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Today in Palestine! ~ Thursday, 6 December 2012 ~

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  • Today in Palestine!
    *Land Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid & Occupation* UNRWA: 120 houses were destroyed during the recent aggression
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 6, 2012
      Land Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid & Occupation
      Munir Mina, the head of the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement in UNRWA, confirmed that 120 houses were completely destroyed during the recent aggression on the Gaza Strip.
      The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA) issued a situation report Wednesday outlining the humanitarian priorities in the Gaza Strip following conclusion of Israeli military attacks on the area. Addressing the fundamental humanitarian needs of the some 3,000 Palestinians still displaced in Gaza due to the loss or damage of their homes is defined as a main priority. Additional challenges cited include rehabilitation of damaged residences and schools provision of psychosocial support ot children, clearnance of explosive remnants and supply of essential drugs and medical disposables currently out of stock. OCHA estimates that US $60-70 million are required through the first half of 2013 to address these priority needs.
      Dr. Mousa Olayan of the Jerusalem neighbhourhood of Beit Safafa was forced to demolish his own home on Wednesday in order to avoid payment of demolition costs to the Jerusalem municipality. Olayan told the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan that his attempts throughout the years to obtain a building permit from Israeli authorities were unsuccessful. He began building 16 years ago, and subsequently paid some NIS 85 thousand in fines for "illegal building".
      Eighty Israeli attacks on sacred sites in occupied Palestinian territories Statistics made available by a human rights organisation reveal that the Israeli occupation forces and illegal Jewish settlers have violated sacred Muslim sites on Palestinian land on 80 occasions in the period from January to August 2012. The figures obtained by Quds Press from the Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights indicate that violations by settlers vary from torching and storming mosques to writing racist slogans on mosque walls in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Mosques have also been demolished; the latest such incident was the demolition of the Mafqara Mosque, south of Hebron, last week.
      Hebron settler 'plowing Palestinian field for land seizure' HEBRON (Ma'an) -- An Israeli settler is trying to seize 300 dunams of Palestinian farmland south of Hebron, an owner of the land said Wednesday. Abu Iyad Housheyeh told Ma'an that a resident of the illegal Mitzpe Yair settlement outpost had been plowing his land for two days in preparation to sow it. Housheyeh has filed a complaint to Israeli courts, which ordered that neither the settler or the owner of the land should access it. A court hearing on Wednesday was postponed, Housheyeh said.

      E1: military reasoning, human consequences
      Building in E1 does not prevent a future scenario of confrontation, as Israelis say, but instead creates an immediate confrontation. A settlement in this area will divide the West Bank, eroding the geographic platform for a Palestinian state by dividing it into three separate blocs: the Gaza Strip, south West Bank and north West Bank. The impact for the Palestinian population living in and surrounding the area will be disastrous, as natural growth is prevented, the Palestinian communities will be isolated and depopulation will certainly occur.
      link to www.alternativenews.org

      Earlier this week the Electronic Intifada (EI) published two articles on Israel's "creeping annexation" of the West Bank supported by pictures of an entry visa on a passport that read "Judea and Samaria only," which EI argued re-classified the West Bank as part of Israel. For travelers entering through Jordan since 2009 Ali Abunimah noted some have received restricted visas that only permit entry to the West Bank, barring visitors from Jerusalem and Israel. Before this week those visas were known to have stamps that stated, "Palestinian Authority only." By using the language of "Judea and Samaria," a reference to the biblical heartland of Eretz Yisrael and the name of the current Israeli administrative district in the West Bank that serves the settlements, the Jewish state is de facto claiming sovereignty over occupied Palestinian land. This change in status is accompanied by increasing calls from within the government to formalize Greater Israel, and it just may indicate that Israel is finally planning to formally annex the West Bank.

      When Gaza emerged victorious from the November Israeli assault, Palestinian refugees living in north Lebanon’s Baddawi Camp did not hesitate to take to the streets in celebration. But when Palestine became a non-member state at the UN, the response among them was not as enthusiastic.
      Everyone can probably imagine how it hurts when you want to tell the world what is your hometown and someone comes along telling you, "Sorry it is not yours..!" I felt like my heart was on fire when my sister and I wanted to add our hometown to our Facebook profile and there was no option called "Ashdod, Palestine" but instead "Ashdod, Israel". This is what makes me, without any previous thinking, hold the pen and start writing about my hometown, Isdud. Actually, I cannot explain which feelings are controlling me in such a moment; hatred, enmity, love, nostalgia. All I know is that I want to return to my hometown, Isdud, to kiss its sand, to run in its land, to garnish my hair with its flowers and eat from its fruits!
      U.N. urges Palestinians to stay out of Syrian conflict
      The half a million Palestinian refugees living in Syria should keep out of the country’s conflict and their neutrality be respected, U.N. Relief and Works Agency chief Filippo Grandi told AFP. “The Palestinians should remain neutral and everybody should respect that.
      Israeli & Egyptian Siege on Gaza
      Terrorist group wants to sue coordinator of government activities in the territories Major-General Eitan Dangot for role in Gaza blockade.
      EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) -- Egypt killed an African migrant and detained 39 others who were en route to Israel in the Sinai peninsula on Thursday, security sources said.  Egyptian officials said one of the migrants refused to stop after being ordered by security forces. The identity and nationality of the victim were not immediately available. The migrants, from Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia, were transferred to security forces for questioning. A number of them are women, according to the sources.
      BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- International aid group Oxfam on Thursday called on Israel to take the opportunity of its ceasefire in Gaza to lift the military blockade it imposes on the coastal strip. Israel tightened a land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip when Hamas took power in 2007, devastating the local economy. "People in Gaza need more than ceasefire, they need an end to the blockade for good," Oxfam’s Country Director Nishant Pandey said. Israel's recent 8-day war on Gaza ended with a ceasefire on Nov. 21, which included a pledge to discuss easing travel and economic restrictions. 
      Power company estimates its losses from Gaza war at more than $13 million
      The power company in Gaza said its direct and indirect losses during the recent Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip amounted to about 13. 2 million dollars.

      GAZA CITY—Dr. Majdi Na'eim worked for eight consecutive days at Al-Shifa Hospital throughout Israel’s “Pillar of Cloud” operation in the Gaza strip.  With hundreds of wounded pouring into the emergency room, there was no time for him and many of his colleagues to even leave the hospital.  On the final and one of the most brutal days of the assault, Israel targeted Ni’ma tower in Gaza City.  Dr. Na’eim was in the emergency room aiding physicians when he learned that one of the arriving casualties was his two year old son, Abdel Rahman Na’eim. Imagine a father’s horror and instant grief.  At his son’s wake, Dr. Na’eim told friends and family who were seeking to comfort him, "I'm terribly sorry.  I'm unable to talk about anything."   
      Is Gaza Still Occupied and Why Does It Matter?, Lisa Hajjar
      Yes, the Gaza Strip is still occupied. Despite official Israeli remonstrations that the unilateral disengagement of 2005, which removed Israeli military bases and Jewish settlers, transformed Gaza into “no longer occupied territory,” neither those changes nor anything that has transpired since has ended the occupation. “Occupation” is a legal designation of an international nature. Israel’s occupation of Gaza continues to the present day because (a) Israel continues to exercise “effective control” over this area, (b) the conflict that produced the occupation has not ended, and (c) an occupying state cannot unilaterally (and without international/diplomatic agreement) transform the international status of occupied territory except, perhaps, if that unilateral action terminates all manner of effective control.
      This week I heard a TV correspondent, who I very much respect and admire, throw back to the studio with the words "as Palestinians call it, the Israeli siege on Gaza." She was standing in Gaza City where Israeli ground forces were surrounding the perimeter of the Strip. Warships surrounded the sea and drones and F16s patrolled the skies above. If there was ever a time to call Gaza under siege with certainty, it was then. Yet as she stood talking about the strikes and the people killed, her need to be balanced at the end made her unable to tell the cold bold truth.
      Anne Paq, a French photographer and human rights specialist, will describe her experiences in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defence last month. She will show and comment on a selection of photographs that will provide an overview and first-hand account of what happened. Paq will share analysis and discuss the challenges journalists and the media faced in Gaza during this time and in general.
      There cannot be half justice; either complete justice or no justice. It is time the situation in Israel and Palestine be dealt with to achieve full justice.  Ignoring the blockade and the fragmentation imposed on an entire people cannot continue forever. Subjugating a people to live with dispossession, discrimination, and persecution should no longer be tolerated. Overlooking scores of killings -- including of children, parents, and grandparents -- is outrageous. Feeding a besieged population while arming those who control and oppress them should no longer make sense. It is about time the world, but particularly Germany and Europe, acted on justice as a core value. This is only attainable if the real problems are put forward and dealt with; namely those of the occupation, the fragmentation, and the oppression of another people.
      A year ago, I spent six days in Givon Prison near Ramle in occupied Palestine. I was part of a group of internationals en route to Gaza who, following the Israeli Navy’s seizure of the Tahrir and the Saoirse (Canadian and Irish boats, respectively) in international waters, were illegally detained. Then, a month ago, I concluded a visit to Gaza. My travelling companions and I were overwhelmed with the warm welcome offered by Palestinians in Gaza and struck by their amazing resilience. At the international linguistics conference we attended, my colleagues, including Noam Chomsky, noted the “vibrancy and vitality among young people, particularly at the university”. We also witnessed constant reminders that the Palestinians of Gaza are imprisoned by an occupying force that controls land, air, and sea access to the densely populated Strip. Their situation is in many ways worse than that of prisoners in a “normal” prison. Prisoners in many countries receive regular meals and medical care; most Palestinians in Gaza depend on food aid while crucial medications are in chronic shortage or prohibitively expensive.
      GAZA STRIP (Palestine): Some 120 Malaysians have entered the Gaza Strip as members of the Aman Palestin Solidarity Mission 2012 to deliver donations worth RM1.8mil from Malaysians of all walks of life. These volunteers, among them professionals, artistes and students, entered the Gaza Strip at 5.40 pm local time (11.40 pm Malaysian time) Thursday after travelling six hours by bus from Cairo and passing through the Suez Canal, Ismailliya, Sinai City and Arish.
      Israeli Terrorism / Violence / Aggression
      14 Injured By Army Fire In Hebron Palestinian medical sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, reported that 14 residents have been injured, while dozens were treated for the effects of teargas inhalation, during clashes with Israeli soldiers invading Bab Az-Zawiya area in the city.
      Around 500 Israeli soldiers invaded the village of Burqa, north-west of Nablus, in the middle of the night, ransacking homes and causing damages amounting to thousands of euros. Soldiers arrived in over 30 military jeeps at around 1:00am and broke into 36 houses where whole families were asleep. People in Burqa recounted their horror at finding armed soldiers with dogs surrounding their beds, and at being forced to leave their homes and stand in the rain as the Israeli military carried out its operation. One old woman who complained that the conditions were detrimental to her weak state of health was simply told to ‘shut up’ by the soldiers. Another man described how he had to wait for hours in the rain with his one-year old daughter dressed only in her pyjamas.
      NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces stormed the West Bank village of Barqa west of Nablus early Thursday and ransacked 36 homes, a Palestinian official said. Wael Daghlas, a member of the Barqa village council, told Ma'an that hundreds of soldiers were involved in the raid. Rafat Seif, 48, a resident of the village, told Ma'an that Israeli forces stormed his house at 2 a.m. without warning. Soldiers gathered his family members in one room during the raid, he said. 
      link to www.maannews.net
      NABLUS (Ma’an) -- A 47-year-old Palestinian man was beaten up by Israeli settlers during an olive harvest south of Nablus on Thursday, local officials said. Nasser Fayez Odah is in a moderate condition after a group of settlers attacked him with sticks and sharp objects, Huwara village council head Moin al-Dmeiri said. A group from the Yitzhar settlement attacked the harvesters in an area south of village called al-Lahaf, the official said. The farmers had already obtained permission from the Palestinian and Israeli liaison officials to harvest in the area, he noted. Rights groups says Israel systematically fails to prosecute settler violence against Palestinians, perpetuating the attacks.
      A Palestinian man who was shot dead by Israeli security agents outside Nablus on Monday did not attack them before they opened fire, his family insists. Thirty-five-year-old Hatem Shadid of the Illar village was driving when his car collided with an Israeli jeep near the Beit Lid village. One of the occupants of the car, a Shin Bet agent, later shot him. Israeli officials said Shadid had attacked the agents with an ax, but his family disputed the account saying he was going about his day normally when the incident occurred.
      GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A 32-year-old man died in southern Gaza on Thursday of complications from wounds sustained in an Israeli military assault on Nablus in 2004, a health ministry spokesman said. Ahmad Khashan died in Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, Ashraf al-Qidra said. Khashan had suffered weakness in the right side of his body since 2004 when he sustained head injuries from shrapnel.
      One year on, investigation into the killing of Mustafa Tamimi still not completed
      A year after the killing of Mustafa Tamimi, resident of the West Bank village of a-Nabi Saleh, who was fatally injured in the head by a tear gas canister, B’Tselem contacted Military Advocate for Operational Matters Lt. Col. Ronen Hirsch, demanding clarification of the status of the case. The organization served notice that it intends to seek legal remedy as may be required to end the delays in pursuing this case and prevent damage to the rights of the complainants and to the criminal process.
      On November 18, 2012, the Dalu family, huddled at home, waited for the war that surrounded them to end. Like everyone else in Gaza, they had nowhere to run. At 2:30PM, without warning, an Israeli missile flattened the entire building, killing all ten occupants and two from the building adjacent. Not only was the building destroyed, but the bomb carved out a deep crater where the home had been. It took four days of searching through the rubble for rescuers to find the bodies of the ten family members and two neighbors.
      I am eight months pregnant. We – my husband, Ayman Muhammad al-Jabali, 40, my two-and-a-half year old daughter Rama and I – live in an apartment building in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood. Since the fighting began on 14 November 2012 I haven't been able to sleep because I’m afraid of the bombings. I hold my daughter Rama, and read the Quran and pray to God to protect us. Rama keeps waking up, frightened by the bombings, and cries a lot. I can't get her to sleep. I became so exhausted that I phoned a pediatrician for consultation. She told me that I could give Rama a children’s sleep medicine, but that prolonged use is not recommended because then children have trouble falling asleep without it. Yet I have no choice since my daughter can't sleep because of the bombardments that shake the walls of the house so much that it feels like an earthquake. After the bombing of the building of the Palestinian civil administration, which is responsible for coordination with Israel and is located about 100 meters from our house, cracks appeared in our walls. Despite the cold, I have to leave the windows open, so that the windowpanes won’t shatter during the bombardments. We wear many layers and stay covered up to keep warm. In the previous war, 2008-2009, the glass in the windows shattered in our apartment and in all the other apartments in our building. A few passersby in the street were injured by the flying shards of glass. .
      Illegal Arrests
      Soldiers Kidnap Four Children In Hebron
      Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Thursday evening, four children in Ash-Shuhada’ Street, in the center of Hebron city, and the nearby Beit Ummar town, in the southern part of the West Bank, and released two of them later on, but refuse to release the remaining two.

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