Briefing Paper November 2018

Then I think of what these same people say about my Palestinian friends: that they are an invented people, there was never a place called Palestine. If a nurse gets killed tending to the wounded, she is Hamas. If a school or hospital gets bombed, then Hamas was storing weapons there. If a child is murdered, his parents are using him for  sympathy. It’s inexplicably inhumane …

Journal entry by an ISM volunteer Kristin Foss ISM 31/8/18

Yesterday, I was called by a friend to ask if ISM could spare some people to come to a place I can’t even remember the name of now. There are too many places, too much need for assistance … The man who alerted me is my age; he has a professional job, a nice car. But he spends his free time alerting people, travelling to places where he is needed and getting beaten up by 20 year olds with machine guns. He does not get to go home and have a nice dinner with his wife or play with his kids. I guess he could. But then, will his kids even have a country when they grow up? … I’ve been reading comments that people have left in the comment sections of interviews with me, some say, “third time lucky,” [after she’d been shot twice by Israeli forces] or, “if she is there knowing the risks it’s her own fault, she deserved it,” etc. Then I think of what these same people say about my Palestinian friends: that they are an invented people, there was never a place called Palestine. If a nurse gets killed tending to the wounded, she is Hamas. If a school or hospital gets bombed, then Hamas was storing weapons there. If a child is murdered, his parents are using him for sympathy. It’s inexplicably inhumane.. I have never witnessed anything like this, people denouncing a whole people.

Trump move to strip Palestinians of refugee status Al Jazeera 4/8/18

US President Donald Trump and his administration are making moves to strip millions of Palestinians of their refugee status, according to a US-based magazine report. As part of the initiative, the Republican president along with his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, have been trying to disrupt the UN agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, Foreign Policy (FP) magazine revealed in an article published on Friday. In a controversial move in January, the US government announced that it was withholding $65m of a planned $125m funding instalment to the relief agency, after Trump accused the Palestinians of being ungrateful for the millions of dollars in aid. Prior to the announcement, Kushner, in a leaked email obtained by FP, wrote, ‘It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA.’ This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace,’ He reportedly wrote in an email dated January 11 and addressed to several senior US officials. Palestinian officials told FP that Kushner —  tasked with reviving the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process — allegedly pressed Jordan to strip more than two million Palestinians of their refugee status, so that UNRWA would no longer have to operate there. The White House declined to comment on the record for FP’s story.

17-year-old West Bank activist Ahed Tamimi jailed for 9 months for slapping Israeli soldier Democracy Now 6/8/18

[translated] I was released from prison at 5:30, and they took me to Rantees, but they told my parents that I would be released at the Jbara checkpoint. It’s about an hour between Rantees and Jbara. They kept playing with my parents, telling them here, then there, then there. They made my parents go everywhere At the end, they ended up dropping us off at the gateway to the village.

I was accused of hitting a soldier. I had 12 charges brought up against me, but the main one was the charge of hitting a soldier in front of the door of my house. My goal wasn’t to hit him. I didn’t intend to hit him. He had shot my cousin in the head, and my cousin was going to die because of the injury. The soldier at the front of my house was shooting at children and young men in the street. I’m not the one that went to him. He’s the one that was at the front of my door…

Israel’s family separation law

Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man +972 mag 6/8/18

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained on Sunday exactly how the law [Nation State Law] harms an untold number of non-Jewish Israeli citizens, specifically, Palestinian citizens of Israel who are married to or who are immediate relatives of Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza. ‘The Nation-State Law, first of all, entrenches the Law of Return. It raises it to another level and this law, of course, grants an automatic right to Jews, and only to them, to come here and receive citizenship. The Nation-State Law, for example, prevents the exploitation of the family reunification clause under which very, very many Palestinians have been absorbed into the country since the Oslo agreement, and this law helps prevent the continued uncontrolled entry into Israel of Palestinians. It could be that this law will also be able to assist us in blocking the future entry of labor migrants.’ In other words, one of Netanyahu’s primary motivations in passing the Jewish Nation-State Law was to prevent Palestinian families from living together.  Family reunification is a procedure by which Israeli citizens can obtain residency and eventually citizenship for their immediate family who are not citizens … as long as your spouse is not Palestinian – in that case you are barred from bringing your family member into Israel. That ban was first put in place 15 years ago and justified as a security measure…

Israeli missiles kill a Palestinian mother and her child in central Gaza

IMEMC 9/8/18

The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that Israeli army missiles have killed a pregnant Palestinian mother and her infant daughter, 18 months of age, in central Gaza. The mother was nine months pregnant. Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, has confirmed that the soldiers killed a pregnant woman, identified as Enas Mohammad Abu Khammash, 23, and her child Bayan Abu Khammash, 18 months, in their home in al-Ja‘farawi area, in Gaza’s Central District. He added that the bombardment also caused moderate wounds to Enas’s husband, Mohammad Khammash.

Destroying cultural heritage sites in Gaza

Celine Hagbard IMEMC 10/8/18

On Thursday August 9th, the Israeli airforce dropped ten missiles on a building in Gaza City, turning the five-story building into rubble. Was this a Hamas training center, or somehow associated with the Palestinian armed resistance? No. Like the building targeted by Israeli forces two weeks earlier, when two teen boys were killed taking a selfie, this was a cultural center aimed at preserving the history and culture of the Palestinian people of Gaza. The Said Al-Mashal Foundation for Arts and Culture was a place where cultural heritage was preserved and maintained. (The Said al Meshal Centre was a five-storey building opened in 2004, devoted to community arts and education, housing a library, computer lab, dabke troupes, musical bands, Gaza’s second biggest theatre and a popular children’s cinema) The Palestinian traditional dance known as dabke was taught and practiced there, poets would gather to share their latest works, and musicians would come together for jam sessions and performances. Two weeks earlier, the Israeli airforce dropped another bomb on the Arts and Crafts Museum in Gaza City. Why is Israel so focused on destroying Palestinian cultural artifacts, museums, arts and crafts? Is it because resistance fighters are hidden inside these centers? That is a laughable claim that is easily disproved by looking at the evidence – no fighters, weapons or rockets in the rubble that remains of what had been beautiful and well- loved cultural centers. Nor is it true that these centers were somehow ‘collateral damage’, and the bombs were targeting some other, nearby place. No, Israeli forces directly targeted these centers – and in fact, after the fact, declared the strikes a ‘success’ and claimed that they hit their targets directly…

Armed drone killed four children playing on Gaza beach in 2014 Haaretz 12/8/18

The Israeli strike that killed four Palestinian children that were playing on the beach in Gaza in 2014 was committed by an armed Israeli drone, according to an Israeli military police report that was obtained by The Intercept. The report, which was confidential and concealed from the public until now, confirms that the four cousins were chased by an armed drone that mistook them for Hamas fighters. The four Palestinian children, Ismayil Mohammed Bahar(aged nine), Ahed Atef Bahar (aged ten), Zacharia Ahed Bahar, (aged ten) and Muhammed Ramez Bahar, (aged 11), were killed in June 2014.

Israel allows hundreds of thousands more civilians to carry guns

Josh Breiner Haaretz 21/8/18

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is easing requirements for owning a gun, which will make hundreds of thousands of additional civilians eligible to carry a firearm. According to the plan, reported in Haaretz last month, any citizen with what as known as level 7 Rifleman training, as is the case with most infantry units in Israel, will be able to apply for a gun permit … The plan now being completed by the Public Security Ministry would allow almost anyone who has done combat service in the Israeli army to apply for a permit. The ministry believes that among the hundreds of thousands of people who meet this requirement, about 35,000 to 40,000 people will actually apply, boosting the number of permit holders to about 200,000. At present, a person must be at least 21 years of age and in good health to apply for a permit. Other conditions include residence in a West Bank settlement, a border area or an area near the separation barrier.

Medical treatment for Gazans Ha’aretz 26/11/18

At the beginning of the year the government decided to ban entrance of Gaza residents who are involved in Hamas activity, as well as Hamas operatives’ first-degree relatives, except in cases where lifesaving treatment was needed. The decision was made in response to a petition by the family of Hadar Goldin, a soldier whose remains are being held by Hamas, regarding the granting of entrance permits to Gazans for humanitarian reasons. In practice, the defense establishment has had a hard time determining who is connected to Hamas operatives, particularly in the cases of minors. Earlier this month it was reported that since the beginning of the year, 769 ill Gazans had been denied entry for medical treatment on grounds they had Hamas ties, compared to only 21 refusals on these grounds during all of 2017…

Palestinian mother banned from accompanying toddler for treatment

MEMO 17/8/18

Israeli occupation authorities have prevented a Palestinian mother from Gaza from traveling with her three-year-old sick child to the West Bank for treatment. Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported yesterday that the Israeli authorities stopped Hanan Al-Khudari from leaving the Gaza Strip to accompany her son, Luay, on a trip to the occupied West Bank where he will receive cancer treatment. Authorities said Al-Khudari is a close relative of a Hamas member. Luay was diagnosed with cancer in January and underwent treatment at two hospitals in the past including Israel’s Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. In May, he was transferred for treatment at Al-Najah University Hospital in Nablus; however the Israeli authorities prevented his mother from leaving the besieged enclave to accompany him.

Politican activist receives administrative detention order IMEMC 17/8/18

The Israeli authorities issued, Friday, an Administrative Detention order against a young Palestinian female detainee, just hours before he r scheduled release. The young Palestinian woman, identified as Fida’ Mohammad Ekhlayyel, 21, is from Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Fida’ was supposed to be released today, and her family traveled to Tulkarem, in northern West Bank, to welcome her at an Israeli military roadblock, but were informed by an army officer that their daughter will not be released because she received an order, holding her under Administrative Detention.

The original charge was “incitement against Israel on social media outlets,” before she was sentenced to 95 days in prison. The young woman is also a former political prisoner who spent a year in Israeli prisons. It is worth mentioning that Israel has issued more than 4,000 administrative detention orders during the last three years, 456 of which were issued since the beginning of 2018.

On Eid, Palestinian children suddenly cease to be security threats

Oren Ziv +972 mag 23/8.18

Arabic. This was the main language spoken on the beach in Tel Aviv Wednesday. It was the second day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al- Adha, and thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel took the day to come to the beach. For many of those who live in the West Bank, it was a rare opportunity to be given a permit to enter Israel.

On the border between Tel Aviv and Jaffa, I meet a family from the Nablus area. Although the lifeguard had already gone home, the children insist on playing in the water,  perhaps because they do not know when they will return. Their father, Nasser, is originally from Jaffa, but was married to a woman from Nablus. He does not understand why the Israeli authorities grant him and his family permission to enter on the holiday. After all, it is generally extremely difficult to obtain entry permits. “What is the difference between today and any other day?” he asks, pointing at his young daughters. “Today they do not pose a danger to Israel, and tomorrow they are a security threat? From the day we are born and until we die, they (the Israeli government – O.Z.) know everything we do, so what is the problem with letting us in?” Nasser says that despite having Israeli citizenship, his family is unable to get permits to enter Israel. “Had I married a foreign national, they would let her come here, but my wife and children cannot enter. They can only come see my home city, Jaffa, on holidays, and only for one day.” His two young daughters, who have not spent time at the beach since the last holiday, refuse to leave even once the sun goes down….

Life for Gaza athletes after surviving Israeli bullets 

Mohammed A. Alhajjar & Maha Husseini Middle East Eye 1/9/18

When Raed Jadallah rode the waves of the Mediterranean sea on his surfboard, he was able to transcend the limitations placed on his life forced upon him, as he is a Palestinian living in the besieged Gaza Strip. During some stolen moments of time, the 26-year-old surfer would leave strife behind on Gaza’s shore. “When I surfed, I forgot about everything,” he said. “It is like you are in another city where there is no war or blockade. All you think about is how you will catch another wave,” Jadallah said. Jadallah’s passion came to an abrupt end when he was shot on 6 April as he participated – albeit as a spectator – in the second Friday of the Great Return March protests that kicked off on 30 March along the eastern border fence separating Israel from Gaza … A bullet struck Jadallah in his left thigh as he stood about 150 metres away from the fence. He now depends on crutches to walk. “I did not participate in the protests. I was just watching the protesters burn tyres and throw rocks when I was suddenly shot in my thigh,” Jadallah, from the al- Shati refugee camp of western Gaza city, recalled … According to Ashraf al-Qedra, a spokesperson for Gaza’s health ministry, of the nearly 18,000 Palestinians who have sustained injuries since the Great Return March protests began, over 5,000 were injured in their lower limbs – including athletes who suffered from permanent and long-term disabilities. Jadallah says the Israeli snipers targeted the protesters’ lower limbs to prevent them from walking again…..

Israeli soldiers shoot a child in Kufur Qaddoum

IMEMC 2/9/18

Israeli soldiers shot, on Saturday evening, a Palestinian child in Kufur Qaddoum town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia. Medical sources said the soldiers shot the child, Mo’men Morad Eshteiwi, 8, with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his head. They added that the child was moved to Rafidia hospital, suffering moderate wounds. The child was shot after several army jeeps invaded the town, attacked many Palestinians who protested the invasion, and fired many rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades at random.

First sign a voluntary eviction, then we’ll see if the new location stinks

Amira Hass Haaretz 1/9/18

To live next to sewage or next to a garbage dump. That’s in short the two options Israel has given the Bedouin from the Jahalin tribe whom it insists on expelling from Khan al-Ahmar on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho in the West Bank. To be even more precise, the government is telling them: First move to live alongside the waste disposal site in tents we’ll provide for you, and later, at a time still undetermined, we’ll let you build permanent structures alongside Jerusalem’s sewage- treatment plant and the settlements to its east. But that too is only on condition that you’re joined by three other Jahalin communities, from the same Abu Dahouk clan, whom we’ll evict from the same area, too. The option of eviction to a site near the garbage dump was made long ago and is already familiar to the readers. But only recently has the second option floated, the removal of the residents to the site near the eight sewage-treatment pools shining in the desert sun. Not the flies and not the stench are ruining the make-believe atmosphere that the High Court has adopted, as if the same law applied to the settlers of Amona, who were moved from stolen land, and the Bedouin, who have lived since the 1950s in the West Bank after they were kicked out of the Negev….

Israel demolishes Palestinian-owned home near Galilee Ma‘an 3/9/18

Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned house, for the second time, in theManshiyet Zabda village in northern Israel, on Monday. Locals said that the Israeli authorities demolished the house a second time after residents of the area had rebuilt it following its first demolition. Sources pointed out that the house is inhabited by 15 people. Israeli bulldozers uprooted olive trees surrounding the house and razed the house to the ground after destroying its contents.

Armed Israelis storm and occupy a Palestinian home in Hebron

IMEMC 3/9/18

A group of armed extremist Israeli colonizers invaded, on Monday at night, a Palestinian home in the Old City of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, and occupied it. The WAFA Palestinian News Agency said the home is owned by members of the Za‘tari Palestinian family, and is located near the Ibrahimi Mosque, and close to Kiryat Arba illegal colony. The colonizers were accompanied by many soldiers, who surrounded the area and prevented the Palestinians from entering it, while the assailants brought furniture into the property.

UNRWA chief defends refugee criteria

Jeffrey Heller Reuters 3/9/18

Millions of Palestinian refugees “cannot simply be wished away”, the head of a U.N. support agency said on Monday, hitting back at a U.S. aid cut off and allegations its work only perpetuates their plight. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provides services to about 5 million Palestinian refugees across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza. Most are descendants of some 700,000 Palestinians who were driven out of their homes or fled fighting in the 1948 war that led to Israel’s creation. The growing refugee count was cited by Washington, UNRWA’s biggest donor, in its decision last week to withhold funding, and has potential ramifications for the Palestinians’ pursuit of a right of return to land now in Israel … “I express deep regret and disappointment at the nature of the U.S. decision,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described UNRWA on Sunday as “the refugee perpetuation agency” whose money “should be taken and be used to really help rehabilitate the refugees, whose real number is a sliver of that reported by UNRWA”. But Krahenbuhl said “the protracted nature of the Palestine refugee crisis” was not unique. He said the children and grandchildren of long-displaced refugees in Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Congo and elsewhere are also recognized as refugees and assisted by the United Nations. “No matter how often attempts are made to minimize or delegitimize the individual and collective experiences of Palestine refugees, the undeniable fact remains that they have rights under international law and represent a community of 5.4 million men, women and children who cannot simply be wished away,” he said….

US cuts financial aid to Palestinian hospitals in Jerusalem WAFA 8/9/18

As part of its economic war on the Palestinians to get them to accept its terms for a peace deal with Israel, the United States said it will cancel $20 million in aid to Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Saturday. The US decision against the hospitals came only weeks after it announced that it will stop all $365 million in funds to the United Nations Palestine refugee agency, UNRWA, and another $200 million for economic and social projects for the Palestinians. Addressing a conference of Jewish leaders in the US on Thursday, President Donald Trump admitted that his goal is to use US funds to get the Palestinians to surrender to his terms … Most of the hospitals in East Jerusalem, such as the German Augusta Victoria, the French St. Joseph and the British St. John Ophthalmic Hospital, are charitable organizations and funded by Christian groups. They are the only specialized hospitals that serve the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel intentionally kills 16-year-old Palestinian Ma‘an 9/9/18

A video documented the method of how Israeli forces targeted and killed 16-year-old Palestinian, Ahmad Misbah Abu Tyour, while he was participating in ‘The Great March of Return’ protests in the besieged Gaza Strip. The video showed the Palestinian teen, while maintaining his distance, throwing rocks towards the border with Israel as a form of protest to the nearly 12-year Israeli siege of Gaza. Ahmad’s rock-throwing posed no threat to the heavily armed Israeli forces. The video also showed Ahmad raising his hands up, seconds prior to an Israeli sniper shooting him in the chest and causing him critical injuries. Ahmad succumbed to his wounds on Saturday morning. The video is not the first of its kind to document Israel’s intentional killing of Palestinian children, who did not pose any threat to Israel, and yet Israel rarely takes accountability for such shootings

Destruction in the desert looms for Palestinian schools in the West Bank

Tessa Fox MEE 14/9/18

In the intense desert heat, five-year-old Aalia Issa sits in a village school made of cement blocks and a tarpaulin roof. She’s extremely shy, but wants to express how much she enjoys going there each day. “They teach us and give us trophies and rewards for being intelligent,” Issa said. Though only in kindergarten, Issa has already seen how easily her education could be taken away from her. Twenty days after the people of Zanouta, south of Hebron, built their first school this March out of cement blocks and tin sheets, Israeli forces dismantled it in the night with bulldozers, saying that it had been constructed without the right permits. Undeterred, village residents bought new materials and rebuilt the school over the summer. But when Aalia and other students arrived for their first day of school last week, they were greeted by a notice from Israeli authorities: they could either dismantle the school or it would be demolished in seven days. The school is one of 44 across the West Bank that are at risk of complete or partial demolition, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) … Around 300,000 Palestinians live here, yet between Israeli demolitions of schools and the routine rejection of Palestinian requests to build replacements, one third of the population don’t have primary schools. Instead, 10,000 children learn in trailers, tents and tin shacks. But even these makeshift structures are repeatedly torn down. Typically, Israeli authorities justify demolitions, saying schools were built illegally…

Here’s what I found out when I spent the day with Israel’s most controversial journalist

Gideon Levy/Robert Fisk The Independent 27/9/18

Gideon Levy is a bit of a philosopher king although, sitting in his postage stamp garden in a suburb of Tel Aviv, straw hat shading mischievous dark eyes, there’s a touch of a Graham Greene character about Haaretz’s most provocative and infamous writer. Brave, subversive, sorrowful – in a harsh, uncompromising way – he’s the kind of journalist you either worship or loathe. Philosopher kings of the Plato kind are necessary for our moral health, perhaps, but not good for our blood pressure. So Levy’s life has been threatened by his fellow Israelis for telling the truth; and that’s the best journalism award one can get. He loves journalism but is appalled by its decline. His English is flawless but it sometimes breaks up in fury. Here’s an angry Levy on the effect of newspaper stories: “In the year of ’86, I wrote about a Palestinian Bedouin woman who lost her baby after giving birth at a checkpoint. She tried at three different [Israeli] checkpoints, she couldn’t make it and she gave birth in the car. They [the Israelis] didn’t let her bring the baby to the hospital. She carried him by foot two kilometres to the Augusta Victoria [Hospital in east Jerusalem].. The baby died. When I published this story – I don’t want to say that Israel ‘held its breath’, but it was a huge scandal, the cabinet was dealing with it, two officers were brought to court…” Then Levy found ten more women who had lost babies at Israeli checkpoints. “And nobody could care less any more. Today, I can publish it and people will yawn if they read it at all. [It’s] totally normalised, totally justified. We have a justification now for everything. The dehumanisation of the Palestinians has reached a stage in which we really don’t care. I can tell you, really, without exaggeration, if an Israeli dog was killed by Palestinians, it will get more attention in the Israeli media than if 20 Palestinian youngsters would be shot dead by snipers on the fence – without doing anything – in Gaza. The life of Palestinians has become the cheapest thing. It’s a whole system of demonisation, of de-humanisation, a whole system of justification that ‘we’ are always right and we can never be wrong.”…

Israel to reduce Gaza fishing zone by one-third

Al Jazeera 6/10/18

Israel has announced further reductions of the Gaza Strip’s fishing zone, stating it was in response to the weekly protests near the fence east of the coastal enclave. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s office said in a statement on Saturday that the fishing zone will be reduced from nine nautical miles to six nautical miles. Lieberman cited Friday’s ‘riots’ at the fence dividing Gaza and Israel as contributing to his decision, in addition to the midweek beach protests in which fishing boats and protesters gathered at the northwest end of the Gaza Strip…Under the Oslo Accords, fishermen are supposed to be allowed to operate up to 20 nautical miles off the coast. However, Israel has restricted Palestinian fishing boats to a much smaller area since it imposed an economic blockade on Gaza in 2007. Palestinian officials have accused Israeli forces of opening fire at fishermen off the Gaza coast based on claims they have violated the set fishing zone. Earlier on Saturday, Israeli naval forces also detained two Palestinian fishermen off the coast of northern Gaza City.

Israeli army kills four Palestinians, injures 232, in Gaza IMEMC 26/10/18

Israeli soldiers resorted, on Friday, to the excessive use of force against the Great Return March Procession in several parts of the Gaza Strip Friday, killing four Palestinians and injuring 232 others, including 180 who were shot with live fire. The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has reported that the soldiers shot 180 Palestinians with live fire, including one medic who was shot in his leg and suffered a moderate injury, while helping wounded Palestinians at a makeshift clinic east of the al- Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza. The Health Ministry added that among the wounded Palestinians are eight paramedics who were shot while providing the needed medical aid to wounded Palestinians in protest areas, in addition to 51 children, eight women in the eastern parts of the coastal region.  Eyewitnesses said that Israeli army sharpshooters, stationed in fortified posts hundreds of meters across the border fence, targeted the protesters with live fire, while the soldiers fire live rounds, in addition to dozens of high-velocity gas bombs. Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, said a young man, identified as Nassar Eyad Abu Tayyim, 19, was shot east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and died from his serious wounds at the Gaza European Hospital. He added that the soldiers also killed Ayesh Ghassan Shaat, 23, and Ahmad Sa‘id Abu Libda, 22, east of Khan Younis. A fourth Palestinian, Mohammad Khaled Mahmoud Abdul-Nabi, 27, died at the Shifa Medical Center, from serious wounds he suffered after the soldiers shot him, east of Jabalia, in northern Gaza.

Israel launches over 80 airstrikes across Gaza

Ma‘an 27/10/18

Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting more than 80 sites across the besieged Gaza Strip, on Saturday, as a form of response to 30 rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel, according to the Israeli army. A Ma‘an reporter said that Israeli warplanes carried out continuous airstrikes over Gaza since the predawn hours until Saturday morning. Reports confirmed that Israeli warplanes targeted an apartment building in the center of Gaza City and a site belonging to Gaza’s civil administration in northern Gaza, as well as dozens of other sites. No injuries were reported; however, serious damages were caused to dozens of Palestinian homes and various buildings due to the airstrikes. In addition, the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza suffered serious damages after Israeli warplanes fired five missiles at a site near the hospital, which led to causing panic among the patients. Local sources said that loud explosions were heard across eastern and northern Gaza. Hebrew-language news outlets reported that the Israeli army announced that Israeli warplanes have carried out over 80 airstrikes across Gaza. Sources added that from the 30 rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel, about 10 were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system. Sources also confirmed that the rockets fired from Gaza landed in open fields in Israel. No injuries or damages were reported.

Israeli army kills three children in Gaza IMEMC 28/10/18

The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that Israeli soldiers fired a shell, on Sunday evening, at Palestinians near the perimeter fence area between Khan Younis and Deir al-Balah, in the Gaza Strip, killing three children. The Palestinian Health Ministry has official identified the three slain children as Khaled Bassam Mahmoud Abu Sa‘id, 14, Abdul-Hamid Mohammad Abdul-Aziz Abu Thaher, 13, and Mohammad Ibrahim Abdullah Satri, 13. It added that the three children are from Wadi al-Salqa area, in Deir al-Balah governorate, in central Gaza. Media sources in Gaza said, unlike the military claims, the children were only laying bird traps on Palestinian lands when the army fired shells at them … Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza said medics of the Red Crescent initiated a search campaign on foot to locate the three slain Palestinians, and added that the medics eventually located their severely mutilated remains … After locating them, the ambulances moved the mutilated remains to the Al-Aqsa Hospital, in Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza. The Israeli army claimed that its soldiers “targeted Palestinians who were attempting to place an explosive object near the border fence,” to target military vehicles driving there. The  three Palestinian children were killed in Palestinian lands near the perimeter fence, and did not cross it. [see this site for photos of the children]

Israeli soldiers kill one Palestinian, injure 80, in Gaza IMEMC 29/10/18

Israeli soldiers killed, Monday, one Palestinian and injured at least eighty others, including 15 who were shot with live fire, during the 14th Naval Procession in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. The Health Ministry said the soldiers killed Mohammad Abdul-Hai Abu Abada, 27, from the al-Shati’ refugee camp, in northern Gaza, after shooting him with live fire. He was rushed to the Shifa Medical Center in Gaza City, where he was declared dead due to his severe wounds. It is worth mentioning that Mohammad was injured three times since the Great Return March processions started on March 30th. The Health Ministry added that the soldiers injured eighty Palestinians, including 15 with live fire, and added that seven medics were also wounded, some with live fire, while the rest suffered the effects of teargas inhalation….

Lieberman orders construction in central Hebron

MEMO 1/11/18

Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered that an apartment block be constructed on top of the central market in Hebron in the occupied West Bank. The apartments will be built in the Avraham Avinu neighbourhood of occupied Hebron, which is illegally settled by Israelis. Despite the fact that those Palestinian vendors who rely on the market for their income currently hold protected tenancy agreements – which allow them to rent and use the market stalls – Israel has worked to dismantle these legal protections. This Israeli initiative has been ongoing for several years, but recently Lieberman intervened and requested that the legal advisor to the defence establishment, Attorney Itai Ophir, formulate a legal opinion that would allow the building procedures to advance, according to Arutz Sheva. Lieberman said of the breakthrough that “we have continued the momentum of Jewish development in Hebron in a way that has not been seen in 20 years,” adding: “We will continue to strengthen the Hebron community with deeds”.  The move comes less than a month after Israel approved a budget of 22 million shekels ($6 million) to build a new illegal settlement in central Hebron….

Journalist calls for assassination of Islamic Jihad leader MEMO 1/11/18

Israel should resume its policy of targeted assassinations, aiming first at Secretary General of Islamic Jihad, Ziyad Al-Nakhaleh, Israeli journalist Yoni Ben Menachem said in an article [Hebrew] this week. Al-Nakahleh, who is based in Beirut, was elected as a secretary-general of the movement last September. Ben Menachem believes Al-Nakhaleh’s ties with Iran and Hezbollah as a threat to Israel. His assassination, Al-Nakhaleh said, is a step towards “stopping Iranian influence in the region and stopping the Iranian plan to turn the Gaza Strip into an effective front against Israel”. Mossad can reach Al-Nakhaleh in Beirut, the journalist added, in a similar way to how it targeted Imad Mughniyeh, a Hezbollah leader, in Syria.

Gaza TV station levelled

Ahmad Kabariti Mondoweiss. 13/11/18, 2018

In the exchange of fire over the last 24 hours Israeli forces hit a total of 160 sites in Gaza, and militants in Gaza fired 460 rockets into Israel, according to the Israeli military as reported by the Jerusalem Post. The first building Israeli forces razed to the ground late Monday was the Hamas-run al-Aqsa TV station. Eyewitnesses told Mondoweiss that ten missiles struck the building, turning the headquarters into rubble, spattering hundreds of large piles of wreckage into the air. The air campaign began shortly after 9 p.m. local time when Israeli drones fired three smaller warning missiles, followed by at least one F-16 dropping around ten missiles on the TV headquarters. The building has been hit three times in previous military operations. All of “my windows and doors  were uprooted,” said Mohammed al-Shurafa who lives nearby, “the kitchen tools were scattered everywhere.” Successive explosions were heard throughout the night in Gaza, along with the blare of ambulance sirens. Israeli forces also struck a two-story residential building owned by the Dahair family in Gaza’s southern Rafah City, and another belonging to al-Braim family in Khan Younis. Both were destroyed. Three additional single family houses in Gaza were given orders over the phone from the Israeli army to evacuate immediately, according to security sources in Gaza, adding that no injuries were reported in the airstrikes on the TV station or the houses. This latest spike in violence followed a botched Israeli raid inside of Gaza on Sunday where a covert team killed a commander of Hamas’ military wing, Nour Barakeh and six more Palestinians in the al-Qassam Brigades. Palestinian militants killed a 41 year old Lieutenant Colonel during the operation whose name has not been disclosed by the Israeli government. Witnesses told Mondoweiss the undercover Israeli operatives were exposed at a Hamas military checkpoint, later exiting the Gaza Strip by way of helicopter. Within hours, militants had launched rockets in response.


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Resistance Art Calendar 2019

Scottish Friends of Palestine can now offer Resistance Art’s ‘Colors from Palestine’ 2019 Calendar for sale. The calendar is a tribute to Rim Banna’s life, a Palestinian vocalist, singer and activist (1966-2018). Her music told the stories of the beauty of life despite times of oppression and urged the occupied, exiled and imprisoned to maintain a heritage of resistance.

The calendar includes 12 Palestinian artworks and a collection of Palestinian poetry.

To view the calendar on line, please visit our Gallery

All the profit from the sale of the 2019 calendar will benefit the ‘Canada boat to Gaza

‘Canada boat to Gaza’ aim to challenge, undermine and expose illegal Israeli policies and actions behind the blockade of Gaza in the spirit of promoting justice, prosperity, social responsibility and the right of free movement for all peoples. Our hope is to also bring attention to the suffering of the blockaded people of Gaza.

The following gives the price (incl p&p) and also passes on the benefit of the discount allowed for purchase of the calendar in bulk.

1 calendar £11

2 calendars £21

3 calendars £29

4 calendars £39

5 calendars £48 For larger orders please contact SFoP for the cost.

Cheques should be made out “Scottish Friends of Palestine” and sent to:

Scottish Friends of Palestine

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For payment by bank transfer, please email with details of your order. By return you will receive SFoP’s account details. With all orders, please include the address to which the calendars should be sent.

Please publicise as widely as possible. Thanks

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