#childabductors | Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen protesting Trump annexation plan – Mondoweiss

West Bank / Jerusalem

Israeli forces kill a Palestinian near Tulkarem
IMEMC/Agencies 7 Feb — A Palestinian teenager was pronounced dead, Friday, shortly after he was shot and critically injured by Israeli occupation forces, north of Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank, said the Ministry of Health. Bader Nidal Nafla Harha, 19, was fatally wounded by Israeli soldiers during protests near the village of Qaffin, in the northern West Bank, on Friday evening. The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that the young man was shot with a live round in the main artery in his neck, and died from his wounds. In a show of excessive use of force, Israeli forces resorted to the use of live ammunition, which penetrated the teen’s neck, striking the main carotid artery, resulting in his death only minutes later. He was rushed to Tulkarem governmental hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Bader was shot during protests that erupted near the illegal Israeli Annexation Wall, where many residents marched on their lands. Soldiers have been deployed across the West Bank to suppress the protests of the Palestinian people expressing their rejection of the so-called ‘deal of the century’. This is the fourth Palestinian youth to be killed in recent days.

First Lieutenant Badwan succumbs to wounds sustained in Jenin
IMEMC/Agencies 6 Feb — First Lieutenant Tariq Lu’ay Badwan, aged 24, succumbed to injuries inflicted Thursday by Israeli soldiers  while he was inside a police station in Jenin, in northern West Bank.  Lt. Badwan, from Qalqilia, died after he was shot and injured by Israeli occupation forces while working at the special police headquarters in Jenin. Badwan was shot in the stomach and then transferred to the Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital, and then to Al-Razi Hospital, due to the seriousness of his condition. The lieutenant underwent a surgery that lasted for several hours, with the participation of 5 doctors, who administered 30 units of blood, but were powerless to save his life.

Israeli soldiers kill a Palestinian in Jenin
IMEMC 6 Feb — Israeli soldiers killed, on Thursday at dawn, one Palestinian and injured at least seven others, including a Palestinian police officer, after the army invaded Jenin city and started the demolition of a home belonging to the family of a political prisoner. Media sources said the soldiers shot Yazan Monther Abu Tabeekh, 19, with two live rounds in the chest, causing very serious wounds before he was rushed to a hospital but died from his injuries. They added that the soldiers also injured at least seven other Palestinians, including two who sustained life-threatening wounds, and caused many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
One of the wounded Palestinians is a police officer, identified as Lu’ay Ahmad Badwan, 25, from Azzoun town, who was shot by a live Israeli army round in the upper body. The bullet apparently struck his spine before he was rushed into surgery at the al-Razi hospital, in Jenin city. Badwan was shot by Israeli soldiers while he was standing near the door inside a police station in Jenin. The six other wounded Palestinians, who were all shot with live fire, have been identified as Majd Azmi, Mohammad Hussein Zeidan, Jamal Mohammad Ghanem, Zein Zeid, Odai Ayman Mer‘ery, and Hani Ata Abu Rmeila. All were moved to the al-Razi hospital.
The fatal shooting and the injuries took place during protests that erupted when more than 30 Israeli military vehicles, including bulldozers, invaded Jenin and demolished the home of a political prisoner, identified as Ahmad Abu al-Qombo’, for the second time. It is worth mentioning that, on April 24th 2019, the Israeli army invaded Jenin and demolished Ahmad’s family home, after accusing him of involvement in a shooting attack that took place near Nablus, leading to the death of an Israeli settler, identified as Rabbi Raziel Shevach, near Nablus. After being demolished the first time, the home was rebuilt through local society donations and support, however, on January 12th, the Israeli army decided to destroy the property again.

Jerusalem gunman said to be Haifa man who recently converted to Islam
Times of Israel 6 Feb — Footage shows suspect, reportedly a florist, opening fire on security checkpoint near Temple Mount; brothers said detained — The Israel Police said Thursday that the terrorist who opened fire at a group of police officers outside the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City was an Israeli citizen from northern Israel. The shooting lightly injured one Border Police officer, while the fleeing assailant was shot dead by pursuing officers. Hebrew-language media named the shooter as Shadi Bana, 45, from Haifa. He reportedly converted from Christianity to Islam recently … Police reportedly detained two of the shooter’s brothers for questioning and collected security camera footage from a flower shop in Haifa owned by one of the brothers. Both brothers deny knowing of the shooter’s plans. Bana reportedly also sold flowers in the northern city. “He was the last person I would think could become a terrorist. I had a hard time believing he could even quarrel with someone. I’m shocked by this,” one of Bana’s neighbors told the Ynet news site …  Ayman Odeh, head of the predominantly Arab Joint List Knesset party, denounced the attack…. [more on this from Ynet: Fed stray cats and never talked politics]https://www.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-gunman-said-to-be-haifa-man-who-recently-converted-to-islam/

Updated: Palestinian teen shot dead by Israeli forces in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 6 Feb — A Palestinian teen, identified as Mohammad Salman al-Haddad, 17, was shot and killed, on Wednesday, after Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian protesters in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, the Palestinian Ministry of Health has reported. Witnesses said protests broke out in Bab az-Zawiya area, where the heavily-barricaded Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron meets the Palestinian-administered H1 section, where Israeli soldiers fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas canisters at the youths. The Ministry of Health said al-Haddad was brought to Hebron hospital in critical condition after an Israeli soldier shot him with a live round in the heart; he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. During the protest, some soldiers even fired bursts of automatic live fire at the unarmed Palestinian protesters who hurled stones at them. The soldiers also fired a barrage of gas bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets, and concussion grenades. The burial of the slain Palestinian teen was held by hundreds of Palestinians in Hebron, hours after his death.

Soldiers injure many Palestinians during funeral procession of slain officer in Qalqilia
IMEMC 8 Feb — Israeli soldiers attacked, Friday, dozens of Palestinians at the northern entrance of ‘Azzoun town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, during the funeral procession of a Palestinian Lieutenant, identified as Tareq Badwan, 24, who was shot dead by Israeli army fire at a police headquarters in Jenin, also northern West Bank. The soldiers closed the main entrance of ‘Azzoun town, and resorted to the excessive use of force against the marchers, by firing a barrage of gas bombs, concussion grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets. The attack led to several injuries, in addition to causing dozens of Palestinians to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation. In addition, the soldiers abducted two Palestinians, identified as Mustafa Husam Hantash, 16, at the northern entrance of Qalqilia, in addition to Yousef Abu ar-Rob, 23, while returning to the city of Ramallah.

Police turn back worshipers en route to Al-Aqsa Mosque
IMEMC/Agencies 7 Feb — Israeli police, this morning, turned back busloads of worshipers en route from northern Israel to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Police deployed at the entrances of Jerusalem turned back worshipers from Galilee and the Triangle region, in the north of present-day Israel, making their way to Al-Aqsa for Friday morning prayers. Police also barged their way into the flashpoint mosque compound, where they shoved and assaulted worshipers, following the morning prayer. Worshipers slammed the action as an infringement upon their freedom of worship and as a form of collective punishment against them. This came as Israeli occupation authorities boosted military reinforcements in Jerusalem and across the West Bank. According to Hebrew sources, yesterday, Israeli ambulance crews reported that a Palestinian youth was seriously wounded after being shot by the occupation forces, on the pretext that he tried to carry out a stabbing operation in the Bab Al-Asbat area of Al-Aqsa Mosque.  Jerusalemites reported that the occupation forces closed all the doors of the mosque, after news that an occupying policeman was wounded in the Bab Al-Asbat area in occupied Jerusalem, where occupation soldiers prevented any Palestinian from entering the mosque.

IDF arrests Palestinian who slammed his car into group of Israeli soldiers
Ynet 6 Feb — Israeli military confirmed they arrested a Palestinian motorist slammed his car into a group of Israeli soldiers in central Jerusalem on Wednesday night, wounding 12. Sand Al-Turman is a 25-year-old East Jerusalem resident with no prior security violations to his name. Shortly before the attack, he published a Facebook post, saying he has “found the answers.” In a statement, the army said the Border Police’s elite police counter-terrorism unit arrested the perpetrator. “After extensive operational and intelligence efforts, in cooperation with the Shin Bet and other special units, the forces apprehended the terrorist from yesterday’s attack in Jerusalem.” One of the 12 soldiers, who were all from the Golani Brigade, was seriously wounded and underwent surgery, while another sustained moderate wounds. The other troops 10 were lightly hurt. The manhunt for the Palestinian centered around the town of Beit Jala in the West Bank, where the assailant left the vehicle used in the incident.

IOF storms Kafr Ni‘ma town, clashes with local youths
RAMALLAH (PIC) 8 Feb — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Saturday stormed Kafr Ni‘ma town, west of Ramallah in the West Bank, provoking clashes with local young men. According to eyewitnesses, the IOF spread through the town’s streets, encircled the industrial school before raiding it and confiscated security camera recordings from stores and homes. Local youths confronted the soldiers and their vehicles by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at them. The IOF stormed the town as part of its manhunt campaign to look for the Palestinian who shot and injured on Friday an Israeli soldier near the illegal settlement of Dolev, northwest of Ramallah. The IOF also shut down in the morning the barrier on the Enab road in the west of Deir Ibzi village and blocked movement of citizens and vehicles for some time.

Palestinian teen shot in head by Israeli forces delayed en route to hospital
+972 Mag 7 Feb by Oren Ziv & Ahmad Al-Bazz — While residents rushed the bleeding teen to a hospital, an Israeli police officer stopped the car for 25 minutes. — Last Thursday, Israeli soldiers shot Muhammad Shtewi, 15, in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet while he was spending time with friends at a public spring near Kufr Qaddum, a Palestinian village in the West Bank. The teen is now hospitalized at the intensive care unit of the Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem. Witnesses to the shooting, including people who accompanied Shtewi to the hospital, described a disturbing scene: not only did soldiers shoot Muhammad in the head while he was not engaged in any violent activity, but for 25 minutes, an Israeli police officer held up the car that was taking Shtewi to be treated. The teenager continued to bleed from the head, his arrival at the hospital delayed. There had been no protest in Kufr Qaddum that day, according to residents, and it was unclear as to why the army showed up. Qusay Hussein, 13, recounts hanging out with Shtewi in Kufr Qaddum’s “park” — a grassy area with trees and flowers on the village outskirts.
“At around 3:20 p.m. we saw five Israeli soldiers approaching us from the hill by the park,” said Hussein. “We decided to leave and hide behind a rock because we were so scared. When my friend [Muhammad Shtewi] tried to see what was happening from behind the rock, the soldiers shot at us. We took [Muhammad] and ran to the village, and saw the soldiers photographing the blood stains left behind.” The rubber-coated steel bullet that struck Shtewi is in fact a ball of metal covered with a thin plastic shell. According to the army’s open-fire regulations, troops can only aim these bullets at the lower part of the body. Experts explain that the bullet’s penetration through Shtewi’s skull suggests that it was fired from a relatively close distance — perhaps three or four meters (nine or 13 feet) away….

Israeli settlers attack child, harass family, in Hebron
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Feb — Illegal Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian family, on Monday, while they were at their home in Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron city, southern occupied West Bank, the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported. The head of the family, Ibrahim Ramadan, said that illegal settlers attacked his children while they were playing at the house, causing bruises to his 3-year-old daughter and terrorizing the rest of the children. Ramadan said the settlers attacked his family while Israeli soldiers observed, doing nothing to help the Palestinian family.

Army injures two Palesitnians in Hebron
IMEMC 3 Feb — Israeli soldiers shot, Monday, two Palestinians, and caused several others to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, during protests in Bab az-Zawiya area, in the center of Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. Medical sources said the soldiers shot one Palestinian with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the eye, and another with a similar round that struck him in the back. They added that the two Palestinians were rushed to Hebron governmental hospital. The medics also provided many residents with the needed treatment for the effects of teargas inhalation. In addition, one Israeli soldier was injured when a Palestinian protester hurled a Molotov cocktail at him, striking him in the upper part of his body. The Israeli army said the soldier sustained minor wounds and received the needed treatment by military medics. The soldiers withdrew from the area of the protest after the incident.
In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers abducted two children, identified as Zeid Ghorab and Islam Tawil from Bab ar-Rahma mosque, in Al-Aqsa.

Another journalist among many Palestinians injured by army fire in Hebron
IMEMC 3 Feb — Palestinian medical sources in Hebron, in southern West Bank, has reported that Israeli soldiers injured, Sunday, many Palestinians, including a photojournalist, in the center of the city. He is the second to be injured by the army, in Hebron Sunday. Media sources said the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against dozens of Palestinian protesters in the center of Hebron city, and forced all shops in the area to close. They added that the soldiers fired many rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades at the protesters, in the Shuhada Street, while many local youngsters hurled stones at the military tower in that area. Local medics rushed to the scene and provided the needed treatment to many Palestinians, including photojournalist Mashhour Wahwah. In addition, many soldiers invaded Bab az-Zawiya area, in the center of Hebron city, and attacked several Palestinians. Also Sunday, the soldiers attacked dozens of Palestinian protesters, wounding one journalist, identified as Abdul-Mohsin Shalalda, 27, with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head, and causing many residents to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.

PPS: Twelve Palestinians detained from West Bank
IMEMC/Agencies 4 Feb — According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), the Israeli occupation forces arrested 12 Palestinian civilians from the occupied West Bank, on Tuesday night, including a mother of four. The PPS said that six Palestinian citizens were arrested from several towns in the Hebron governorate, including a woman.
1. Muhammad Mahmoud al-Ja‘ar, 18
2. Ismail Alaa Abu Muqdad, 14
3. Muhammad Salama Abu Ras, a former prisoner who spent ten years in Israeli prisons
4. Muhammad Imad Muhammad Jaradat
5. Muhannad Abdullah Ghatasheh
6. Mrs. Maysoon Abdel Halim Tomezi, mother of four children, from Idhna town
From Tulkarem, the occupation forces arrested: (continued)

Israel reinforces security after uptick in violence
AFP 7 Feb — Israel deployed additional forces in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank Friday after a deadly uptick in violence, but weekly Muslim prayers passed off peacefully. Two Palestinians were killed in clashes in the West Bank on Thursday and an Arab Israeli was shot dead after opening fire on police near the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City. Fourteen Israelis were injured in a car ramming targeting soldiers in Jerusalem the same day. On Friday around 25,000 Palestinians gathered at Al-Aqsa but the noon prayers passed off without incident, an AFP photographer said. The site is a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is holy to both Muslims and Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP there was “heightened security in Jerusalem,” including extra units, particularly “in and around the area of the Old City”. He confirmed the prayers passed off without incident but said an increased police presence would remain. The army also announced an additional troop deployment in the West Bank.

Soldiers attack schoolchildren near Bethlehem
IMEMC 5 Feb — Israeli soldiers attacked, Wednesday, many Palestinian schoolchildren in Teqoua‘ town, east of Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank. Media source said the soldiers fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades at the students while heading to school. Taiseer Abu Mfarreh, a teacher of Teqoua‘ Secondary School, said the attack caused anxiety attacks among the children.
In related news, the soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, fifteen Palestinians, including two children and the mayor of Beit Kahil town, in the occupied West Bank.

Soldiers detain schoolchildren, collect fingerprints
IMEMC 2 Feb — Israeli soldiers detained, Sunday, several Palestinian schoolchildren, near Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem in the West Bank, and collected their fingerprints. Morad Abu Mfarreh, a teacher at Teqoua‘ Secondary School in Teqoua‘ town, south of Bethlehem, said the soldiers collected the fingerprints of the children using a mobile device. Abu Mfarreh strongly denounced the violation against the children and their fundamental rights, especially since the military has no right to be collecting the children’s personal information and their fingerprints. It is worth mentioning that Teqoua‘ has been subject to frequent invasions by the soldiers, in addition to repeated attack by the illegal colonialist settlers.

The Israeli army is now using a ‘talking drone’ to disperse West Bank protests
+972 Mag 3 Feb by Oren Ziv — The Israeli army is using a talking drone to urge Palestinians and Israelis at West Bank protests to stop demonstrating and disperse. The drone was first spotted during the weekly demonstration against the occupation in the village of Qaddum on January 17, during which it ordered Palestinian protesters to “go home” in Arabic and Israeli protesters not to “stand with the enemy” in Hebrew. According to protesters in Qaddum, this is the first time the army has used this kind of drone, which was likely designed by the Chinese company DJI and has a Mavic 2 Enterprise Speaker attached that allows it to play pre-recorded messages.  Sharon Weiss, an Israeli activist who was at the demonstration, said the drone told her to “go home” and “don’t stand with the enemy” in Hebrew, before moving on to someone else. “There is almost always a drone at the protests, but this is the first time it spoke to us,” said Weiss. “The goal is to make us understand that they are watching and following us.”…  Other Palestinian and Israeli activists present at the protests also said the drone spoke to them in both Arabic and Hebrew. One activist said he believes the purpose of the call-outs is to make protesters look up so that the drone can photograph their faces….

OBAIDA: A short film
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Feb 7:20 minutes — What does it feel like to be led away from your home by a soldier, while blindfolded? What happens when a military occupation looms over an entire childhood? OBAIDA, a short film by Matthew Cassel, explores a Palestinian child’s experience of Israeli military arrest. Each year, some 700 Palestinian children undergo military detention in a system where ill-treatment is widespread and institutionalized. For these young detainees, few rights are guaranteed, even on paper. After release, the experience of detention continues to shape and mark former child prisoners’ path forward. Via Defence for Children International – Palestine


Palestinians in Israeli detention centers facing bitter winter
GAZA (PIC) 30 Jan — Winter arrives every year as an unwelcome guest for Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli occupation jails, especially those held temporarily in detention and interrogation centers. The lack of winter clothes, blankets and heating devices in the first weeks of their detention doubles the Palestinian prisoners’ suffering. According to the Prisoners Media Office, the newly arrested West Bank Palestinians are immediately transferred to interrogation centers and the only clothes they have are the ones they were wearing at the time of their arrest. There are about seven Israeli detention and interrogation centers where Palestinian prisoners are held during the first days or weeks of their detention. The Prisoners Media Office said that the Israeli detention centers do not have adequate heating facilities, blankets or hot water. Moreover, the food provided to the prisoners is bad in terms of quantity and quality and does not meet their bodies’ need for energy on cold days. Sometimes the food is dirty, the office added, so the prisoners prefer to stay hungry over eating it. Some sick prisoners need particular kinds of meals which they are deliberately denied by the Israeli Prison Service….

Israeli forces storm prison cells in Ashkelon
IMEMC 7 Feb — Israeli prison guards, on Thursday evening, stormed Palestinian prisoners’ cells in the Ashkelon facility, wreaking havoc therein, according to Days of Palestine. The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS)said that confrontations flared up between Palestinian detainees and Israeli prison guards, during the raid. No injuries were reported, but one Palestinian prisoner was transferred to another section as a punishment. PPS said that about 50 Palestinian detainees are held at Ashkelon, and that they have been subjected to arbitrary raids and transfers on a regular basis, since October of 2019. Thursday’s raid was the second since the start of the new year, according to the PPS.

Detainee Tareq Qa’dan, who held extended hunger strike in 2019, released
IMEMC 7 Feb — The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society has reported that Israeli soldiers released, Thursday, a Palestinian detainee who held an extended hunger strike last year, before he was welcomed by hundreds of Palestinians in Jenin, in northern West Bank. The PPS stated that the detainee, Tareq Qa’dan, held an extended hunger strike, lasting for 85 days, in the year 2019, protesting his continued arbitrary and illegal Administrative Detention in Israeli prisons, without charges or trial. It added that the detainee was released from the Negev Desert detention camp and was taken by the soldiers to the military roadblock near the ath-Thaheriyya town, south of Hebron, in southern West Bank. The Palestinian was welcomed by hundreds of residents, before he was transported to his hometown, ‘Arraba, southwest of Jenin, where a massive celebration was held to welcome him back home. It is worth mentioning that Qa’dan was repeatedly abducted and imprisoned by Israel, spending more than 11 years in various prisons, detention centers, and interrogation facilities.


Israel strikes, sanctions Gaza over Palestinian fire
JERUSALEM (AFP) 5 Feb — Israeli aircraft struck Hamas positions in Gaza early Wednesday, the military said, after Palestinians in the enclave launched projectiles and explosive balloons at the Jewish state. In a further punitive move, Israel later restricted Gaza fishing activity, a frequently used sanction against the coastal Palestinian territory. The “fighter jets targeted Hamas terror targets in the southern Gaza Strip” including “a weapons manufacturing site”, the army said in a statement. Prior to the Israeli strike, militants in Gaza launched three projectiles and a number of “explosive balloons” at southern Israel, the army said, with neither medics nor police reporting casualties or damage. COGAT, a unit of Israel’s defence ministry, said in a statement Wednesday that in response it was reducing the permitted Gaza fishing zone from 4pm (1400 GMT) until further notice. “Following security consultations, it has been decided today to restrict the fishing zone of the Gaza Strip from 15 nautical miles to ten nautical miles,” the English-language statement said. “The decision was made following the continuity of rocket fire and the launching of explosive balloons from the Gaza Strip to the territory of the State of Israel.” Israel imposed the same restriction in December, also due to rocket fire. It was lifted a few days later. Since US President Donald Trump’s announcement last week of his plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rockets, mortar shells and explosive balloons have been launched almost daily from Gaza into southern Israel, provoking Israeli retaliation. Palestinians strongly reject the US plan, seen as heavily favouring Israel.

Israeli sniper shoots Palestinian near Gaza border
GAZA (PIC) 7 Feb — A Palestinian citizen was injured on Friday when an Israeli sniper opened fire at him north of the Gaza Strip. The PIC reporter said that an Israeli soldier shot a young man in the chest near the border fence east of Jabalia refugee camp in the northern area of the Gaza Strip. Medical sources described the injured man’s condition as “stable”.

Israeli navy attacks Palestinian fishermen in Gaza
IMEMC 5 Feb — Israeli navy ships attacked, Wednesday, Palestinian fishermen in Gaza territorial waters, near Gaza city, by firing live rounds, and using water cannons against them and their boats. Media sources said the navy attacked the fishing boats only three nautical miles from the shore, by firing many live rounds, in addition to using water cannons against them. The attack led to property damage and forced the fishermen back to the shore in fear of further escalation.

Israeli navy abducts three fishermen, confiscates their boats, in Gaza
IMEMC 3 Feb — Israeli navy boats attacked, on Monday evening, Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza sea, before abducting three men, and confiscating one boat.  Zakariya Bakr, the head of the Palestinian Fishermen’s Syndicate, said the navy abducted Ramadan Ali Salah, Ali Wa’el Salah, and Majed Mahmoud al-Miqdad.  Bakr added that the navy also confiscated a fishing boat owned by Ramadan Ali Salah.

Entry of cement to Gaza suspended
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Feb — Israeli War Minister Naftali Bennett decided, last night, to freeze entry of cement shipments to the besieged Gaza Strip, in response to what he called daily Palestinian attacks on Israeli areas. According to Maariv newspaper, the Israeli army gave instructions, at the behest of Bennett, to suspend cement exports to Gaza and withdraw permits from 500 cement dealers. The measure, which is to take effect as of Sunday morning, was reportedly in response to daily Gaza attacks, which resumed recently after the Israeli occupation authority deliberately opened floodgates to dams and flooded vast tracts of farmlands and roads in the east of Gaza, causing considerable losses to the agricultural sector in particular.

Gaza farmers return to their lands along volatile Israeli border
GAZA (Reuters) 5 Feb by Nidal al-Mughrabi — Returning to his fields for the first time in 14 years, Palestinian farmer Naser Abu Isaeed surveyed the toll taken by conflict on formerly productive soil. “I saw an empty area full of holes and dry weeds,” said Abu Isaeed, who once grew fruit on the tracts along Gaza’s volatile border with Israel. He is one of about 600 Palestinian farmers who regained access to their fields along the border to cultivate crops under a project launched by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Citing security concerns, Israel has for years designated a strip, between 100 and 300 meters wide, along its 40-km (25 mile)-long fence at the frontier as off-limits to Palestinians in Gaza, an enclave ruled by the Hamas militant group. Palestinians say the policy has deprived them of large areas of farmland, cut into livelihoods and reduced the space available to the densely populated strip’s two million residents.
Under the ICRC project, launched in 2015, members of the Hamas-led Interior Ministry have cleared unexploded ordnance and other war material from 40 percent of the 2,500 acres (1,012 hectares) that make up the borderlands in that tract. Abu Isaeed was one of 90 farmers whose lands were being rehabilitated by ICRC in the project’s third phase which began last August and will end with the harvest in May. In all, the ICRC said some 580 farmers have regained access to their land … “We risk death every time we enter the land,” said Serhey Abu Mandeel, 71, noting its proximity to the border, which is closely monitored by the Israeli military. He and his family owned 12 acres planted with peas, soybeans, wheat and lentils. Like other Palestinian farmers, Abu Mandeel complained that herbicides sprayed by cropdusters inside Israel were being carried by winds across the border into Gaza and harming fields there. Farmers said the herbicides have killed their crops. Gaza’s Agriculture Ministry put their losses at $1.25 million since last December. “We believe there should be a balance between security concerns and the impact of the herbicides on public health, the environment and the livelihoods of local people,” Gaza ICRC spokeswoman Suhair Zakkout told Reuters, adding they were in discussion with Israel over the issue.

Do Israeli bombs cause miscarriages in Gaza?
EI 5 Feb by Amjad Ayman Yaghi — Iman Abu Tayem was six months pregnant when Israel attacked Gaza in November. She became increasingly frightened on the second day of that attack. The sound of explosions near her home in the town of Bani Suhaila got louder. One blast in the evening was so powerful that it made her fall to the floor. Approximately 15 minutes later she lost consciousness. Muhammad, her husband, noticed that she was bleeding and called an ambulance. She was brought to Abu Yousef al-Najjar hospital in the city of Rafah. “I woke up in the hospital and my whole body was in pain,” Iman said. “The first question I asked my husband was if my baby was ok. My husband did not answer and I fainted again.” By that time, Muhammad already knew that Iman had suffered a miscarriage. The hospital staff had told him the bad news about three hours after Iman was admitted during the early hours of 14 November. Iman had been expecting a boy and the couple were planning to name him Taim. They blame the miscarriage on Israel’s attack … Reem Qudaih also had a miscarriage in the early hours of 14 November. She was seven months pregnant. Reem had awoken at around 3:30 am. As she got out of bed to use the bathroom, she suddenly felt the floors beneath her shaking. An explosion had taken place near her home in the Khan Younis area of southern Gaza. Her husband Iyad went to check her and noticed she was bleeding. He called an ambulance. Reem lost consciousness and was brought to Nasser hospital in Khan Younis. When she woke up, Iyad had to inform her that she had a miscarriage. The experience was eerily similar to one almost 11 years earlier….

Gazan bridegrooms end up in jail over unpaid debts
GAZA (Asharq Al-Awsa, Reuters)3 Feb by Nidal al-Mughrabi — Bridegrooms in the Gaza Strip are finding marriage a path to debtors’ prison rather than to happiness. Wedding celebrations cost around $10,000 in the Palestinian enclave, but a tradition of strong family ties and large gatherings often trumps financial common sense. So with unemployment in Gaza topping 50% and the economy in a parlous state, many bridegrooms turn for help to money-lending associations that offer wedding loans ranging from $2,000 to $4,000, but repayment often becomes impossible. A spokesman for the police in Gaza, which is governed by the Islamist Hamas group, said that of 100,000 debt-default cases opened last year, 22% involved marriage loans. Eyad al-Zahar said he had turned into “a regular visitor to prison” since taking such a loan. Now a father of two, Zahar, 24, used to install marble tiles but is now unemployed. “I sold my wife’s jewellery, my washing machine and the boiler,” he told Reuters, sitting on a chair in a room otherwise empty of furniture. As he spoke, rain leaked through the metal ceiling and his family scurried to place plastic pots to catch the drops. Zahar said he had been jailed at least five times for failing to repay his loan, spending 10 to 12 days behind bars each time until someone bailed him out. Salama Al-Ewadi, director of the Farha Society, which lends money to help facilitate marriages, said some 20 groups like his own had shut down because of poor repayment rates….

Why is Belgium being cruel to Gaza’s refugees?
EI 6 Feb by David Cronin — By a variety of measures, the situation in Gaza is getting worse. Poverty and unemployment are rising, stocks of vital medicines are falling, electricity is in short supply. Belgium must be one of the few countries in the world to suggest that matters are improving. Until recently, people from Gaza who entered Belgium and applied for refugee status generally had their requests approved. Yet in December 2018, the Belgian authorities revised their policy. Under the new approach, each request is supposedly assessed on its merits. The sole reason given for the change was that the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza had been reopened after a lengthy closure. It was, therefore, easier for people who leave Gaza to return – or at least that’s the line taken by the Brussels office handling requests for refugee status. In total, the Belgian authorities took 783 decisions on requests for refugee status by Palestinians last year. Some 610 requests were turned down, with 172 approved (one Palestinian was given a protected status less than that of someone recognized as a refugee). The revised policy is causing huge anxiety….

Land theft / Ethnic cleansing / Settlements

Army demolishes Al-Arakib village for 174th time
IMEMC 6 Feb — Israeli soldiers and police officers demolished, Thursday, the al-Arakib Bedouin village in the Negev, for the 174th consecutive time, and for the fourth time this year alone. Residents of al-Arakib stated that the soldiers and officers demolished and removed their tents and sheds, which were used to house them, and shelter them from the cold, amidst the stormy weather of the Negev. They added that the police recently abducted and imprisoned a local Sheikh and social figure, identified as Siyah at-Touri, in addition to several other villagers, after accusing them of “occupying state land.” It is worth mentioning that Israel started targeting the Bedouin village since the year 2000, in an attempt to displace and relocate them, as part of the so-called “Negev Development Plan,” which aims at transferring the Bedouin to build resorts and houses for Israeli settlers. Like the 34 other Bedouin villages “unrecognized” by Israel, al-Araqib does not receive any services from the Israeli government and is constantly subjected to the threats of expulsion and home demolition.

Israeli forces invade West Bank village, seal entrances
IMEMC/Agencies 3 Feb — According to the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA), Israeli forces sealed off all entrances to the village of Kisan, east of Bethlehem, southern occupied West Bank, as a prelude to take over a piece of land there. Ahmad Ghazal, Kisan deputy head of village council, said Israeli military forces stormed the village amid intensive security measures and sealed off all entrances, preventing residents from entering or leaving the village. He said Israeli forces informed him of their intentions to take over a piece of land in the village, and confiscate all equipment in the area, where a new Palestinian school project recently began.

Israeli settlers raze Palestinian land near Qalqilya
QALQILYA (PIC) 5 Feb — Israeli settlers from Karnei Shomron settlement on Wednesday razed tracts of Palestinian land in Jinsafut village in Qalqilya province to build new housing units. Palestinian farmers in Jinsafut said that they have lost their most fertile lands to Israeli settlement expansion which is witnessing an unprecedented increase in the area. Karnei Shomron settlement was established in 1978 on illegally seized Palestinian lands in Kafr Laqif, Jinsafut and Deir Istiya villages in the West Bank province of Qalqilya.

Israel halts school rehabilitation project, delivers demolition notices
IMEMC/Agencies 6 Feb — The Israel occupation authorities, on Wednesday, ordered a halt to the rehabilitation of a school playground in the village of Susiya, southern occupied West Bank, as well as demolition orders for a structure in Sebastia village, northern West Bank. Abdul Aziz Abu Finnar, from the Yatta municipality, said Israeli forces handed Susiya School principal a notice ordering him to stop work on the rehabilitation of the school’s playground, the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported. The mayor of Sebastia, Mohammad Azim, stated that the Israeli army notified a Palestinian resident, Nael Abu Aqel, of Sebastia of its intention to demolish his structure, and ordered Malik Makhalfeh to remove his tent from the archaeological area of the village.

Israeli army delivers demolition notices to Palestinians in Jordan Valley
IMEMC/Agencies 4 Feb — The Israeli army, on Tuesday, notified a number of Palestinians in the northern Jordan Valley village of Fasayil of its intention to demolish their under–construction houses and animal barns, under the pretext that they were built without Israeli permission. WAFA correspondent stated that the Israeli military has been intensifying its policy of delivering demolition notices in the area as a way to forcibly displace Palestinians and to serve Israel’s colonial takeover of the land.

Soldiers destroy water pipes in Jordan Valley
IMEMC/Agencies 4 Feb — Israeli forces, today, destroyed pipelines that were supplying the northern Jordan Valley village of Bardala with irrigation water, according to Ziad Sawafta, deputy mayor of Bardala village council. Mayor Sawafta told WAFA correspondence that Israeli forces regularly destroy the pipes supplying water for irrigation in Bardala, noting that the village suffers from water shortage due to Israel’s refusal to provide it with more than 100 cubic meters of water per hour, when the needed amount is 240 cubic meters. He added that this harms the agricultural crops, which is the village’s main source of income.

Soldiers demolish a home in Jerusalem
IMEMC 4 Feb — Israeli soldiers demolished, Tuesday, a Palestinian home in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of being built without a permit.  The owner of the demolished property, Nidal Shawamra, said the soldiers and personnel of the City Council broke into his home and forced him, along with his family, out of the property, without allowing them to remove their furniture and belongings. He added that the soldiers then demolished the property rendering the family, including his elderly mother, homeless. Shawamra stated that he built the 120 square/meter property in the year 2018, on his own land, and added that Israel is claiming the land is “owned by Jewish settlers.”  It is worth mentioning that Israel has been issuing demolishing orders in the al-Ashqariyya area of Beit Hanina, and has also been denying construction permits to the Palestinians, amidst plans to pave a road and build new units for illegal colonialist settlers.

Two Palestinian families evicted from Jerusalem home
IMEMC/Agencies 6 Feb — The Israeli Magistrate Court in Jerusalem ordered, on Wednesday, the eviction of two Palestinian families from their homes in Batn al-Hawa area of Silwan, a neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, for the benefit of illegal Israeli settlers, according to Wadi Hilweh Information Center. The court gave the families until mid-August to vacate the building, which consists of a ground floor and two upper floors, under the pretext the house was bought by the Ateret Cohanim settler group. The Magistrate Court issued the eviction decision after rejecting a petition submitted by the Showaiki and ‘Odeh families to refute claims by the Ateret Cohanim settler group of ownership of the property and to prove their ownership of the house and land.


Jewish center urges boycott of Waters concert in Mexico
MEXICO CITY (AFP) 7 Feb — A US-based Jewish advocacy group has launched a campaign to prevent Pink Floyd founder member Roger Waters from performing on tour in Mexico. Waters, 76, is due on stage in Mexico City on October 7 as part of his “This Is Not A Drill” North American tour that begins in Pittsburgh in July. But the Latin American branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), which supports Holocaust survivors and confronts anti-Semitism, has written to businesses sponsoring and promoting Waters’s concert in Mexico, urging them to pull out … Waters is a well-known pro-Palestinian activist who supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that promotes a boycott of Israel in various forms. He has urged fellow artists not to perform concerts in the Middle Eastern nation. Israel sees BDS as a strategic threat and accuses the movement of anti-Semitism — a claim activists including Waters firmly deny, calling it an attempt to discredit them….

Other news

Palestine in Pictures: January 2020
Electronic Intifada 4 February

UN OCHA Protection of civilians report Jan 21-Feb 3
Statistics using graphics

MADA: 27 violations against media freedoms in January
IMEMC/Agencies 6 Feb — The first month of 2020 witnessed a total of 27 violations against media freedoms in Palestine, 23 of which were committed by the occupation forces and authorities, while various Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip committed only 4 violations, MADA said in a report, according to the PNN. This represents a relative decline compared to what the preceding month had witnessed in (December 2019), that is a total of 36 violations, 15 violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces, similarly, (15 violations) committed by Facebook, and 6 violations committed by different Palestinian authorities. Among the most tragic incidents witnessed by the past month, was when the doctors at Jordan Hospital in the capital, Amman, informed the journalist Attia Mohammad Darwish (32 years old, from Gaza) that he completely lost his sight in the eye that was injured more than a year ago (on 14th Dec. 2018) by a gas bomb, which was fired at him by the Israeli soldiers, and there was no hope of rescue or consistent treatment …
Israeli Violations: The number of Israeli violations increased from 15 violations in December 2019 to 23 in January 2020. The most prominent of which is the abuse of photojournalist Thaer Abdel Nasser Al-Sharif over several hours after he was detained by the Israeli occupation soldiers at an army point near Arroub camp in the West Bank, and summoning the cameraman Abdel Mohsen Shalaldeh by the Israeli occupation Intelligence and threatening him with death if he continues to film around Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron….

Israeli intelligence storms partnership ceremony of Muslim and Christian charities in Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (QNN) 7 Feb — Israeli forces on Thursday stormed St. George’s School in Jerusalem and prevented a partnership ceremony. The head of Al Quds Centre for Economic and Social Rights, Ziyad Hammouri, said that the Israeli Shin Bet and police stormed the school and prevented a signing ceremony of a partnership agreement between the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and the Jerusalem Waqf. The Shin Bet claimed that the event is funded by the Palestinian Authority. “The occupation prevents any Palestinian activity in Jerusalem”, Hammouri added. Israeli authorities usually prevent all kinds of Palestinian events, either they are social, economic, or literary under the pretext of being funded by the PA.

At Israeli Jewish-Arab school, parents say Trump plan would ruin their peace
KAFR QARA 6 Feb by Nathan Jeffay — Jewish parents in northern Israel are outraged after learning that US President Donald Trump may want to transfer their kids’ school to Palestine. Miri Klein said that parents at Bridge Over The Valley — a bilingual Arabic-Hebrew school with 280 students, around half of them Jewish and half Arab — were shocked to realize that Trump’s plan suggests borders that would put the school in a Palestinian state. She called the idea “despicable and terrible.” When Gadi Chetrit, who has two children at the Kafr Qara school, realized what Trump’s plan could mean for the institution, “it made me angry.” He said: “This is not the way, and I’m afraid that the school could close.” Lena Turel said she is “very disappointed” about the prospect of Trump’s “strange” plan placing a border between her Pardes Hanna home and the school where she sends two kids. “We’ll do everything we can to ensure this doesn’t happen,” she vowed. The Trump peace plan unveiled last week controversially “contemplates the possibility” of redrawing borders so that Arab communities in the Triangle region, an area southeast of Haifa where more than 260,000 Arab Israelis live, stop being Israeli and become part of a new Palestinian state. It names several towns, including Kafr Qara, where Bridge Over The Valley operates. Jewish and Arab parents are united in their dismay at the potential impact on their children’s education.

Palestinians deny US charges of incitement, blame Trump plan
JERUSALEM (AP) 7 Feb — The Palestinians on Friday rejected U.S. allegations of incitement after a day of clashes and attacks left three Palestinians dead, including a member of the security forces, and wounded more than a dozen Israeli soldiers. They instead linked the violence to President Donald Trump’s Mideast initiative, which heavily favors Israel on all the most contentious issues of the conflict and would allow it to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank. “Those who introduce plans for annexation and apartheid and the legalization of occupation and settlements are the ones who bear full responsibility for deepening the cycle of violence and extremism,” senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a statement. He was responding to remarks delivered the day before by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and the architect of the Mideast blueprint, who had blamed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the latest violence. “Don’t call for days of rage and encourage (your) people to pursue violence if they’re not getting what they want,” Kushner said on Thursday after briefing the U.N. Security Council on the plan. He said Abbas “was surprised with how good the plan was for the Palestinian people, but he locked himself into a position” by rejecting it before it came out. Erekat said Abbas will soon bring his own plan to the Security Council, one that he said is rooted in international law and based on a two-state solution along the 1967 lines….

Resistance factions: Thursday’s operations reflect rage and despair among Palestinians
RAMALLAH (QNN) 7 Feb – The Palestinian resistance factions stated that the four resistance operations, which caused 14 injuries among Israeli forces and 4 deaths among Palestinians, are a form of the legitimate resistance. All factions said that the operations fall within the framework of the legitimate resistance against occupation and colonialism and against Trump’s plan, which aims at liquidating the Palestinian cause and ending the aspirations of the Palestinian people. The spokesperson for Fateh movement, Hassan Hamayel, told QNN in exclusive statements on Thursday that the PA stopped implementing all agreements with the occupation state as soon as Trump’s plan was announced. All resistance factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, attended a meeting in Ramallah, in which the PA decision was announced. The recent operations in the occupied West Bank reflect rage and despair among Palestinians, according to Hamayel. “Though, our people are defenseless, facing the occupation state”, he added. “The despair, which the Palestinian people suffer from on a daily basis, will surely have a reaction. Every day, the Palestinians see their trees uprooted, their properties confiscated, and their houses demolished.” The spokesperson for Hamas, Abdellatif Qanou’, said that the recent operations in the West Bank and Jerusalem proved the efficiency of resistance. He told QNN that the PA has to stop the coordination with the occupation state and its grip on the Palestinian people and resistance fighters. Qanou’ assured that the continuation of such popular operations will completely end Trump’s plan and put pressure on the occupation state. In the same context, Muhammad Hindi, member of the political bureau of the Islamic Jihad movement, said that “despite of the very imminent dangers, Arab countries continue to conspire [with the Israelis] and the PA continues to chase the delusions of the two-state solution and the international law and to coordinate with the enemy instead of announcing the West Bank an occupied area and allow resistance operations”.

Iran will back Palestinian armed forces as much as it can: leader
DUBAI (Reuters) 5 Feb – Iran will support Palestinian armed groups as much as it can, Iran’s Supreme Leader said on Wednesday, urging Palestinians to confront a U.S. plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. “We believe that Palestinian armed organizations will stand and continue resistance and the Islamic Republic sees supporting Palestinian groups as its duty,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech, the text of which appeared on his website. “So it will support them however it can and as much as it can and this support is the desire of the Islamic system and the Iranian nation.” … Khamenei jabbed at Arab leaders who have supported the Trump plan. “The welcoming and clapping from a few traitorous Arab leaders who are worthless and dishonorable among their own people has no importance,” Khamenei said, according to his official website….

Muslim nations reject Trump’s Mideast plan in Saudi meeting
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) 3 Feb by Aya Batrawy — Days after Gulf Arab states expressed their support for President Donald Trump’s efforts at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, representatives from these same countries and other Muslim nations gathered in Saudi Arabia and rejected the White House’s plan as “biased.” Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the kingdom backs efforts that push for negotiations, but said such initiatives must reach a fair resolution that ensures the rights of the Palestinian people “through the creation of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.” He spoke at a gathering in the Saudi city of Jiddah for the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which denounced Trump’s plan. The formal rebuke by the OIC comes just days after Arab League nations unanimously rejected the White House’s proposals at a meeting in Cairo, where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to cut security ties with Israel and referred to White House adviser Jared Kushner, the chief architect of the plan, as simply Trump’s son-in-law …  The OIC slammed “the biased approach” of the White House, saying the plan adopts the Israeli narrative and endorses the annexation of vast areas of occupied Palestinian land under the pretext of security for Israel. The group said the U.S. proposal “lacks the minimum requirements of justice and destroys the foundations of peace.”….

Jared Kushner does not see the brutal occupation I helped carry out / Yehuda Shaul
+972 Mag 3 Feb — As a former soldier, I enforced two separate legal systems for Israelis and Palestinians. The Trump plan wants to make this reality permanent. — In an interview on CNN last week, Jared Kushner, one of the architects of President Donald Trump’s newly-released “Deal of the Century,” stated: “The reality is that Israel’s there [in the West Bank], and they’re not leaving… I’m not looking at the world as it existed in 1967. I’m looking at the world as it exists in 2020.” These remarks echoed Kushner’s repeated calls for Palestinians to abandon their history and accept today’s facts on the ground. Only this, he says, would make it possible for Palestinians to move forward to a prosperous future. I would urge Kushner to follow his own guidance and take a closer look at the “reality” he claims to see.  In the 181 pages that comprise Trump’s plan, no room was made, not even once, for the word that describes the true nature of the situation the plan is supposed to address: “occupation.”  This term, though dry and legal at its core, encapsulates the past 52 years for every Palestinian whose futures Kushner and Trump are now trying to dictate….

Palestinian and Israeli farmers pay the price as politicians bicker
JERICHO, West Bank/BE’ER TUVIA, Israel (Reuters) 6 Feb bu Adel Abu Nimeh & Rami Amichay — Israel and the Palestinian Authority have opened a new front in their decades-long conflict by getting locked in a trade dispute – and farmers on both sides of the border are paying the price. Palestinian Mowafak Hashim, who farms fruit and vegetables in sun-baked Jericho in the occupied West Bank, says he supports moves by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to end imports of Israeli agricultural products. But he also fears the breakdown in a usually smooth-running cross-border trade relationship will ruin his business. “I won’t find alternative markets… since the (Israeli) occupation controls the checkpoints”, said the 51-year-old, referring to Israel’s control over the West Bank’s border crossings. The PA announced a boycott of Israeli calves in October. Last weekend Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said he would halt all PA agricultural imports, which in turn prompted the PA to say it would end imports of Israeli agricultural products, fruit juice and bottled water. Those tit-for-tat moves have frayed trade links that have generally held strong since the two sides signed interim peace accords in the 1990s, even weathering the collapse in 2014 of peace negotiations….

Tunisia fires envoy to UN; he was apparently too critical of Trump peace plan
TUNIS, Tunisia (AFP) 7 Feb — Tunisia fired its ambassador to the UN on Friday, accusing him of failing to consult the foreign ministry on key issues that diplomatic sources said included Washington’s controversial Israeli-Palestinian peace plan …  Saied, a political outsider who only took office in November after a surprise election victory, was concerned that Baati’s expressions of support for the Palestinians risked damaging Tunisia’s relations with the United States, the sources said.

Draft UN resolution condemns Israeli annexation in Trump peace plan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 4 Feb — A draft United Nations Security Council resolution on Tuesday condemned an Israeli plan to annex its settlements in the West Bank in a rebuke of President Donald Trump’s pro-Israel peace proposal. The draft text, circulated to council members by Tunisia and Indonesia, would seemingly face a U.S. veto, but nonetheless offered some members’ dim view of the peace plan that Trump rolled out last week with great fanfare. Diplomats said negotiations on the text would likely begin later this week. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to speak to the council next week about the plan, possibly coinciding with a vote on the draft resolution. The resolution “stresses the illegality of the annexation of any part” of occupied Palestinian territories and “condemns recent statements calling for annexation by Israel” of these territories, according to the draft seen by Reuters….

Criminalizing Palestinian resistance: the EU’s new conditions on aid to Palestine
7 Feb by Tariq Dana for Al-Shabaka Palestinian Policy Network — The EU recently notified the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations (PNGO) network of new conditions on its aid, namely that Palestinian civil society organizations are obligated not to deal with individuals or groups designated as “terrorist” by the EU. This includes staff, contractors, beneficiaries, and recipients of aid.  The move not only further restricts the freedom of Palestinian civil society, but also criminalizes Palestinian resistance even in its most peaceful forms. What motivated the change, what effects will it have on Palestinian civil society, and what can Palestinians do about it? Al-Shabaka spoke with policy analyst Tariq Dana, an assistant professor at the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute of Graduate Studies, about these questions as well as issues of international aid to Palestine more broadly …
The change must be situated in the context of ongoing Israeli colonization and the ability of its colonial enterprise to invent new mechanisms of control. The latest EU move has been a result of constant Israeli pressure on the EU to refrain from funding many Palestinian organizations, especially those engaged in revealing and reporting on Israeli colonial practices, human rights violations, and crimes. Israel has in fact adopted a wide range of aggressive measures to restrict civil society space in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including arbitrary detentions and arrests of civil society activists, “security” justifications to hinder the work of local organizations, waging smear campaigns to delegitimize these organizations’ work, and pressuring international organizations and donors to defund Palestinian NGOs. This is particularly evident with regard to legal organizations that use international law to report human rights violations such as Al-Haq and Addameer….

‘Go back to Ramallah’. . . Saudi journalist affiliated to regime verbally attacks Tlaib for wearing Palestinian thobe
Riyadh (QNN) 7 Feb — A Saudi academic and columnist who is affiliated to the Saudi regime tweeted attacking Rep. Rashida Tlaib for wearing a white Palestinian thobe during Trump’s State of the Union speech two days ago. Ahmad Farraj wrote in a tweet that Tlaib decided to wear a Palestinian thobe during Trump’s speech as a form of protest, then he called her to leave the United States and go back to Ramallah. “Rashida Tlaib, congresswoman of Palestinian origin, attended the State of the Union speech wearing a Palestinian thobe to protest, as she said, against Trump. “Rashidah, why don’t you leave the US for Trump and go back to Ramallah. I’ll pay your first-class flight tickets and I’ll buy an apartment for you in Ramallah. I’m offering the same for that protester next to you, Ilhan Omar”, he tweeted.

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