out work cessation order against Eilat-Askelon Pipeline Company, they in turn disavow responsibility following jet fuel leak that ravaged Nahal Zin nature reserve … The Environmental Protection Ministry and the Nature and Parks Authority estimate that the leak reached a depth of up to 5 meters in some places. As for the restoration process, current estimations see the need for the removal of tens of thousands of cubic meters of contaminated soil from the area.,7340,L-4092220,00.html

Analysis / Opinion

East Jerusalem suffers heroin plague / Kieron Monks
AJE 6 July — Activists fight to save addicts in towns without prospects or security — “I didn’t think I would ever stop”, Abu Salah tells the circle. “After 14 years of buying and selling, hashish, heroin and cocaine, I had lost control of my life. I had no job. I would never speak to my family.” His story, and the clinic we are sitting in, is an indication of how Palestine’s drug problem is fast becoming a crisis. The towns in and around East Jerusalem have become breeding grounds for addiction, made vulnerable by poverty and a lack of security. Unlike neighbouring Egypt and Lebanon, Palestine has no historic connection with the drugs trade. Its arrival has been sudden and spectacular, with heroin in particular spreading like wildfire. Al Quds University estimates there are over 6,000 addicts in East Jerusalem today, compared with 300 in 1986. In the town of Al Ram, pressed up against Israel’s Separation Barrier, degradation has set in. Once a lively suburb of Jerusalem, since 2006 it has been locked out by the Barrier, which surrounds it on three sides. The effect of this sudden disconnection from the city has been devastating. One-third of all businesses have been forced to close, 75 per cent of youths under 24 are unemployed, and around half of the town’s 62,000 residents have been denied the ID they require to enter Jerusalem. Al Ram, like neighbouring Abu Dis and Al Ezzariya, has been left in limbo … Addressing the supply to Palestinians is problematic, given the lack of autonomy in and around Jerusalem. It is a widely held belief among Palestinians that the Israeli authorities encourage addiction in Arabs, in a conspiratorial effort to undermine their national aspirations. While such a claim is impossible to prove, and likely exaggerated, there is little effort from Israeli police to halt the supply to Arabs. The same dealers can be seen in plain sight day after day.

What is the ‘right’ type of resistance? / Ibrahim Shikaki
AJE 6 July — Media coverage of the Palestinian resistance movement is shaped to fit the Western narrative of nonviolence — Over the past few months, several international media outlets have published articles fixating on the so-called “new” Palestinian nonviolent movement. Two fallacies have accompanied such reporting and analysis. First the use of the term “nonviolent” and its connotations; and second, the narrative surrounding the movement. Unfortunately, the source of these articles is often respected media outlets that have reported fairly on the Palestinian cause, including Al Jazeera English.The latest articles in the series are Al Jazeera English’s “Green shoots emerge at Qalandia checkpoint”,  the Economist blog’s “Here comes your non-violent resistance”,  and Time magazine’s “Palestinian Border Protests: The Arab Spring model for confronting Israel”.  The articles are replete with quotes such as “but the traditional resistance of burning tires and throwing stones will not change overnight. We need to give the world a picture of nonviolent Palestinian resistance”, and “we’re going to continue marching in nonviolence until it is very clear in the international media who is violating human rights”.

Human dignity in Jerusalem / Rashid Khalidi
Jadaliyya 5 July — The lengthy history of Jerusalem is distinguished by diverse episodes of both benevolent tolerance and inhumane intolerance. For several lengthy periods, such as most of the nineteenth century, a spirit of coexistence generally characterized the holy city. On too many other occasions, it witnessed sectarian persecution and cruel massacres. Two of the most horrific of these episodes took place after Jerusalem was captured following a prolonged siege, once by the Persians in 614 CE, and again by the Crusaders in 1099. In both cases, the victors slaughtered thousands of the city’s residents. An area adjacent to the ancient Mamilla Pool west of the city walls of Jerusalem was the scene of the first of these massacres, as well as the burial site of its victims. This place of carnage subsequently became the most reputed Muslim burial place in Palestine, the Maman Allah (Mamilla) Cemetery. Thus the Los Angeles based Simon Wiesenthal Center’s ongoing project to build a “Center for Human Dignity,” or alternatively the “Museum of Tolerance,” on part of the Mamilla cemetery is not the first indignity that this venerable site has witnessed. This construction project has continued in spite of repeated protests by Palestinians and Israelis, and two unsuccessful litigation attempts in Israeli courts.

Inside Torah Hamelech, the Jewish extremist terror tract endorsed by state-employed rabbis / Max Blumenthal
[with VIDEO] 7 July — Why is Torat Hamelech so explosive? Yuval Dror, an Israeli journalist and academic, excerpted some of the book’s most incendiary passages. What appeared was Jewish exclusivism in its most extreme form, with non-Jews deemed permissible to kill, or Rodef, for the most inconsequential of wartime acts, including providing moral support to gentile armies. The book is a virtual manual for Jewish extremist terror designed to justify the mass slaughter of civilians. And in that respect, it is not entirely different from the Israeli military’s Dahiya Doctrine, or Asa Kasher and Amos Yadlin’s concept of “asymmetrical warfare.” The key difference seems to be the crude, almost childlike logic the book’s author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, marshals to justify the killing of non-Jewish civilians. Here are passages from Torat Hamelech, as excerpted by Dror and translated by Dena Bugel-Shunra:


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