Saturday, 29 June 2013

Three arrests at Nabi Saleh demonstration against occupation

Palestinian activist Nariman Tamimi today being arrested (Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

28th June 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah Team | Nabi Saleh, Occupied Palestine

Update 29th June 2:15pm: Both Palestinian activists have a court date set in Ofer military court tomorrow.

Update 29th June 1:00pm: The Two Palestinian activists are now currently being held at HaSharon Prison.

Update 29th June 09:00am: The two Palestinian activists are currently being held at Jalameh prison. They may or may not have court on Sunday but will not be released before then.

Update 29th June 2am: The international activist arrested at the protest was released last night.

Update 29th June 00.45am: The two Palestinian activists are currently being interrogated at Giva Binyamin police station.


During the June 28th demonstration in Nabi Salih, after Friday prayer had finished, the Palestinians once again began their resistance against the illegal Israeli occupation. As usual, their demonstration was met with high levels of violence; disproportionate teargas was fired and foul smelling skunk water was shot onto homes. Two Palestinians and one international were arrested. They are currently being held in Binyamin police station.

At around 1:30 pm demonstrators began marching towards the stolen water spring of Nabi Salih, currently occupied by Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Halamish. As soon as the demonstrators began to descend the mountain, two military jeeps began using their tempest tear gas attachments, firing excessive tear gas canisters directly at unarmed marchers. The military jeeps then began to aim directly at those who chose to stay on the road, shooting canisters at head height and disregarding the flammable nature of the local petrol station. The skunk truck and two jeeps then invaded the centre of the village, including the olive groves [as seen in video] which then allowed the skunk truck to maneuver freely, shooting at all homes and demonstrators in its wake.

After this, those demonstrators that had reached the bottom of the mountain close to the spring were faced with a large group of soldiers. Demonstrators confronted the soldiers; however as the video shows, the soldiers disregarded the rights the Palestinians have to their land and proceeded to aim their weaponry at demonstrators. Two Palestinian women, including prominent Nabi Saleh activist Nariman Tamimi, and one international man, believed to be from Spain, were arrested for no reason other than resisting the occupation. It is currently understood that these three have been transferred to Giva Binyamin police station, where they are still currently being held. more

“We will not give up; to give up is to die” – Susiya resists mass demolition orders

Today, June 27, 2013, the Israeli Civil Administration served thirty-four demolition orders in the Susiya village, which is in Area C and surrounded by the Israeli colony of Suseya. Due to previous demolition orders, every existing structure in the village is now threatened with destruction if they do not obtain permits by July 17.

The residents of Susiya include more than thirty families, who were all evacuated from their homes in the old Susiya village and forced to relocate 200 meters to the southeast, in 1986. Susiya residents collaborate with the nearby villages in Masafer Yatta, a closed military “firing zone,” also in Area C and threatened with demolition. On July 15, a hearing will decide whether all the villages in Masafer Yatta can be evacuated by the military. Hafez Huraini, leader of the South Hebron Hills Popular Committee and himself a refugee from 1948, emphasizes that the villagers in Susiya are targeted simply for existing, so everything they do from grazing sheep to visiting family members in the nearby city of Yatta draws violence from the Israeli military and the local settlers.

Susiya has faced six mass demolitions since the establishment of the Israeli Suseya colony in 1983. The last wave of demolitions in 2011 repeatedly displaced 37 people including 20 children [1]. Residents of Susiya, most of whom rely on subsistence agriculture, are subject to some of the worst living conditions in the West Bank. Their houses were destroyed by Israeli forces and they now live in tents and shelters, paying more than five times the price nearby villages pay for water and consuming less than 1/3 of the WHO standard per capita [2]. Settlers have violently denied Susiya residents access to over 300 hectares of their land, including 23 water cisterns. Documented cases of settler violence include beatings, verbal harassment and destruction of property. Settlers then annex parts of the land by exploiting the Palestinian owners’ inability to access their land.more

Video: California university chief admits failure to curb divestment campaigns

“There is a usurpation of the narrative of human rights on American campuses by [Muslim organizations and Palestine activism] groups in discussing Israel.”

Such were the shocking words of outgoing University of California President Mark Yudof, speaking at the recent Facing Tomorrow conference held in Israel (the same conference that renowned physicist Stephen Hawking boycotted, as we reported).

Yudof was part of a panel discussion entitled “The Campus at a Crossroads in the Life of a Young Jew” (which included topics such as the “de-legitimization of Israel on the campus”) and was joined by Zionist group officials including Gidi Mark, chief executive of Birthright Israel (Taglit), and Natan Sharansky, chairperson of the executive of the Jewish Agency.

In the first few minutes of his remarks, seen in the video posted above, Yudof talks about the thriving Jewish communities across the 10 UC campuses. He highlights the various academic and student life programs that Jewish students are a part of, and says that Jewish students, in general, “like the University of California better than most of the other groups.”

However, he goes on to say that Muslim organizations “and other interest groups, racial minorities and others” and events such as Palestine Awareness Weeks “offend many Jewish students.”

Yudof refers to his ongoing commitment to the University of California’s governing body, the Regents, to prevent divestment from firms profiting from the Israeli occupation. He notes, though, that his stance has not “prevented the commotion from continuing on campuses.”

He says that the “delegitimization of Israel is an ongoing problem,” and adds that “it seems that every six months, I’m reading about another vote of some sort of student organization on this issue, or some sort of academic organization, and too often, that vote is lost.”

To the students organizing with limited resources across University of California campuses, those “lost” votes — here, Yudof is ostensibly referencing the divestment resolutions that passed and were upheld at UC Irvine, UC San Diego and UC Berkeley — are indications that the tide is turning, much to the chagrin of well-funded Israel-aligned organizations working on and off-campus. more

Hamas: New Israel war on Gaza unlikely

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israel is not likely to wage another war on the Gaza Strip, though it is possible a conflict could erupt elsewhere in the region, says Hamas official Salah Bardawil.

The senior official told Ma'an Saturday that Israel was likely to point its guns at another area “after Israel obtained a green light from the US.”

He added that the US and Israel were seeking a war which would prove Israel’s military superiority, a privilege which can’t be achieved through a war on Gaza, according to Bardawil.

Asked about the crisis in Egypt, he said he did not expect a civil war there because the Egyptian people realize it will be very destructive and “civil wars are absent in Egypt’s history.”

Bardawil applauded Egypt and lauded the biggest Arab country's “historic depth” for the Palestinians, adding that whatever “harms Egypt will eventually harm Palestine more than any Arab country.”

On the ongoing unrest in Syria and the possible outcomes, the Hamas official ruled out the possibility of military intervention by the US or other Western countries. “Foreign countries can’t resolve the conflict militarily, and Arab countries must design a strategy to bring this deterioration to an end.”

Bardawil criticized Hezbollah's intervention in the conflict. more

Frequent border closures add to Gaza gas woes

GAZA CITY, 28 June 2013 (IRIN) - Frequent closures of the only crossing for commercial goods between Israel and the Gaza Strip have left the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) short of gas for cooking and heating, businessmen say, affecting businesses, agricultural production and health services.

Kerem Shalom crossing reopened on 26 June after two days of closure, described by the Israeli military as a response to rocket fire from Gaza. Israel has closed the crossing five times since the end of February after similar rocket fire, for a total of 15 working days, in addition to six days of closure due to holidays.

Before this most recent closure, Gazans said they were still recovering from the series of closures in the spring, which they say created a cumulative deficit in gas.

At one of Gaza's major gas distributors, some 40,000 empty cylinders fill the station.

"Some people have been waiting for months to get their cylinders filled," owner Yusri Daban told IRIN. He manages to fill about 1,500 per day, but is flooded with an equal amount of empty arrivals.

Daban's company used to receive 25 tons of gas per day for distribution. His share decreased to 18 tons due to the shortages, and has not been increased since. He says he needs 35-45 tons a day to deal with the backlog. more