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Life under occupation

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The Northern Jordan Valley: A Testimony to the Ongoing Nakba Isra Ghourani - IMEMCnews - 05/15/19 (WAFA) – In the early morning hours, the residents of Humsa al-Fawqa village, in the northern Jordan Valley, carry few supplies as they leave their homes by foot after being ordered to evacuate their tent encampments, to make room for Israeli military exercises. This scene brings to mind the Nakba, Arabic for catastrophe, a term used to refer to the tragedy that befell the Palestinian people in 1948, whereby the Palestinian people lost their homeland as Israel was created on their land and in their houses, after they were forcibly expelled, or fled, from their homes and became refugees.-rh21/5/2019
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A single democratic state offers the best path forward for Palestinians and IsraelisBen White - Middle East Eye - The end of the two-state framework is not due to a "point of no return" in the settler population or the actions of "extremists on both sides," but because of an Israeli rejection of Palestinian sovereignty and self-determination. The issue, in other words, is politics, not practicalities. Attempts to negotiate a settlement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have always come up short, for a simple reason: the Israeli maximum on offer does not come close to the minimum Palestinians can accept.-rh21/5/2019
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Israeli legal experts join Druze against Nationality Law Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - The Druze do not have a political lobby to help them present an ultimatum to the prime minister to change the Nationality Law. An effort by Brig. Gen. (res.) Amal Asad, one of the leaders of the Druze protest against the law, failed to pressure various political parties to include an amendment to the Nationality Law on their platforms on the eve of the April 9 election. The only promise he received was from Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz, but it is doubtful that from his likely place in the opposition that Gantz can effect the commitment. Asad did not, however, despair.-rh 21/5/2019
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Soldiers confiscate a... garbage truck IMEMC - Israeli soldiers confiscated, Tuesday, a garbage truck owned by the local council of Rojeeb village, east of Nablus. The soldiers stopped the truck near the dump area. They detained the driver and workers for a short while, and released them after confiscating the truck. No explanation was given, soldiers on the West Bank are under no obligation of explaining their acts to Palestinians (or to anyone). However, the confiscation took place near the Israeli settlement of Itamar, whose inhabitants are considered especially fanatic and violent and are known to be egging on the army to take steps against the Palestinians. [ak]21/5/2019
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Palestinians reject US economic peace summit in Bahrain, say they won’t attendTimes of Israel - The White House announced a June 25-26 conference in Bahrain, focusing on economic aspects of the long-delayed peace plan, with the declared aim of "achieving Palestinian prosperity". Trump adviser Kushner did say that “Economic progress can only be achieved if the core political issues are resolved,” but did not state when the Trump Administration plans to unveil its position on these core political issues. Given a series of American acts blatantly supporting the Netanyahu positions, the Palestinians are apprehensive that these positions fall far short of an independent Palestinian state, and that the aim of the Baharein conference is to bribe them into giving up their national aspirations: “We were not consulted by any party on the announced meeting to take place in Bahrain. There will be no Palestinian participation. Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel.” Palestinian businessman Bashar al-Masri said he had been invited to the conference, but would not attend.“We will not work with any event outside the Palestinian national consensus,” he said on Facebook.[ak] 21/5/2019
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Why ceasefires failDaoud Kuttab - Arabic Media Internet Network - In the Palestinian- Israeli experience, the overwhelming military power of Israel, and its arrogance in believing that it is the only democracy in the region, have led to the repeated refusal by Israel to have any neutral observers on the ground. The only exception to this occurred a quarter century ago, when an Israeli soldier, named Baruch Goldstein, entered Al Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and gunned down 29 Palestinian worshipers in the early hours of February 25, 1994. At that time, Israel’s prime minister Yitzhaq Rabin agreed to the presence of unarmed international observers in the centre of the city of Hebron, where tensions were the greatest between the militant Jewish settlers and the local Palestinian population. On February 1 of this year, the settler-dominated government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Temporary International Presence in Hebron to leave.-rh 21/5/2019
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The continuing farce of Israeli justiceYotam Ben-Hillel - Mondoweiss "Whether it is in Area C of the West Bank, or the illegally annexed East Jerusalem, the message coming from the Israeli so-called liberal judiciary is the same: do not expect us to stand in the way of the Israeli expansion objectives. " ca20/5/2019
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Health Ministry: “Israeli Soldiers Injured 65 Palestinians, Including 22 Children In Gaza”IMEMC - "Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, said one of the injured Palestinians is in a serious condition, in addition to 15 who suffered moderate wounds and 49 who were mildly injured. He added that 22 of the wounded Palestinians are children, and five are women, and said that the soldiers also targeted medics, wounding three with rubber-coated steel bullets." - id17/5/2019
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TOUCHING PHOTOGRAPHS : May 11, 2019 Bi’r al-‘Id, Susya, Wadi SwaidMARGARET OLIN text David Shulman - Army and police swarming all over the roads. Just a week ago they arrested seventeen activists (out of 120) who were fixing the road to Bi’r al-‘Id. Now, still early morning, a car stops beside us. The officer, bored, irascible, dazed, asks what we’re doing. We say, We’re watching over Ahmad and his goats, as we often do.-rh 14/5/2019
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Military Court Watch: Newsletter - April 2019Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 March 2019 there were 5,197 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in detention facilities including 215 children (12-17 years). In the case of children there was a 5% increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 23% compared with 2018. These figures include 2 children held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 47% of child detainees were forcibly transferred and/or unlawfully detained in Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention in March.-rh 14/5/2019
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Ex-IDF chief said to warn Trump envoy of West Bank violence over peace plan TOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - “The West Bank is likely to ignite before, during, or after the presentation of the American peace plan. You must factor this into your considerations,” Eisenkot reportedly continued. “From the moment this genie is let out of the bottle, it will take five years to put it back.”-rh14/5/2019
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PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (02 – 08 May 2019)PCHR - IMEMCnews - Israeli forces violate the Gaza Strip again: Twenty-three Palestinian civilians; 14 of them were civilians, including 3 children and 3 women, one of them pregnant, were killed. 111 Palestinian civilians, including 27 children and 12 women, were injured. Airstrikes targeted 22 residential houses and buildings, a mosque, 3 workshops, cars, motorbikes and resorts. Israeli forces continue to use extra-judicial execution policy and target media and cultural institutions and relief centers. Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. 99 Palestinian civilians, including 42 children, 5 women, a journalist, and 3 paramedics, were wounded. Two of them sustained serious wounds. Eight Palestinian civilians, including a child and a journalist, were wounded in the West Bank.-rh14/5/2019
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Can Israel stop Hamas, Islamic Jihad arms race? Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - The Israeli security echelon believes that an arrangement with Hamas would guarantee that the recently agreed-on cease-fire would be upheld. According to publications, Israel and Hamas agreed May 6 to end the fatal round of escalation of the past weekend. At the Cabinet meeting at noon May 5, after more than 400 rockets had been fired into Israel that day (over 650 rockets were fired in less than 48 hours), the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reprised the same old song that the fire must be contained. In other words, the IDF was saying that Israel should indeed strike back, but wisely, in order not to break the rules of the game. The IDF estimates that without an advance in reaching an arrangement, any quiet or cease-fire would last mere days or weeks until the next round, which would likely be more severe and more fatal.-rh 14/5/2019
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Qatar brings Gaza beaches back to lifeRasha Abou Jalal - Al-Monitor - The Gaza Electricity Distribution Co., in cooperation with Gaza Strip municipalities, completed April 18 a Qatar-funded project designed to connect wastewater treatment plants to new power lines with the objective of supplying the plants with uninterrupted power around the clock, the company`s public relations director told Al-Monitor. The new project seeks to end pollution along the coast that untreated wastewater poured into the sea has caused since 2013, preventing the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip from going to the beach and swimming in the sea in the summer. The crisis came after the wastewater treatment plants stopped operating as power outages hit more than 12 hours a day before climaxing to 20 hours daily in May 2017.-rh 14/5/2019
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Is leaked document Trump’s ‘deal of the century’?Jonathan Cook - Information Clearing House - A report published this week by the Israel Hayom newspaper apparently leaking details of Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” reads like the kind of peace plan that might be put together by an estate agent or car salesman. But while the authenticity of the document is unproven and indeed contested, there are serious grounds for believing it paves the direction of any future declaration by the Trump administration. Not least, it is a synthesis of most of the Israeli right’s ambitions for the creation of a Greater Israel, with a few sops to the Palestinians – most of them related to partially relieving Israel’s economic strangulation of the Palestinian economy.-rh14/5/2019
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Is the Palestinian social fabric at risk of tearing? Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The incident in Jifna was resolved peacefully, but it is not clear whether what happened represents a precursor of social tensions to come in Palestine or is just a one- off. With the US plan for an Israeli-Palestinian peace soon to be announced, and the economic situation deteriorating due to the US and Israeli actions, it is more important than ever for Palestinians to be vigilant and not allow local incidents to create broader internal tensions and conflicts.-rh 7/5/2019
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Qatar pledges to send $480 million in aid to West Bank and GazaReuters - The Times of Israel - Qatar pledged to send $480 million in aid to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, Qatar’s foreign ministry said overnight Monday. The Palestinian Authority would receive $300 million for health and education and $180 million would finance humanitarian initiatives, electricity and United Nations programs, Reuters reported. The announcement comes after two days of intense fighting between Israel and Gaza-based terrorists that saw nearly 700 rockets fired at Israel and four Israeli civilians killed.-rh 7/5/2019
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Demolitions spike in East Jerusalem, and UN officials call on Israel: ‘This must stop’ Yumna Patel - Mondoweiss - Amidst a spike in the Israeli government’s demolition of Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem, UN officials are calling for an immediate halt to the practice, which they condemned as a “discriminatory” violation of international law. According to the UN, more Palestinians have been displaced in East Jerusalem in the first four months of 2019 than in all of 2018: 193 displaced persons, compared to 176. In a statement Friday, Jamie McGoldrick, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian Territories, noted that demolitions in East Jerusalem “have increased at a staggering pace over the last month.” He said the actions displaced tens of Palestinians, causing them to “have lost their livelihoods overnight.” “This must stop,” he said.-rh7/5/2019
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However this round of conflict with Hamas ends, it won’t solve the root problemDAVID HOROVITZ - The Times of Israel - With hundreds upon hundreds of rockets and mortar shells fired into Israel, and Israeli reprisal strikes on Gaza targeting the Strip’s terrorist leadership with considerable ferocity, these past two days of fighting already constitute the heaviest escalation of conflict in five years. Fearful that it is going to get worse, an estimated 35% of residents of Israel’s Gaza “envelope” towns and villages were reported late Sunday to have temporarily evacuated to safer pastures further north.-rh7/5/2019
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The Palestinian Authority is No Longer Crying Wolf Over its Imminent CollapseJonathan Cook - Dissident Voice - We have been here many times before. However, on this occasion even the principal actors understand that the Palestinian Authority is not crying wolf as it warns of imminent collapse. The crisis is entirely of Israel and Washington’s making. Keen to pander to hawkish public opinion in the run-up to last month’s election, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struck a severe blow against Mahmoud Abbas and his government-in-permanent-waiting. He announced that Israel would withhold a portion of the taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinians, and which it is obligated under the Oslo accords to pass on to the PA, based in the West Bank.-rh7/5/2019
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No Way To Treat A ChildAbby Zimet - Common Dreams - Calling Israel`s widespread military detention and interrogation of Palestinian kids as young as 10 "state-sponsored child abuse," Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) has introduced a bill to ban Israel from using any of the blood-soaked billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars it gets each year to fund "what is clearly a gross human rights violation against children.” McCollum’s law HR 2407, dubbed the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, would amend the Foreign Assistance Act to prohibit funding for the military detention of children in any country, including the estimated 700 Palestinian children detained, interrogated, beaten, tortured and otherwise entrapped each year in Israel`s infamously unjust military court system. The bill would also provide $19 million a year to American, Israeli, and Palestinian non-profits to monitor and fund physical and psychological treatment to those kids as needed. It is now heading to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.-rh7/5/2019
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How-palestinians-should-react-when-trump-unveils-his-peace-plan/Hussein Ibish - Forward - If Palestinian leaders say “no” to the plan, which is certainly what Trump, Kushner and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are counting on, the US and Israel can start to build a new framework that dispenses with any two-state logic. This intention is already evident in Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and in Netanyahu’s intensified settlement building, pledge to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, and suggestion that Palestinians can only aspire to a “state-minus,” whatever that means. Palestinians could say “yes” to a new American proposal to avoid being frozen out of an unfolding process that, in effect, will determine their future. But given what Kushner and other administration officials have said, the Trump plan is likely to impose new and highly disadvantageous terms that dispense with the 1993 agreement. Palestinians absolutely cannot endorse or accept anything of the kind.-rh 7/5/2019
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Newspapers Review: Gaza in the aftermath of the Israeli carnage focus of dailiesWAFA - RAMALLAH, Tuesday, May 07, 2019 (WAFA) – The situation in Gaza after two days of Israeli bombardment that left 27 people dead, among them two pregnant women and two infants, and the destruction and damage of hundreds of homes, was highlighted on the front page of the three Palestinian Arabica dailies today.-rh7/5/2019
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Gaza killings spike ahead of EurovisionAli Abunimah - Electronic Intifada "Israeli snipers and airstrikes killed eight Palestinians during Friday and Saturday amid a sharp escalation of violence in the days leading up to the Eurovision Song Contest, which Israel hopes to use as a propaganda showcase." ca5/5/2019
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Palestine in Pictures: April 2019The Electronic Intifada - "Facts and pictures from the occupied areas." ca4/5/2019
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Erekat: `Deal of the Century` does not entail win-win equationMa`an News Agency - "Erekat held a meeting in Ramallah City, in the central occupied West Bank, and spoke to a high-profile delegation of 50 dignitaries from across the United States, representing the academic, political, cultural and economic spectra, and the civil society...Following recent tensions and the US Trump administration`s undeniable support for Israel has prompted the Palestinians to cut communication with the US and declared it unfit to be a mediator during the Israeli- Palestinian peace process." ca4/5/2019
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3 minutes after people finish praying at the al-Risan hill, the Israeli army fire tear gas; Protestors never give upFeatures - ISM - ""They want to make a connection between the settlements, and the plan, after they control this mountain, they will separate the west of Ramallah, this village, from the rest of Ramallah. It will be destroying the life, destroying the economic resources, destroying everything.”" - id2/5/2019
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Islamic Jihad denies firing rocket after Israel limits Gaza fishing zoneJudah Ari Gross and Adam Rasgon - Times of Israel - The rocket fired late Monday night fell into the Mediterranean, a few kilometers off the Israeli coast, according to the army. The IDF specifically named Baha Abu al-Ata, an Islamic Jihad commander responsible for the group’s activities in northern Gaza, as having given the order to fire the rocket. Identifying al-Ata by name can be seen as a tacit threat by the military. Furthermore, the permitted fishing zone was cut from 15 nautical miles to six “until further notice.” [bz] 30/4/2019
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Prevented to harvest their grainAmos Gvirtz - Don`t Say We Didn`t Know -On Friday, April 26, 2019, Palestinian farmers from the village of Tuwane (in the South Hebron Hills) went to their farmlands situated between their village and the unauthorized Jewish settler outpost of Havat Ma`on, to harvest their grain. Israeli soldiers at the site prevented them from reaching their fields. When the Palestinians were already near their own homes, the soldiers demanded of them to enter the homes and declared the village a closed military zone, throwing stun and teargas grenades at the Palestinians. An elderly woman was injured by a grenade and needed hospitalization. [bz] 30/4/2019
Six new Palestinian hospitals to be built across West BankMa`an News Agency - "The Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Ishtayeh received a delegation of the American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine, in his office in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.The PM updated the delegation on activities that would support the steadfastness of Palestinians in the health and education sectors. Ishtayeh wished Palestinians a happy Easter, hoping that next year Palestinians would be celebrating in Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state...Ishtayeh praised the federation’s role in supporting the health sector in Palestine, especially by bringing in Palestinian doctors to serve Palestinian hospitals, and building six new hospitals in the West Bank." ca27/4/2019
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Protesters take the hilltopReports - International Solidarity Movement - "Soldiers shoot live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades at protesters in the weekly Friday demonstration in Kafr Quaddum. Several Palestinians, a minor and an international were shot by rubber-coated steel bullets and a French international was beaten and arrested by Israeli soldiers." - id26/4/2019
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Over 20,000 Israeli settlers visit Hebron`s Ibrahimi MosqueMa`an - Sources added that Israeli forces sealed off the area, banning Muslim worshipers from entry to the mosque. On February 25, 1994, Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslim worshipers at the mosque killing 29 and injuring more than 120, a 1997 agreement split Hebron into areas of Palestinian and Israeli control; the Ibrahimi mosque was also split into a synagogue, known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs. The Ibrahimi Mosque fell under the Israeli military-controlled H2 zone, which also includes the rest of the ancient Old City and the once thriving al-Shuhada street, now just shuttered shops fronts and closed homes.23/4/2019
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For Palestinian Families, ‘No Light at the End of the Tunnel’David M. Halbfinger and Miriam Berger - NYT - What was once believed would lead to independence has long since become a regime of checkpoints and closures (...) “The years before the Palestinian Authority (PA) came were better,” Mr. Abu Helew says. Before that, residents were still under Israeli occupation but had more freedom of movement. (...) His mother, Najah, 61, would settle for living under Israeli sovereignty with equal rights. At least it would be a “normal” life, she said. “It’s not normal,” her son responded. “Look at the Jerusalemites, or the Bedouin Arabs who live in Israel’s Negev desert. Both suffer discrimination. West Bankers would be treated no better. (...) When her son was young, she said, “I imagined his life would be more comfortable” than hers. But she sees only a more difficult future. With that, Mr. Abu Helew does not argue. [bz] 23/4/2019
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Israeli Police Close Beit Safafa Sports ArenaIMEMC - Israeli Police, acting as the de-facto occupation force in unilaterally-annexed Palestinian East Jerusalem, stormed the sports arena of the Beit Safafa neighborhood and put up a closure notice banning Palestinians from holding a soccer tournament due to take place there. The closure notice which was signed by Israeli security minister Gilad Erdan, gave the reason that the planned tournament was organized in honor of the Palestinian Prisoners Day. [ak]23/4/2019
Amputee Football Championships Held In GazaIMEMC - "The championship kicked off in the Palestine Stadium, which was restored by FIFA after being targeted in the 2014 war. It is being held under the auspices of the Red Cross (ICRC).Eighty players are taking part in the tournament. 20 of them lost their limbs while participating in the Great March of Return, along the Gaza-Israel fence, while others were injured during previous wars and incidents." - id18/4/2019
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Bereaved by Israel, betrayed by AbbasHamza Abu Eltarabesh - The Electronic Intifada - "Protests were held in Gaza recently over how the Palestinian Authority has stopped paying allowances to many prisoners; one prisoner, Faris Baroud, died behind Israeli bars soon after his allowance had been stopped." - id18/4/2019
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Euro-Med to EU: Stop funds for project serving Israeli settlementsMa`an News Agency - According to a Euro-Med press release, the EU has been labeled as one of the financiers and supporters of the project that nurtures and strengthens settlements built illegally on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Jerusalem, a move that shows sheer disregard for international law and amounts to complicity in Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity. Audrey Ferdinand, Euro-Med’s legal researcher, said, “The EU must adhere to its legal obligations under international law, including by not violating its own long-held commitment to a two-state solution.” Audrey Ferdinand, Euro-Med’s legal researcher, said, “The EU must adhere to its legal obligations under international law, including by not violating its own long-held commitment to a two-state solution.”- rh agency16/4/2019
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Israel confiscates 51,000 dunams from Jordan ValleyMa`an - PA official Mutaz Bisharat told the Voice of Palestine radio station that the Israeli authorities confiscated 51,000 dunams, isolated 5 villages and seized control over water springs, agricultural machinery and solar cells. That the Israeli policy is very clear in isolating villages of the Tubas district; that these areas were marked as closed military areas banning their owners from entering without an Israeli-issued permit. [bz]16/4/2019
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Palestinian security prisoners end hunger strike over cellphonesTOI STAFF - A hunger strike by dozens of Palestinian security prisoners belonging to the Hamas terror group has come to an end after Israeli officials reportedly agreed to install public telephones in their prison wards. “An agreement in principle has been reached between the prisoners and the management of the occupation’s prisons regarding their demands,” the Palestinian Prisoners Club said on its Facebook page on Monday.-rh16/4/2019
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Bennett: ‘The West Bank Will Soon Become Part of Israel’Ben White - Palestine Chronicle - According to Hebrew news site 0404, Bennett’s statements came in response to the Israeli occupation forces’ evacuation of 15 houses in the settlement of Netiv HaAvot on a hill belonging to Palestinian civilians in the town of Al-Khader, west of occupied Bethlehem. Bennett confirmed that the government had approved the establishment of a settlement in the area, adding that a huge neighborhood will be built on this hill.-rh16/4/2019
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Leading House Dems warn Netanyahu against promise to annex West Bank settlementsAllison Deger - Mondoweiss - Days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged as the clear victor of Israel’s elections and will lead the country for a fifth term, a campaign promise he made to annex Israeli settlements in the West Bank is catching ire from House democrats. Taking the unusual step of publicly criticizing Israel and Netanyahu, today Eliot L. Engel, Nita Lowey, Ted Deutch, Brad Schneider, all supporters of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, issued a statement cautioning against any “unilateral steps” to declare occupied Palestinian territory part of the state of Israel.-rh16/4/2019
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Why was Arab voter turnout so low in Israel’s elections? Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The low turnout in the April 9 elections is a reflection of the desperation and lack of faith among Arab citizens in Israel toward the political system, which has ignored them and passed laws that discriminate against non-Jewish residents. Botrus Mansour, director general of the Nazareth Baptist School, told Al-Monitor that even though Palestinian citizens have done well economically and their legislators have performed solidly in the Knesset, those factors have failed to boost turnout. “Nazareth had the biggest drop in voting," he said of the largest Arab city in Israel. "While some intellectuals boycotted [the elections] on an ideological basis, most stayed away out of apathy and desperation.”- rh 16/4/2019
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Shoot and lieMaureen Clare Murphy - EI - "Rather than throwing a stone – which would hardly justify the use of lethal force by heavily armed and armored soldiers, even if it were true – Mizher was `fatally shot while attempting to tend to an injured youth, as part of his duties as a first responder,` according to Al-Haq’s investigation" [ry] 15/4/2019
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Soldiers invade Al-Khalil; fire live ammunition at protestersAl-Khalil team - International Solidarity Movement - "Israeli occupation forces storm into Al-Khalil and fire live ammunition at protesters after bombarding the city with tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets." - id 11/4/2019
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Netanyahu vows to annex Jewish settlements in occupied West BankOliver Holmes - The Guardian - Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has pledged to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories if he wins his country’s election on Tuesday, a dramatic last-minute rallying call to his nationalist base. In interviews with domestic media ahead of the polls, Netanyahu repeated his promise and said he would prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state by “controlling the entire area”.-rh9/4/2019
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Dozens Of Detainees Continue Hunger Strike For Second DayIMEMC - 120 detainees, held by Israel, have declared a hunger strike two days ago, after the Israeli Prison Authority denied their basic demands. Adding weight and urgency is the prisoners` decision not even to drink water. Hundreds of additional detainees intend to join in the coming days. According to the head of the Palestinian Commission for Detainees’ Affairs, Qadri Abu Bakr, talks with the Israeli Prison Authority have failed, as it is refusing to remove dozens of detainees from solitary confinement, in addition to refusing to remove signal jammers, refraining from providing an answer to the demands regarding installing public phones, and continues to deny Gaza Strip detainees the right to family visits [ak]. 9/4/2019
Absolute racism: a prerequisite for becoming prime minister of IsraelSiddiq Bazarwala - Mondoweiss - Regardless of who wins the upcoming Israeli elections on 9 April 2019, Palestinians will most certainly lose. While past elections focus on Iran or the economy, this campaign season the Israeli electorate is being fed a steady diet of anti-Palestinian toxicity. Historically Israelis have a tendency of voting for those with the most vile, intolerant and yet variedly repeated anti-Palestinians tropes. Racism in the upper echelon of the Israeli government is a norm, however, embedded just as well deep within its institutional policies, the media, immigration rights, housing and legal policies. In fact, it all goes back to the time Israel was founded.-rh9/4/2019
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Trump to reveal peace plan on 71st anniversary of NakbaMA’AN NEWS AGENCY - The United States President Donald Trump is most likely to reveal his Middle East peace plan, known as the “Deal of the Century,” on the 71st anniversary of Nakba, on Thursday. According to Al-Khaleej Online news outlet, the US administration told Arab and Gulf officials that the peace plan would be revealed on May 15th on “Nakba day,” when Palestinians commemorate the Nakba or “catastrophe,” when an estimated 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes when the state of Israel was created. On Nakba day, Israel also celebrates its Independence Day.-rh 9/4/2019
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Israel Demolishes Bedouin Village for 142nd TimeImemc News - Israeli bulldozers destroyed, Thursday, tents and residential structures that housed an indigenous Bedouin community in the Negev, reported Palestinian Ma’an News Agency. The Al-Araqib village is located in the Negev Desert, and is one of many villages that predate Israel, but remain unrecognized, and has been demolished 142 times by Israel.-rh9/4/2019
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In Israel Normalizing Violence Takes Precedence over Targeted AssassinationsRamona Wadi - Palestine Chronicle - One outcome is certain when it comes to the forthcoming Israeli elections – Gaza will remain a top target for the new government. Amid the sparring between contenders for the elections, former IDF chief Benny Gantz declared he would implement Israel’s policy of targeted assassinations against Hamas leaders if elected, and if necessary. His comments sought to counter Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks over “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014, in which the latter used derogatory language to criticize Gantz’s decisions which, according to Bennett, endangered the lives of Israeli soldiers.-rh9/4/2019
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Palestine in Pictures: March 2019The Electronic Intifada - "Twenty Palestinians, four of them children, were fatally injured by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip during the month of March, or died from injuries sustained previously. Palestinians in Gaza marked the first anniversary of the Great March of Return on 30 March. Four Palestinians were fatally injured during the anniversary protests, including two children. A fifth Palestinian was killed before protests set off that day while he was 100 meters from the boundary fence." - id4/4/2019
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Israeli Forces Attack and Detain Palestinian Hikers in the Jordan ValleyCeline Hagbard - IMEMC - "The hike had been organized by the Palestinian Authority, which was trying to both expose Palestinian residents to the natural beauty of the Jordan Valley, and expose the Israeli takeover of these areas through illegal colonial settlement and military force. In the Jordan Valley, known as the breadbasket of Palestine, there are a number of hiking trails and scenic areas. But they have been dead-ended and cut off by Israeli settlements constructed on stolen Palestinian land in the area." - id4/4/2019
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23 years old Mohammed Edwan killed by army at QalandiyaAljazeera/IMEMC - Early in the morning, Israeli soldiers arrived in the Qalandiya area, to carry out "routine" arrests of Palestinians; specifically, they raided the home of the Rajab family, and abducted three brothers: Ibrahim Rajab, Yousef Rajab, and No’man Rajab, all of them wanted by the Israeli Security Services on unspecified charges. A crowd of young men gathered gathered in the streets and alleys of the refugee camp, and threw stones at the soldiers - "rocks and explosive devices" according to the Israeli army communique. The soldiers opened fire, from which the 23 year old Mohammed Edwan was killed and three others wounded. According to eye-witnesses who spoke to the Maan news agency, Edwan had not been involved in confronting the soldiers, but had been passing by in his car when hit by a fatal Israeli bullet. It was further asserted that after shooting him, Israeli forces approached the critically wounded man and prevented medics from reaching him to provide aid, until he had passed away from blood loss. The precise circumstances are, however, unlikely to ever gain a thorough or impartial investigation. [ak] 2/4/2019
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`Our people will not back down`: Gaza marks protests anniversaryAljazeera - Tens of thousands of Palestinians have rallied at the Israel-Gaza fence to mark the first anniversary of the Great March of Return protests, facing off against Israeli tanks and troops massed on the fortified perimeter. Israeli forces on Saturday used live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas on the protesters, killing three 17-year-old boys, and wounding at least 207 people, according to Gaza`s health ministry.-rh2/4/2019
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Israel praises ‘exceptionally restrained’ protests in Gaza after killing 4 Palestinians, three of them teenagersYumna Patel - Mondoweiss - At least four Palestinians were killed and over 300 were injured on Saturday during massive demonstrations marking the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return in Gaza. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that as of 10:40 pm, Israeli forces had shot and killed four Palestinians and injured 316. Three of the four slain Palestinians were identified by the ministry as 20-year-old Mohammed Jehad Sa’ad, who was killed on Saturday morning before the protests kicked off, and 17-year-olds Adham Nedal Amara and Tamer Hashim Abu al-Khair, who were both killed during demonstrations. Local Palestinian news agency Quds News Network identified the fourth Palestinian as another 17-year-old, Belal Mahmoud Najjar.-rh2/4/2019
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Israel Escalates Collective Punishment of Gazan CiviliansHASSAN JEDI - Truthout - The Guardian claims that Hamas’s rocket attack on Israel was motivated by Hamas’s desire to prevail in the upcoming election on April 9 — a show of strength against Israel might divert attention from Gaza’s miserable living conditions. Netanyahu is clearly attempting to benefit from the situation himself in the upcoming elections, exploiting this opportunity in the worst way possible in hopes of solidifying support for the extreme right- wing racist position he has charted out, partnering with the Otzma Yehudi (Jewish Strength) party.-rh2/4/2019
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Israeli forces arrest Hassan Youssef, Hamas leader in West BankAbbas Momani - i24NEWS/AFP - Early in the morning Israeli forces arrested Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a prominent Hamas leader in the West Bank, at his home in Beitunia, near Ramallah. There were no statements as to the reasons of the detention; under the prevailing Israeli occupation law, the detention of Palestinians does not require a warrant not is there any need to charge the detainee with any specific offence. Hassan Yousef is one of the major figures of the Islamist movement in the West Bank. A visible leader of the movement during the Second Intifada, he eventually became an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He also spent some 15 years in Israeli detention. Mosab Hassan Yousef, the Sheikh`s son, is known for having gone over to the Israeli side, becoming an agent of the Israeli security service, converting to Christianity and becoming an anti-Islamist propagandist under the name :"The Green Prince". However, his son becoming a renegade did not harm Sheikh Hassan Youssef`s prestige and standing as a senior Hamas leader. [ak] 2/4/2019
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Confusing situation for Gaza fishermenIMEMC - According to reports of the ceasefire agreement reached between the Israeli government and Hamas, Israel has expanded the permitted fishing zone from six to 15 nautical miles, for the first time in years, with the purpose of boosting a Gazan economy that is heavily reliant on the fishing sector. It is not clear, however, whether the new policy is implemented in practice by the Israeli Navy ships constantly patrolling the Gazan waters. Israeli navy ships attacked, on Tuesday at noon, several Palestinian fishing boats in the Central District of the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip. The head of the Palestinian Fishermen Union in Gaza, Zakariya Bakr, said that Israeli Navy chased several fishing boats less than twelve nautical miles from the shore - i.e., well withing the new permitted zone. The navy sprayed the Gazan boats with waste-water mixed with chemicals. [ak] 2/4/2019
Hamas tightens grip on Gaza, fails to break Israel blockadeKARIN LAUB and FARES AKRAM - AP - For Gaza residents, open-ended Hamas rule is a bleak prospect. Gaza`s 2 million people have endured rising poverty and unemployment, undrinkable ground water and frequent electricity outages since Israel and Egypt closed Gaza`s borders after Hamas seized power in 2007. In recent weeks, hundreds dared to protest Hamas policies, such as new tax hikes, chanting "We want to live." Many were jailed and beaten. Protester Amer Balousha, a 27-year-old unemployed law school graduate, said he and others were mistreated in Hamas detention but will not be deterred. "If the situation does not improve, the protests will continue," he said. A deal with Israel would help keep Hamas in power. Hamas and Netanyahu both oppose Abbas` goal of Palestinian statehood in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, as the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [bz]2/4/2019
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