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Palestinian stabbed to death in Israel

RAMALLAH — A Palestinian construction worker was stabbed to death in the Israeli city of Raisin Letzion early Friday, a report said.

The Israel’s Radio said that the 25-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank was evacuated to the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center after sustaining knife wounds to the chest. He succumbed to his wounds while on the operating table.

The report said that the Israeli police arrested an Israeli resident at the construction site for questioning.

The details are unclear, the report said. The police said that the Palestinian man was illegally working in Israel. However, the police believe that at around 2 a.m. the Palestinian was involved in a fight that erupted near the construction site he was working at in the western part of the city.

The number of Palestinian workers Israel gives work permits has drastically dropped following the start of the Second Intifada in 2000 and the building of the separation wall. According to Palestinian statistics, around 25,000 Palestinians work legally in Israel.

The estimated 30,000 Palestinians enter Israel for work illegally.

The number of Palestinian workers in Israel reached 118,000 on the eve of Second Intifada.Israel says some 32,000 Palestinians earn their living inside the country and another 27,750 Palestinians work for Israeli employers in the West Bank.

Hundreds of unemployed Palestinian workers risk their lives by creeping into Israel to look for jobs in the labor market as the rate of joblessness in the Palestinian territory hits 24.9 percent.

(Source / 15.02.2013)

‘No place in Israel for Palestine,’ says Naftali Bennett in maiden Knesset speech

Habayit Hayehudi chairman Naftali Bennett making his first Knesset speech on Feb. 12, 2013.

In his first address to the Knesset, Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett on Tuesday rejected any possibility of an agreement that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

“There’s no place in our small and stunning piece of God’s country for another state,” he said. “It won’t happen. But friends, before any debate about territory, it must be said: The Land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel. Now let’s argue.”

Bennett also referred to his commitment to making the defense burden more equitable.

“My Haredi brothers, army service is also a mitzvah, no less than that,” he said. “It cannot be that they [the Haredim] won’t serve in the army. It cannot be that they won’t bear the economic burden. This is clear to the Haredim as well.”

Bennett called on the new MKs to band together to advance their common goals.

“For the first time there are 47 new MKs, a record number, creating a special mix of elected officials who are not tied to a long list of obligations to vote contractors, tycoons, or unions or to any conceptual fixations. We can create partnerships that were thought in the past to be impossible, so we can bring the Jewish people achievements that until now seemed impossible.”

(Source / 15.02.2013)

Israel launches new round of West Bank raids

A young Palestinian flashes a victory sign after being arrested by Israeli soldiers following clashes during a demonstration in support with Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israeli prisons on 14 February 2013 in Nablus, in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli forces arrested a young Palestinian at a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Jenin at dawn on Friday, before raiding several homes in a nearby village to deliver summons for questioning, local media reported.

WAFA news agency said that soldiers arrested 22-year-old Oweis Mazen Noahida from the town of Yamoun at an army checkpoint near the illegal Mabo Dothan settlement, without providing further details.

Meanwhile, soldiers raided homes in the village of Sanur early Friday to deliver summons to residents Mohammed Issa (25 years), Murad Gharbiyya (23 years), Suleiman Jarrar (23 years), and Abdullah Issa (24 years), the report added.

The arrest comes just hours after Israeli forces raided homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Bir Ayyub, in the town of Silwan, Thursday evening and arrested seven men.

Witnesses told WAFA that soldiers assaulted three women from the Roweidi family as their young children watched in fear during one raid.

Israeli forces also summoned three others for questioning, the report added.

Earlier on Thursday Israeli forces kicked in the doors of a home in the southern West Bank town of Beit Ummar and arrested 25-year-old Raed Ikhlayel, a Palestian official cited by Ma’an news agency said.

He said a 15-member force raided the home at 6am and rushed the youth away in a white, unmarked van.

A number of other Palestinians were detained Thursday during a Nablus demonstration in solidarity with jailed Palestinian hunger striker Samer Issawi

(Source / 15.02.2013)

Israeli government gives convicted murderer 1.3 million for illegal takeover of Palestinian land

An Israeli settler who was released early from a life sentence for killing 3 Palestinians in 1983 has received compensation of 1.3 million NIS (around $250,000) from the Israeli Tax Authority for alleged damage to land that he has cultivated in the Hebron area – land that he illegally confiscated from its Palestinian owners.

Menachem Livni (image by afsi.org)
Menachem Livni

Menachem Livni is a settler in the ultra-right wing settlement of Kiryat Arba, in the Palestinian city of Hebron, and says that he is entitled to the payments, and will continue to sue the Israeli government for more money.

Livni was convicted of the murder of three Palestinian students, and the wounding of 33 others, when he and two other right-wing settlers with the so-called ‘Israeli Underground’ threw hand grenades and fired automatic weapons at the Islamic College of Hebron in 1983.

He was sentenced to life in prison along with the other perpetrators of the attack, Shaul Nir and Uzi Sharbav, but he received an early release when he was pardoned by Israeli President Chaim Herzog in 1990.

He immediately moved to the Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba, which soon became known for violent attacks against Palestinians and illegal seizure of Palestinian land.

Livni himself took over a large swath of Palestinian farmland and began growing fruit. He was provided with his own contingent of Israeli military troops to protect his stolen swath of land from the Palestinian owners, who repeatedly attempted to reclaim it.

According to Livni, he had a lease on the land from the Israeli Settlement Authority. He told the Israeli paper Ha’aretz, “I am on the land with a permit and I have invested a lot of money in it. I want to renew the contract and there is an argument with the administration about whether the contract will be with the Settlement Department [of the Jewish Agency] or with me personally.”

But according to the Israeli government, any permit that may have existed expired in 2004. But the payments to Livni from the Israeli Tax Agency continued until at least 2009.

And the convicted murderer is continuing to demand more compensation from the Israeli government for alleged damage to the land he took over from its Palestinian owners.

(Source / 15.02.2013)

Mystery Australian’s next-of-kin seek compensation from Israel

The headstone of the grave of Ben Zygier is pictured at a Jewish cemetery in Melbourne, Feb. 14.


JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Relatives of an Australian immigrant to Israel who killed himself in 2010 while secretly jailed on charges of violating national security are seeking compensation from the state, a source briefed on the affair said Friday.

The source said the talks were preliminary as Israel had not formally faulted its prison authorities in the death of Ben Zygier, which was made public this week by an Australian television expose that described him as a Mossad officer.

A Mossad link has been neither denied nor confirmed by Australia or Israel, where military censorship and court gag orders kept many details of the case from the media.

The silence has fanned media speculation that Israel believes the 34-year-old Melbourne Jew had betrayed its intelligence agency’s high-stakes work abroad.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which oversees the Mossad, did not respond for a request for comment on the matter.

Israel’s Haaretz daily said the state agreed to pay “several million shekels” in damages to Zygier’s family around six weeks ago, when an internal inquest declared his death a suicide.

The inquest result was disclosed by the Justice Ministry on Wednesday, in Israel’s only official statement on the case. The statement, which did not identify Zygier by name, said a judge had also ordered an “evaluation regarding issues of negligence”.

A source briefed on the affair denied there had been any agreement to compensate Zygier’s family for the failure of staff to prevent his suicide at Ayalon prison, where he had been held for months, under alias and in isolation from other inmates.

“There’s no decision on negligence yet, so there’s no compensation in any form in that regard,” the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “What there have been are initial inquiries by the deceased’s representatives about compensation.”

‘Grave crime’

A Zygier family lawyer, Moshe Mazur, declined to comment, citing the sensitivity of the case.

So did Israel’s Prisons Service. But one of its officials voiced skepticism about the idea of compensation being agreed with Zygier’s family, saying such payouts in negligence cases could take “years” to negotiate.

Avigdor Feldman, an Israeli lawyer with whom Zygier briefly consulted while in prison, said he knew of no compensation deal.

Were the state to pay damages for negligence, he said, it would not reflect any official position on Zygier’s guilt or innocence: “Even convicted criminals are eligible for compensation if their jailers fail to provide for their well-being as required.”

Feldman said Zygier died after being indicted for “grave crimes” but before being tried. Zygier had denied the charges against him but was considering a plea bargain, Feldman said.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said on Thursday that Canberra was told Zygier had been held over “serious offenses under Israeli national security legislation”.

Feldman told Israeli radio on Thursday that a “Mossad liaison” contact had arranged his meeting with Zygier.

The Age, a Melbourne newspaper, said in a report citing Australian security officials that Zygier may have been in contact with the intelligence services of his native country and “been about to blow the whistle” about Mossad operations – including their possible fraudulent use of Australian passports.

A veteran intelligence officer who declined to be identified by name or nationality said there was a possibility that, had Zygier indeed served Mossad, the agency would have paid death benefits to his family — regardless of the charges against him.

“If he was never tried, then he was never found guilty, and he may be considered to have died while in active service,” the intelligence veteran said. “That would make his next-of-kin eligible to the various relevant payouts.”

The Hebrew word for compensation, “pitzuim”, can also be used for benefits paid without claims of misconduct.

(Source / 15.02.2013)

Settler attacks on Palestinian village backed by Israeli army arrests and violence

Palestinian rights organization Addameer warned yesterday about an escalation of violence against the people of Palestinian village Azzoun in the occupied West Bank.

Nine young men, including six children, have been arrested by Israeli forces over the past few days. The army executed the arrests after Israelis from nearby illegal settlement attacked Azzoun. Addameer writes:

On 9 February settlers twice attacked the village. At 7pm they first tried to attack the home of a village member, before returning later that night at 9pm to again attack the village. After IOF [Israeli occupation forces] arrived violent clashes broke out until 11.45pm, with IOF using tear gas, rubber bullets and sound bombs. The following day 10 February a group of settlers again attacked the village, closing off the main road for two hours.

At 2.30am on the morning of 11 February IOF raided the village and arrested nine people, including 6 children, the youngest of which was just 12 years old. Five of the nine youngsters have since been released.

As a further punitive measure IOF have also closed off the main entrance of Azzoun with concrete blocks forcing residents to walk six kilometers to get to the other side.

Azzoun, a village located just outside of Qalqilia, has witnessed a spike in arrests, especially of youth and children, in the past year. About 80 residents were arrested by the IOF in 2012, of them 68 were youth under 18 years old. So far in 2013 25 residents of Azzoun have been arrested.

During the arrests, children are treated violently, including being handcuffed and subjected to intimidation and in some cases beatings during interrogation. The residents spoke of deliberate destruction of the contents of the homes during night raids, sometimes with the aid of police dogs, in order to ruin the family’s food and personal property.

A village living under Israeli occupation

An estimated 8,500 Palestinians live in Azzoun. Over the years, Israeli forces have regularly blocked and raided the village.

November and December 2012: Israeli occupation forces implemented curfews on ten different occasions, and regularly blocked the main village entrance during the night raids, reports Addameer.

October 2012: Israeli soldiers invaded Azzoun, sealed the village, and imposed curfew forcing the residents under house arrest, reported the International Middle East Media Centre:

Local sources reported that the soldiers were deployed on all main entrances of the village, and prevented the residents from entering or leaving it. The army invaded the village from different locations, and forced all merchants to close their shops, and attacked several residents before imposing curfew on the village.

January 2012: “On 16 January, at around 1:30 am, approximately 20 Israeli military jeeps entered ‘Azzoun. Soldiers raided some 20 homes. During the raid, the Israeli forces physically and verbally attacked two Palestinians, Mahmoud Rashid Radwan and Yousef Ahmad Saleem; and arrested ten people, among them a 16 year-old boy,” Palestinian rights organization Al Haq reported.

April 2011: Israeli soldiers isolated Azzoun and prevented all residents from entering or leaving it. “Soldiers claimed that their act came to stop local youths from hurling stones at Israeli settlers who drive near the village,” wrote the International Middle East Media Centre.

During 2011: “Israeli forces arrested and detained 147 people from the village. Only a quarter of those detained have been released while the rest remain in prison. This month alone, Israeli soldiers have invaded the village three times, raiding houses and arresting 19 people, of whom six were children,” Al Haq reported.

(Source / 14.02.2013)

HRW: “Israel Violated International Law During Gaza War”

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that Israel’s airstrikes against the Gaza Strip in the most recent war on Gaza in November of last year violated International laws of war, as the Israeli army bombarded areas that had no “legitimate military targets”.

Child Killed During Gaza War - nocommentaires.blogspot.com
Child Killed During Gaza War

The war was carried out by the Israeli army against the Gaza Strip in the period between November 14 and 21 of last year.

HRW reported that it conducted an investigation as part of a non-comprehensive report in which it found out that, in 14 instances, Israel unmanned drones fired missiles into civilian areas with no indication of any military target.

It added that in four more instances, the Israeli army targeted what was described as identifiable military targets yet the weapons used against these targets were disproportionate, and caused harm to civilians.

HRW said that these attacks led to the death of 43 Palestinian civilians, including twelve children.

It further stated that it released its report now after it was carried out by trained military police investigators, an issue that took time.

During the 8-day war in November of last year Israeli missiles and shells killed 191 Palestinians, including children, women and elderly, while at least 1492 Palestinians have been injured, dozens seriously. 48 children, including 16 under the age of five, have been killed by Israeli missiles and shells, in addition to 12 women and 20 elderly.

1492 Palestinians, including 533 children (195 under the age of 5), 254 women and 103 elderly have been injured by Israeli fire and shells.




(Source / 14.02.2013)

Al-Sana calls to confront the most dangerous Israeli scheme

“Settling” constitutes a warcime according to international law and ICC statute. Even under US’ own military legislations’



NAZARETH, (PIC)– Former Arab- Israeli Knesset member Taleb al-Sana warned of the most serious Israeli scheme since the Nakba aiming to confiscate 800,000 dunums and deport 35,000 Palestinians in 1948-occupied Palestine.

Al-Sana, head of the Arab Democratic Party, confirmed that the Israeli government has discussed in its first meeting after the Israeli election the Prafr Map and the Arab presence in the Negev.

Al-Sana called for confronting this Israeli scheme and supporting the Arab presence and steadfastness in Negev through internationalizing the issue in all the Arab League and international institutions forums.

He called for organizing sit-ins in all places that will be visited by U.S. President Obama “to highlight the crimes committed by the Israeli governments against Arab citizens and to expose the Israeli democracy.”

(Source / 14.02.2013)

‘Nederlandse banken investeren in kernwapens’

AMSTERDAM – Zeven Nederlandse banken investeren gezamenlijk ruim anderhalf miljard euro in twintig producenten van kernwapens.

Dat blijkt uit onderzoek van de Eerlijke Bankwijzer, een initiatief van Oxfam Novib, FNV, Amnesty International, Milieudefensie, Dierenbescherming en IKV Pax Christi.

Het gaat om ABN AMRO, Aegon, ING, Delta Lloyd, Rabobank Groep, SNS Reaal en Van Lanschot. Drie van de tien onderzochte bankgroepen, ASN, NIBC en Triodos Bank, hadden met geen enkele kernwapenproducent een financiële relatie.


De Eerlijke Bankwijzer liet de financiële relaties tussen tien Nederlandse bankgroepen en twintig bedrijven die betrokken zijn bij de ontwikkeling, productie, onderhoud en opslag van kernwapens tegen het licht houden door onderzoeksbureau Profundo. Het gaat om bedrijven in de Verenigde Staten, Groot-Brittannië, Frankrijk en India en het Nederlandse bedrijf Eads.

De onderzoekers vonden bij de vermogensbeheerdochters van ING Groep, Aegon, Rabobank Groep, ABN AMRO, Delta LIoyd, SNS Reaal en Van Lanschot investeringen in kernwapenproducenten.

Zo zou ING aandelen en obligaties beheren van twintig verschillende kernwapenproducenten met een totale waarde van ruim 658 miljoen euro. Aegon beheert aandelen en obligaties van achttien verschillende kernwapenproducenten en bij de Rabobank gaat het om vijftien bedrijven.


De Eerlijke Bankwijzer roept banken op alle vormen van investeringen in bedrijven die zich bezighouden met kernwapens uit te sluiten en duidelijk en transparant te zijn over hun wapenbeleid.

Delta Lloyd liet naar aanleiding van het onderzoek al weten investeringen in kernwapenproducenten voortaan uit te sluiten. Rabobank geeft aan nieuw wapenbeleid te hebben ingevoerd en SNS Reaal zegt nader onderzoek te doen naar het bedrijf waarin een investering gevonden is.

(Source / 13.02.2013)

Gazans plunged in deeper poverty by Israeli blockade

The Israeli regime’s ongoing blockade on the Gaza Strip has deeply plunged the impoverished Palestinians into poverty, Press TV reports.

The Israeli blockade has increased the rate of unemployment among nearly 1.7 Gazans, depriving them of some basic needs like clothes and shoes.

Thousands of families in Gaza live in bad housing conditions due to the extreme poverty and can’t afford to buy even second hand clothes.

“The blockade has destroyed our economy … I come here sometimes to buy used clothes, because they are cheap and I can’t afford to buy new ones for me and my family. I spent most of my money to feed my family,” said a Gazan.

Eighty percent of Gazans depend on handouts by international aid agencies, which help them maintain a minimum standard of living.

“Our situation is really bad and I haven’t worked for over three months. I can’t repair my house,” said another Gazan.

The Israeli blockade coupled with high unemployment rate has also badly affected the used clothes market.

“People don’t have money and most of them come here just to look around. There are days when we sellers sit and do nothing. The Israeli blockade has affected every one,” a second-hand clothes seller said.

The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.

According to figures released by the United Nations, most Gazan families are impoverished and rely on humanitarian aid to survive.

(Source / 13.02.2013)