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Including 3 Legislators, Army Kidnaps 21 Palestinians

Including 3 Legislators, Army Kidnaps 21 Palestinians

Al Qassam website\ Agencies – Monday at dawn February 4, 2013 Israeli soldiers kidnapped 21 Palestinians, including three legislators, in several districts in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestine News & Info Agency (WAFA) reported that the soldiers kidnapped, in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, legislator Ahmad Attoun, a Jerusalem legislator who was forcibly exiled to Ramallah, in addition to legislator Hatem Qfesiha from the southern West Bank city of Al Khalil, and legislator Mohammad At-Till from Ath-Thaheriyya nearby town.

Also in Ramallah, the soldiers kidnapped a resident identified as Falah Nada.

The soldiers also kidnapped a Zein Ed-Deen Shabana, a university teacher from Al Khalil.

Furthermore, soldiers invaded several neighborhoods in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and the Balata refugee camp, and kidnapped 10 Palestinians identified as Adnan Asfour, Baker Bilal, Omar Al-Jabreeny, Baha’ Ya’ish, Mahmoud Aseeda, Qaher Moammar, Mjally Issa, Shaker Suleiman and two brothers identified as Jihad and Nidal Al-Oweiwy.

In Qalqilia, also in the northern part of the West Bank, the army kidnapped one resident identified as Riyadh Al-Walweel.

Army also invaded the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, and the Tulkarem refugee camp, and kidnapped two residents identified as Fadi Al-Ammoury and Ahmad Al-Hosary, after breaking into their homes and searching them.

Soldiers broke into the Zakat Office of the Ministry of Religious Affairs in the city and confiscated several computers.

Ghazi Al-Hajj Qassem, head of the Zakat Committee, stated that the soldiers detonated the main door, and searched the office causing extensive damage.

In Bethlehem, the soldiers invaded the Al-Obeiyyat area, and kidnapped Wael Obeiyyat, 21, and also kidnapped Ma’moun Zawahra, 24, from Doha town, and Mohammad Sabah, 18, from Tequa’.

In related news, The Palestinian Prisoners Society reported that, two days ago, the Israeli army started a large-scale arrest campaign in the West Bank, and kidnapped more than 40 Palestinians, including several legislators.

(www.qassam.ps / 05.02.2013)

Israel deploys 3rd missile system to north: reports

Defense Minister Ehud Barak implied Israel was responsible for a January 30 air strike inside Syria that was immediately attributed to the Jewish state.(AFP)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak implied Israel was responsible for a January 30 air strike inside Syria that was immediately attributed to the Jewish state

Israel has deployed a third Iron Dome missile defense battery to the north of the country a few days after carrying out an air strike inside neighboring Syria, Israeli media said on Tuesday.

“The deployment of several Iron Dome batteries in the north of the country comes as part of the setting up of the system,” an army spokesman was quoted as saying.

The third Iron Dome battery’s dispatch comes after Defense Minister Ehud Barak implied Israel was responsible for a January 30 air strike inside Syria that was immediately attributed to the Jewish state.

The strike targeted a military complex near Damascus that a US official later said contained surface-to-air missiles, and an adjacent facility said to house chemical weapons.

Israeli media last month reported the deployment of two Iron Dome batteries to the country’s north as a precaution against potential attacks from Syria or Lebanon.

The Jewish state fears the possibility of chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamist militants should Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fall, as Damascus continues to fight a two-year uprising that has turned into a bloody civil war.

The Iron Dome batteries — which can shoot down missile attacks with a range of up to 70 kilometers — would allow Israel to launch a quick strike on targets in its two northern neighbors, a security source told AFP.

The much vaunted anti-missile system played a prominent role in an eight-day confrontation between the Jewish state and Gaza-based militants that ended with a November 21 ceasefire deal.

(english.alarabiya.net / 05.02.2013)

Kill Him Silently

The story behind Mossad’s bungled bid to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.
On September 25, 1997, the Israeli secret service tried to kill Khaled Meshaal, the Palestinian political leader of the Hamas movement.

A six-member team had arrived in the Jordanian capital, Amman, a week before the date set for the assassination of the head of the Hamas political bureau who was living in exile.

The Israeli agents had entered through Jordan’s Queen Alia International airport from Amsterdam, Toronto and Paris using false Canadian passports.


Interviewed in the film, Meshaal says: “The Israeli threats started that summer. Israel had tried but failed to prevent Palestinian operations. So it escalated its threats especially against Hamas leaders abroad. With hindsight, those threats reveal what the Israelis were planning. But at the same time we felt relatively at ease since Israel had never carried out an operation in Jordan.”

Mossad’s move to assassinate Meshaal came in the wake of a series of suicide bombings Hamas carried out in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The attacks had left over 20 Israelis dead and hundreds injured.

Israel was enraged and Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, called for an urgent meeting with his security services, including Mossad. He wanted a significant and telling strike against Hamas.

The objective was clear: retaliation.

At the same time there was a growing sense of mutual irritation at the heart of the Jordanian-Israeli relations. With this backdrop, Netanyahu gave the green light for the Mossad covert operation against Meshaal.

It was to involve a slow-acting but lethal poison that would gradually shut down the brain’s respiratory centre, leading to death. The plan was to spray the toxin into Meshaal’s ears, leaving no apparent trace of any weapon, and leading to death within 48 hours.

One of Meshaal’s bodyguards, Muhammad Abu Saif, had chased the two Mossad agents who had carried out the operation and, with the help of a passing Palestinian Liberation Army officer, later captured them.

The failed assassination proved to be one of the greatest fiascos in the history of special operations, and a pivotal moment in the rise of Hamas.

This two-part film features exclusive interviews with Meshaal himself as well as with Danny Yatom, the then head of the Mossad, who masterminded the attempt to kill the Hamas leader, and who later fled to Jordan with the antidote that saved Meshaal’s life.

The second part of the film shows events following the failed assassination attempt, including behind-the-scenes discussions during the diplomatic struggle involving Jordan, Israel and the US.

Retired Major-General Ali Shukri, who was the manager of the office of Jordan’s King Hussein back in 1997, played a key role in managing the crisis that ensued following the Israeli attack on Meshaal.

“King Hussein called President Clinton and informed him of what had happened. Clinton listened with astonishment. He couldn’t believe that could happen in Jordan. By the end of the conversation Clinton was angry and said: “That man is impossible!”, referring to Netanyahu.

“King Hussein informed Clinton of his demands – the antidote and the nature of the [toxins] used against Meshaal. He told him the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel would be over if Meshaal died.”

At the same time, Danny Yatom, then chief of the Mossad, immediately travelled to Amman to meet King Hussein, who was reportedly furious with Yatom.

The aim of Yatom’s trip: To contain the situation.

With tensions running high, King Hussein ordered his security forces to surround the Israeli embassy in Amman, where other members of the Mossad assassination squad were believed to be hiding.

Meanwhile doctors at the Hussein Medical City hospital were struggling to diagnose Meshaal, who already lay in a coma.

After expert consultation the doctors concluded that a large amount of an opiate-like drug had been administered to Meshaal. Tests showed it was a drug similar to morphine, which if administered in high doses, would have the effect of disabling the body’s respiratory system.

On September 27, Meshaal came out of the coma, appearing to return from the dead.

The media knew nothing of the secret negotiations between Jordan and Israel, or King Hussein’s demand for the antidote, until later.

The Israeli government and the secret service came under Israeli media fire for a double humiliation – of failing to kill the Hamas leader without being caught and of being forced to release the founder of Hamas from jail in a prisoner exchange deal.

Kill Him Silently is the story behind Mossad’s bungled bid to assassinate Meshaal and the part the operation played in the Palestinian group’s rise to power.

(www.aljazeera.com / 05.02.2013)

Help release Mamun Nasser from Israeli prison

Shepherd Mamun Nasser has spent almost two months in an Israeli military prison after he was severely beaten by settlers while tending to his sheep. Military court has agreed to his release if the sum of 4000 NIS is paid for bail. Mamun’s family can not afford this amount. Help us raise the funds to secure his release.

Scene of the attackOn 17th December Mamun Nasser was tending his sheep on a hillside in his village land close to the illegal settler colony of Yizhar. Settlers sought out Mamun and handcuffed him then beat him. His brothers, two of his sisters and his mother who were first to arrive to his aid found Mamun surrounded by settlers covered in blood with most of his face severely swollen. As they attempted to get Mamun from the settlers Israeli soldiers arrived and opened fire shooting live bullets at his family, with one bullet passing through his sister’s dress. Mamun’s brother Amir wasn’t so ‘lucky’ and was hit in the leg. As word of the attack on Mamun spread more villagers arrived and fought to try to free Mamun. In the process a settler was hit by a stone and wounded.

Mamun was arrested by the military and taken away while family and friends managed to carry Amir to an ambulance. Mamun was first taken to Huwwara military base on 17 December and then transferred to Megiddo prison the next day and charged with assaulting both the settlers and soldiers. He has spent almost two months in military captivity. Then on 22 January, Mamun’s brother, Amir, who was shot in the original incident was also arrested by the military when he returned home after a days work.

Settlers and soldiers attacking MadamaAccording to statistics by OCHA (the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), Yizhar is the most violent settlement in the whole of the West Bank having recorded over 70 incidents in 2011 alone. One OCHA report reveals how “90% of monitored complaints regarding settler violence filed by Palestinians with the Israeli police in recent years have been closed without indictment”. In the case of Mamun and Amir, it was not the attackers who were brought in front of a judge but them, the victims of the attack have since remained imprisoned.

This incident is only one example of collaboration between settlers, soldiers and military courts. Settlers from Yitzhar and other settlements regularly attack Palestinians whose land they confiscate. When Palestinians try to defend themselves from these attacks the soldiers take over, attack the Palestinians and kill, injure or arrest them thus keeping them off their land.

The Military courts are willing to release Mamun provided the sum of 4000 NIS ($ 1100) is paid for bail and on the condition that he does not return to the land where he was attacked until the end of his proceedings. Mamun’s family can not afford to pay this amount. Please help us raise the funds needed to secure his release now. Please donate here and send us an email saying how much you were able to raise/donate. Thank you!

Video: Settlers and soldiers attacking Madama. It shows collusion between settlers and soldiers in Madama the day Mamun was arrested.


(palsolidarity.org / 05.02.2013)

Occupation cracks down on Palestinians in Jerusalem


 Changes at the top of the Jerusalem District police are being felt in the eastern part of the capital. Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem have complained that the police, under New district commander Maj. Gen. Yossi Prienti, have been implementing an almost declared policy of collective punishment against neighborhoods considered too disruptive.

Two weeks ago such an enforcement/punishment operation ended in Isawiya in north Jerusalem, and a week ago a new operation started in Silwan. The operations included numerous arrests, roadblocks to inspect vehicles, tax collection, house demolitions, shutting off water, various fines, searches and random checks of identification, and more. Residents said police officers and commanders have admitted to them that in practice it is punishment in response to rock-throwing and other disturbances.

“Learn not to throw rocks. As long as you continue to throw rocks we aren’t leaving,” one Silwan resident said a police officer told him.

Last July, Maj. Gen. Niso Shaham left his post as commander of the Jerusalem District after he was investigated for sexually harassing female subordinates. The short period Shaham was in command was considered to be one of quiet. There was a drop in the number of violent incidents between residents and the police, as well as in the number of rock-throwing incidents and arrests. Shaham was replaced last August by Prienti.

Prienti served in many posts in the Southern District and brought new-old methods with him to Jerusalem. “The new commander set us back five years,” said Nasrin Alian, an attorney with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. “In Niso Shaham’s time things changed for the better, there was less tear gas, fewer rubber bullets and we didn’t see such large enforcement actions. I regret that with the entry of the new district commander the situation changed,” said Alian.

The residents’ feelings are backed by data. Last month, 143 residents of East Jerusalem were arrested, most from Isawiya and Silwan, on suspicion of disturbing public order, rock throwing and interfering with a police officer in the course of his duties, according to figures from the Silwan Information Center. In comparison, for all of 2011, only 566 East Jerusalem residents were arrested, and in 2010 only 460.

Last year, the latter half of which saw Prienti in the district commander’s role, there were 761 such arrests. Some of these arrests, claim Palestinians, were accompanied by violence.

The wave of arrests in Isawiya started two months ago, after residents marched and demonstrated in support of one of the village residents, Samar Isawi, who was freed in the Gilad Shalit deal and is now back in prison, and on a hunger strike. The march deteriorated into stone throwing at a police force that blocked the road. After the incident, police started its arrest and enforcement operation in Isawiya. Over 100 local residents, including minors were arrested. Residents also accused the police involved, which include Border Police and riot police units, of using excessive violence during the arrests.

Other authorities are also taking part in the enforcement actions, including the Jerusalem municipality, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Israel Tax Authority, National Insurance Institute, Traffic Police and the Jerusalem municipal water corporation. All of these bodies have united under the auspices of the police to make residents’ lives miserable, in their words.

Police denied the claims of collective punishment and cited a number of violent incidents and terror attacks against Jewish residents near Isawiya as an explanation for their actions in the village.

As a result of the numerous incidents of throwing of rocks and Molotov cocktails in Isawiya and Silwan at citizens and police, arrests of leading activists was initiated, police said. Last week, after the operation ended, Prienti and other senior officers met with village elders, who promised to do everything possible to impose order, said the police.

Police said there has been no change in policy except for the arrest of leading violent demonstrators, adding that other authorities joined the police in their areas of responsibility.

The Jerusalem municipality said it operates routinely to enforce the law in all city neighborhoods equally. “Any claim of collective punishment is baseless,” it said.

(gm2j.com / 05.02.2013)

Israeli water firm drying up Palestinian springs, says UN report

A Palestinian Bedouin child drinks water on a road between Jericho and Ramallah; Bedouins in the West Bank have access to as little as 10 liters of water per day.

The Israeli national water company Mekorot undermines Palestinians’ access to water, according to a new report commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The report finds that deep water drillings by Mekorot and the Israeli agri-industrial firm Mehadrin in the occupied Jordan Valley have caused the drying up of Palestinian wells and springs. About 80 percent of all water drilled in this area is consumed by Israel and its illegal settlements in the West Bank.

Mekorot took over responsibility for the West Bank’s water resources from the Israeli military in 1982. The new report documents a clear pattern of discrimination against Palestinians. Whereas Palestinians living in most of the West Bank face “chronic shortages,” Israeli settlements enjoy a constant supply of water. Palestinians are prevented from using wastewater provided to Israeli settlements for irrigation and instead have to rely on more expensive water for that purpose. Furthermore, valves supplying Palestinians tend to be cut off when water shortages occur, yet no such restrictions are applied to the use of water by Israeli settlers.

The World Health Organization recommends that each individual should have access to 100 liters of water per day. Israeli settlers in the West Bank typically consume 400 liters per day, the report states, while Palestinians have to make do with just 73 liters or, in the case of Palestinian Bedouins, as little as 10 liters.


The new UN report is the result of a mission investigating Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israel tried to hamper field visits to Israel and the West Bank by the mission, led by French magistrate Christine Chanet, by ignoring five request for cooperation. However, the mission succeeded in obtaining first-hand information during meetings held in Jordan. The report highlights the role of businesses in Israel’s settlements.

Information gathered by the mission shows that private firms have enabled, facilitated and profited, directly and indirectly, from the construction and growth of the settlements. It identified a number of business activities that raise particular concerns about abuses of human rights. They include:

• The supply of equipment and materials facilitating the construction of settlements and Israel’s wall in the West Bank;

• The supply of surveillance and identification equipment for settlements, the wall and military checkpoints;

• The supply of equipment for the demolition of housing and property, including the destruction of farms, greenhouses, olives groves and crops,;

• The supply of security services, equipment and materials to businesses operating in settlements;

• The provision of transport and other services to support the maintenance of settlements;

• Banking and financial operations helping to develop, expand or maintain settlements and their activities, including loans for housing and business development;

• The use of natural resources, in particular water and land, for business purposes;

• Pollution, dumping and transfer of waste to Palestinian villages;

• The way Palestinian financial and economic markets are held captive by Israel, as well as practices that disadvantage Palestinian businesses, including through restrictions on movement, and administrative and legal constraints.

Fully aware

According to the new report, companies active in the settlements are fully aware that they are abusing international law and contributing to violations of human rights.

Industrial parks in settlements, such as Barkan and Mishor Adumim, are criticized for enticing firms to the settlements with tax sweeteners and by emphasizing how Palestinians are paid lower wages than Israeli workers. Economic activities in these zones are growing, the mission adds.

The mission also notes that a number of banks provide mortgages for homebuyers and special loans for building projects in settlements. In some cases, the banks are physically present there.

It also states that Israel labels all its export products as originating from Israel, including those wholly or partially produced in settlements. Some companies operating in settlements have been accused of hiding the original place of production of their products. This poses problems for the customs authorities of other countries, as well as raising issues in relation to consumers’ right to information.

The mission urges private companies to cease operating in the settlements.

The report should prove useful for activists pushing for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. It states plainly that firms active in the settlements are facilitating abuses of human rights.

(electronicintifada.net / 04.02.2013)

Taher al-Nunu: Electricity crisis is caused by occupation


Deprivation policies kill more people, than any weapon of Israel has killed so far. Deliberate deprivation causing excess death was the cause of death of 1 Million Jewish people in the Holocaust. Yet this world refuses to act against an even bigger genocide: Violent caused death and those slayed by proxy: The Palestinian Genocide

GAZA, (PIC)– Taher Nunu, Gaza government spokesman, held the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Nunu said in a statement on his Facebook page on Saturday evening that the government is striving in every way to find solutions to the electricity crisis.

He stressed that the power crisis is caused by the occupation due to the siege imposed on Gaza, and noted that even if it is the government’s duty to find solutions and substitutes, it cannot accept exchanging the rights with electricity or money.

“We will not sell our country in exchange for electricity,” said the government spokesman, denouncing some media comments which say that the government is in charge of providing electricity even through holding agreements with Israel.

Nine civilians, including 6 from the same family, died in the last few days in three separate incidents caused by the misuse of candles during power outages.

The citizen Raed Abu Hayya, 42, died on Saturday morning, after the outbreak of fire in the house of one of his neighbors in the Saftawi area in the north of Gaza City.

The spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, told PIC’s reporter that the citizen Abu Hayya died after inhaling smoke from the fire, while trying to help in extinguishing the fire, which was caused by a candle, and saving the house’s inhabitants.

A fire had also broke out last Thursday in a house in Shejaeya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City and caused the death of a whole family.

(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 04.02.2013)

Israel detains Hamas MPs, officials across West Bank

An Israeli soldier points during clashes with stone throwing Palestinians in the West Bank village of Burin, south of Nablus Feb. 2, 2013.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces conducted an arrest sweep of Hamas-affiliated officials in the West Bank overnight Sunday, including three Palestinian MPs.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said 25 Palestinians were arrested overnight, with 23 belonging to the Islamist group.

She would not confirm whether Hamas lawmakers had been arrested and did not provide any of the men’s names or say why they had been detained.

Hamas said in a statement that the three Hamas lawmakers — Ahmed Attoun in al-Bireh, Hatem Qafisha in Hebron and Mohammed al-Tal in al-Dhahiriyya — had been detained in the early hours of the morning.

“It is a criminal act that will not succeed in stopping their struggle,” the statement said. “We in the Hamas movement strongly condemn the campaign of arbitrary arrests that took in dozens of Hamas leaders.”

Local leaders

Twelve other Hamas officials were seized in the raids overnight Saturday, as well as several Palestinians not holding a political position, according to local sources.

In Hebron, forces detained Dr Zein Addin Shabanah from Hebron city and Sheikh Samir Buheis from Yatta.

In Ramallah, Israeli troops arrested Sheikh Falah Nada from Al-Bireh and Adnan al-Husary was seized in Tulkarem. In Qalqiliya, Riyad Walweel and Sheikh Muhsin al-Hardan were detained.

Five other Hamas officials were seized in the Nablus district. They were identified as Adnan Asfour, Bahaa Yaish, and Bakr Said Bilal from Nablus city, and Omar al-Jibrini from Balata refugee camp and Mahmoud Saqr Asida from Tal village.

Meanwhile, locals identified seven other Palestinians detained overnight. They were named as Fadi al-Amouri from Tulkarem, Mamoon Muhammad Zawahira from Doha in Bethlehem. In the Nablus village of Qaryut, Jihad Salah Addin Badawi, Nidal Salah Addin Badawi, Mujalli Zuheir Issa, Qahir Ahmad Muammar, and Shakir Ahmad Mousa were all detained.

Israel holds 4,743 Palestinians in its prisons, including 178 held without charge, according to latest figures from prisoners group Addameer.

The Palestinian Authority says 15 MPs are currently detained in Israel jails.

Impediment to reconciliation

Gaza’s minister of prisoners’ affairs Atallah Abu al-Sabh warned that the detentions could impede the ongoing efforts to achieve reconciliation between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah.

At a Gaza City news conference the official laid some blame at the Fatah-led authorities in the West Bank.

“These detentions wouldn’t have been made without high-level security coordination,” Abu al-Sabh said, referring to coordination between Israeli forces and the Palestinian Authority’s security services.

Meanwhile, PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said the arrests were an Israeli intrusion into internal Palestinian politics.

“It is apparent the Israeli government is implementing a policy of intimidation and power politics to meddle in Palestinian domestic affairs and to undermine reconciliation efforts,” she said in a statement.

She urged Arab, European and international parliaments to urge Israel to respect human rights, including the immunity of democratically elected officials, saying “Israel is not above the law.”

(maannews.net / 04.02.2013)

Israel prevents 20,000 children from living with their parents in Jerusalem


Israel prevents 20,000 children from living with their parents in JerusalemIsraeli Interior Ministry refuses to list the children in the population register and show them on the ID cards of their parents.

Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups have revealed that 20,000 children from Jerusalem are denied permission to live with their parents in the occupied city of Jerusalem because, the Israeli authorities say, one parent holds a West Bank ID card. Apart from the mental anguish, this is causing great difficulty for these children with regards to their access to education and health services.

The problem goes back to 2002, when the Israeli Interior Ministry took the decision to freeze all requests for family reunification submitted by couples who have one spouse carrying a blue (Jerusalem) ID card and the other a West Bank ID card. This was one of a series of measures aimed at emptying Jerusalem of its Palestinian residents and pushing Israel’s “Judaisation” policy.

The statistics indicate that there are about 149,000 citizens whom Israeli law regards as residents, not as citizens with permanent residence. This also applies to nearly a quarter of a million Jerusalemites carrying Jerusalem ID, which adds up to the total number of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem.

Moreover, Hamoked human rights centre in Israel, which handles the cases of 90 Jerusalemite children, confirms that the Israeli Interior Ministry refuses to list the children in the population register and show them on the ID cards of their parents.

Since the mid-nineties, this policy of “silent expulsion” has led to 30,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites losing their residency rights in their own city, as well as their social and economic rights, such as healthcare and allowances for child insurance, unemployment and disability. According to the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER), 2008 saw the highest number of withdrawals of residency rights cases, with the ID cards of 5,000 Jerusalemites being seized by the Israelis.

Furthermore, this policy has forced hundreds of Jerusalemite families to leave their homes and properties in the suburb of Al-Braid and the towns of Al-Ram, Al-Eizariya and Abu Dis. They are now renting in areas within the artificial boundaries of the municipality in order to avoid the persecution of the Israeli national insurance investigators and Interior Ministry, which use private investigators to track-down Jerusalemites, even within those areas of full Palestinian sovereignty. This applies especially to Ramallah and Bethlehem, where large numbers of Jerusalemites have settled in the past two decades to escape the economic pressures they are put under by the Israeli-led Jerusalem municipality and the various tax departments.

With the move from the suburbs to the heart of Jerusalem came a new issue; the escalation of the suffocating housing crisis from which Jerusalemites are suffering due to the fact they are crammed into a limited area. This has caused them to build and extend homes without Israeli permission; the Israeli authorities impose severe restrictions on Palestinian construction. According to the Interior Ministry, there are over 20,000 “unlicensed” houses in East Jerusalem. Moreover, the fee charged for a building permit has reached about $30,000.

The demand for rental accommodation has prompted an increase in average rents. A 2-bedroom apartment will cost at least $600 per month; the rent will be double that for a 3-bedroom property.

Israel is “concerned” that the percentage of Palestinians in Jerusalem is predicted to rise to 40 per cent by 2020. It prefers to see the figure closer to 22 per cent. At the moment the figure stands at about 36 per cent, thanks to the high birth rate amongst Palestinians and the flow of “secular Jews” from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and other parts of Israel.

The Israelis used the outbreak of the Second (“Al-Aqsa”) Intifada in 2000, in order to isolate Jerusalem from its West Bank hinterland, seizing whole neighbourhoods, or parts of them, inhabited by about 125,000 people. In addition, it has increased the presence of settlements in the city by establishing 16 illegal settlements on more than 35 per cent of Palestinian-owned land in Jerusalem. The number of illegal settlers reached 220,000 in 2009, rising to 250,000 in 2011 and 300,000 in 2012.

(www.middleeastmonitor.com / 04.02.2013)

Report: Israeli escalation in detaining children and house demolitions



OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued a report on Saturday monitoring the Israeli violations in occupied Jerusalem during the month of January last year.

The report pointed to the Israeli escalation in arresting Palestinian minors in particular the towns of Silwan and Issawiya where they were subjected to interrogation before being turned to home arrest.

The report also dealt with the Israeli policy of demolishing houses, where the occupation municipality has demolished at the beginning of the year the house of the hunger striker Samer al-Issawi’s brother and it also demolished a number of houses and uprooted trees in Wadi al-Rababah south of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Wadi al-Hilwah reported 43 arrest cases during the month of January, half of them carried out in Silwan, and some others in Issawiya, and few cases in the Old City of Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The Centre indicated that about half of the detainees were children aged between 12-14 years.

The Jerusalem Municipality has demolished at the beginning of this year a house under construction belonging to Raafat al-Issawi in the village of Issawiya, in addition to razing vast lands and uprooting several trees, while demolishing a number of Palestinian facilities and confiscation of Palestinian properties.

The report pointed out to handing demolition orders against a number of installations and houses in Tur and Issawiya.

Israeli bulldozers demolished a building in the neighborhood of Ras al-Amud under construction consisting of 4 floors; in addition to demolishing 3 houses belonging to Palestinian families consisting of 7 and 8 members.

In Beit Safafa, Israeli bulldozers demolished shelters for sheep and poultry belonging to the Salah family, in addition to warning to demolish 4 others and to evacuate all stalls in Bab al-Amoud within the old walls of Jerusalem.

At the end of January 2013, the Jerusalem Municipality launched demolition and bulldozing campaign targeting lands and houses in the neighborhood of Wadi Rababah in Silwan.

Meanwhile, the occupation authorities handed demolition orders against 13 houses, in addition to the demolition of 10 tin huts in Al-Fahidat neighborhood located east of the village of Anata.

The so-called city administration handed evacuation notices to east Jerusalem Bedouins in favor of settlement expansion, in addition to the demolition of the village of Bab al-Shams.

The report stated that during the demolition process, the Israeli occupation forces attacked the people of Silwan in their homes and lands, leading to the injury of several people, including 3 women.

The occupation forces prevented a ministerial delegation from roaming in Jerusalem under the pretext of being sent by the Palestinian Authority, where they detained the Minister of Housing and Public Works, Maher Ghneim, and Undersecretary of Media Ministry, Mahmoud Khalifa, at Hazma checkpoint, also they summoned 4 Jerusalemites for interrogation.

During the month of January, Israeli settlers have stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque several times, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Buraq Wall in coincidence with the Israeli Election Day.

The occupation forces prevented aid supplies for the people of the northern and Southern Jordan Valley, where they stormed several houses, restaurants and shops in the Issawiya in light of the Israeli campaign began in December last year targeting the residents and properties in Issawiya village where 147 citizens were arrested.

The IOF also surrounded Omari mosque in Sur Baher, leading to confrontations.

Meanwhile, settlers’ attacks have continued during January against the Palestinian youths and mosques, where they stormed and damaged Dawud mosque.

Concerning prisoners’ issue, the liberated prisoner Ashraf abu Dhra’a, 29, was martyred in Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem, due to the Israeli medical negligence, while three Palestinian prisoners were released after ending their prison terms.

(www.palestine-info.co.uk / 03.02.2013)