Tuesday, November 29, 2011

UN Expert Calls For Solidarity With Palestinians

GENEVA, November 29 2011 (WAFA) – Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, Richard Falk, expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Tuesday said a press release by UNISPAL.

The release issued by the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine, said that the Special Rapporteur called urgent attention to the plight of the Palestinian Bedouin people of the occupied West Bank. “The recent unprecedented pressure by Israeli authorities and settlers to expel Palestinian Bedouin communities from Area C is deplorable, illegal and must cease.”

In recent months, approximately 2,300 Bedouins who reside in 20 impoverished communities in the hills east of Jerusalem have been informed by the Israeli authorities that they must leave the area, as part of a plan to expel Bedouin communities living in Area C, where Israel exercises total control. Reports indicate that the relocation plan may be implemented in early January 2012.

Falk stressed that “[t]he proposed relocation of the Palestinian Bedouins, without the free and informed consent of the communities, amounts to forced transfer of protected persons under international humanitarian law.” International law prohibits the forced transfer of civilians living under occupation, unless temporarily required for their own security or military necessity. “The Israeli authorities’ expulsion of the Bedouins would meet none of these conditions.”

Furthermore, the destruction or confiscation of private civilian property, including homes, as well as the transfer of settlers into occupied territory, is prohibited. Israel, as the Occupying Power, is obligated to protect the residents of the occupied territory and to administer the territory for the benefit of the residents. The establishment and expansion of settlements is a direct breach of these obligations.

“The proposed transfer of Bedouin communities raises a number of concerns under human rights law, especially with respect to forced eviction and forced displacement,” noted the Special Rapporteur. Forced evictions transgress the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Israel is party. Israel’s claim that the Covenant does not apply in the occupied territory has been rejected by all human rights treaty oversight bodies.

The Palestinian Bedouins are the most deprived ethnic group in the occupied territory, residing in the Area C of the West Bank. More than 80% of the Bedouins are registered as 1948 refugees originally from the Negev. Over 66% are children. The communities have all lost access to land due to settlement expansion. Most have demolition orders against their homes. None have access to the electricity network and only half are connected to the water network. Despite receiving humanitarian assistance, 55% of Bedouin communities in Area C are food insecure. The communities are located in an area intended for further Israeli settlement expansion, as set forth in the E1 plan that envisages a major expansion of the unlawful Ma’ale Adumim settlement.

If implemented, these plans, along with the continued construction of the Separation Wall, seriously encroach upon Palestinian growth and development prospects. They also further cut territorial contiguity between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank, creating two nearly separate areas. Even more shockingly, Israel proposes to relocate these Bedouin near Jerusalem’s principle garbage dump. The garbage dump pose would a serious health hazard to the communities, and would make it impossible for them to carry on their traditional lifestyles based on herding and nomadic agriculture.

Falk concluded “the forty-four year long Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands continues to manifest itself in deprivation and denial of basic rights of Palestinians. Every year, on this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we are reminded of Israeli authorities’ invidious schemes to permanently empty Palestine of Palestinians. This prolonged human catastrophe must be brought to an end once and for all. Only then can the rights of Palestinians can be realized.”
Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

Thanks to you– we have succeeded in delaying the expulsion in Silwan!

As a result of the campaign conducted by Solidarity and Rabbis for Human Rights, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) announced today that it would delay the expulsion of the Sumarin family in Silwan.

Solidarity Demo in Silwan, November 25th 2011. Photo by Activstills
Over the last week, Solidarity and Rabbis for Human Rights conducted a campaign whose goal was to stop the expulsion of the Sumarin family from the house in which they have lived for over 50 years. Today, the 28th of November, the eviction order was supposed to come into force. This eviction order was signed by Himnuta, a subsidiary of the JNF.
As published in Haaretz , the JNF announced, following the appeals made in our public campaign, that it would postpone the expulsion in order to return to dialogue with the family. Yesterday the courts decided to freeze the eviction order.
This campaign owes its success to the great work done by our activists and supporters, who were present ‘on the ground,’ in demonstrations and tours, who wrote letters to the JNF, and who spread the news to their friends and acquaintances. We thank everyone for their efforts and cooperation. Together, we have shown that even in dark times like these, we can still succeed in our struggle against the raging extremist right.

The struggle continues

The hardships of the Sumarin family and of other families facing expulsion from their homes are far from being over. The joint struggle for decency and civil equality must go on until we win.

Follow this story on “Solidarity” web site, on Facebook, and by mail.
How does the JNF work in service of the settlers? Read here

LINK TO SITE ...Thanks to you

Official: Israeli forces detain 8 Gaza fishermen

Fishermen pictured off Gaza's coast. (MaanImages/file)

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained eight fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip and took them to an unknown destination, a Palestinian union official said Tuesday.

Mahfouz al-Kabarety, head of the Palestinian society for fishing and marine sports, said the navy seized two fishing boats on which the fishermen were operating off the coast.

The eight fishermen were identified as Raed Abu Odeh, Usama al-Hassi, Jamal al-Hassi, Muhammad al-Hassi, Adham al-Habil, Salim As-Sadeq, Momen al-Sadeq, Bahjat Abu Odeh.

An Israeli military spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Maan News Agency

UN Secretary General: Palestinians Ready for Statehood

NEW YORK, November 29, 2011 (WAFA) – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday said that the Palestinian Authority is ready to assume responsibilities of statehood.

In a statement marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and 64 years since the UN General Assembly had adopted resolution 181 proposing the partition of Palestine into two states – one Arab and the other Jewish, Ban said that “the establishment of a Palestinian State, living in peace next to a secure Israel, is long overdue.”

He said that “the need to resolve this conflict has taken on greater urgency with the historic transformations taking place across the region.”

The UN Secretary General called on the Palestinian and Israeli leadership “to show courage and determination to seek an agreement for a two-State solution that can open up a brighter future for Palestinian and Israeli children.”

He said that “such a solution must end the occupation that began in 1967, and meet legitimate security concerns. Jerusalem must emerge from negotiations as the capital of two States, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all. And a just and agreed solution must be found for millions of Palestinian refugees scattered around the region.”

Ban said, “While there are many challenges to this goal, let me stress an important, indeed historic, achievement of the Palestinian Authority during the past year. The Palestinian Authority is now institutionally ready to assume the responsibilities of statehood, if a Palestinian state were created. This was affirmed by a wide range of members of the international community at the meeting of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee in September. I commend President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on this remarkable success. These efforts should continue and be supported.”

He added, “In this regard, the current suspension by Israel of customs and tax transfers owed to the Palestinian Authority risks undermining these gains. These revenues must be transferred without delay.”

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

Hamas: Next phase of swap deal 'by Dec. 18'

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel will release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners by Dec. 19 in the second phase of a captive swap deal, a senior Hamas official said Tuesday.

Israel agreed to release 1,027 prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier in a deal reached with Hamas in October. On Oct. 18, 477 prisoners were freed and soldier Gilad Shalit was released.

Salih Arouri told the Hamas-affiliated news site Palestine Information Center that Israel agreed to release a second group of 550 prisoners within two months.

"The agreement literally reads that Israel will release 550 security prisoners within two months after the first phase of the deal in coordination with the Egyptian side.

"By 18 or 19 December, the two-month delay comes to an end, and so the next phase must be completed. We will ask the Egyptian side to make sure Israel will adhere to the agreement," said Arouri, who is charged with overseeing the swap.

Arouri said that according to the agreement, the detainees to be released should be security prisoners and they should all be freed to their homes, and not into exile.

He added: "We have provided the Egyptian mediators with lists of prisoners who suffer illnesses and elderly prisoners who have already served long terms. The Egyptians will deliver these lists to the Israelis."

Regarding female detainees, the Hamas official said only nine women prisoners remained in Israeli custody after the first release in October, but noted that Israeli forces had since arrested an additional woman. Arouri called for her inclusion in the swap deal.

Israel breached an agreement to release all female prisoners in the first phase of the deal, Arouri said, adding that remaining women prisoners should be released immediately and not as part of the second release.
Maan News Agency

Prisoners write to Abbas demanding PA support

An officer stands by a patrol vehicle outside an Israeli jail (MaanImages/File)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails sent a letter to President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday demanding support from the Palestinian Authority in their fight for better conditions.

The letter highlighted that Israel had enacted punitive policies against prisoners since the swap deal in October between Israel and Hamas, and said the situation for detainees was "on the verge of explosion," a statement from a prisoners' society said.

"The inter-Palestinian situation, the rivalry between Hamas and Fatah, and the political tension between Israel and the PA are preventing us from triggering our response," prisoners wrote.

"The reason is that we want all the Palestinian national components to support us as this time. We don’t want them to erect sit-in tents, but rather take political steps."

In October, prisoners in Israeli jails went on hunger strike for over three weeks to protest worsening conditions, including solitary confinement, shackling and prevention of family visits.

Thousands of demonstrators staged rallies in the West Bank and Jerusalem and set up sit-in tents to support prisoners who refused food
Maan News Agency

Single truckload of strawberries leaves Gaza

A farmer works in a strawberry field in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit
Lahiya. (MaanImages/Wissam Nassar, File)

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- One truckload of strawberries left the Gaza Strip on Tuesday for export to Europe, crossings officials said.

Farmers in Gaza started to export limited amounts of produce to Europe via the Kerem Shalom crossing on Sunday, said crossings liaison officer Raed Fattouh.

The strawberries and carnations were the first produce to leave the coastal enclave in six months due to an Israeli ban on exports which has crippled the Gaza economy.

The agricultural goods are exported under an agreement between Israel and the Dutch government to allow five trucks of farm produce to leave Gaza each day.

The Israeli legal rights organization Gisha notes that if Israel fully implements the agreement, the exports represent just 1 percent of the exports Israel agreed to in 2005.

Under the 2005 agreement, Israel pledged to allow 400 trucks of Gaza produce to be exported every day.

"This exception to the ban is helpful for select growers, but it fails to address the manufacturing shut-down and massive unemployment caused by the export ban," Gisha said in a statement released Monday.

Before 2007, 85 percent of Gazan produce was sold to Israel or the West Bank, Gisha said, adding that exporting to Europe was expensive due to high shipping costs and low demand.

Gaza farmer Monthar al-Boudi told Gisha he exported 1,500 tons of strawberries annually before Israel banned exports from Gaza to Israel and the West Bank in 2007.

In 2010, al-Boudi was only allowed to sell seven tons of strawberries to Europe.

Gisha director Sari Bashi said: "It is not clear how preventing producers in Gaza from selling eggplants, school desks, and oranges to the West Bank enhances Israeli security, but the ban is clearly harming Palestinians trying to engage in productive, dignified work."

Maan News Agency

Israeli Soldiers Arrest 5 Palestinians in the West Bank


WEST BANK, November 29, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday arrested five Palestinians across the West Bank, according to local sources.

Witnesses told WAFA that Israeli soldiers raided a number of houses in al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, and arrested two Palestinians.

Security sources said that soldiers arrested another three Palestinians from the Old City in Hebron, under the pretext of throwing stones at an Israeli patrol.

Israeli Army Opens Fire at Gaza Homes

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

KHAN YOUNIS, November 29, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli army Tuesday opened heavy artillery fire at a number of houses belonging to Palestinians east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, said a WAFA correspondent.

No injuries were reported.

Israeli Bulldozers Demolish Bedouin Barracks in Jerusalem Area

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

JERUSALEM, November 29, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli bulldozers Tuesday demolished four barracks and sheep pens belonging to Arab Bedouins in al-Za’eem neighborhood in East Jerusalem, according to local sources.

Residents said Israeli soldiers beat the owners of the barracks, which house forty members of al-Jahaleen Arab Bedouins, and closed the area, preventing anyone from entering or leaving.

Settlers Destroy Olive Trees in Nablus

Palestine News & Info Agency:

NABLUS, November 29, 2011 (WAFA) – A group of Jewish settlers Tuesday destroyed several olive trees in Nadama, a village south of Nablus, according to a local official.

Head of the Village Council, Ehab al-Qitt, told WAFA that a group of settlers from Yitzhar settlement south of Nablus raided the village, chopped off ten olive trees and destroyed them.

The settlers fled the scene once the village residents arrived, added al-Qitt.

Rockets from Lebanon hit northern Israel, causing no casualties, says IDF. Israel has returned fire at sources.-

Rockets from Lebanon hit northern Israel, causing no casualties, says IDF. Israel has returned fire at sources. via @mpoppel on twitter

Police: Rockets explode near northern border - Israel News, Ynetnews

A spokesman for the northern police district confirmed that two Katyusha rockets exploded near a town close to the northern border. A third rocket hit in the area but didn't explode. No injuries or damage were reported.

Another rocket is believed to have hit near another town in the Western Galilee. The police continue to search the region.


The IDF Spokesperson's Office said that the army has army has opened artillery fire on Lebanon in response to a barrage of rockets fired on northern Israel.

Northern Command is standing by and is evaluating the situation as it develops. The alert level has been raised but no new instructions have been issued for residents in the region.

Monday, November 28, 2011

UNRWA Calls for Renewed International Attention to Refugees’ Status

JORDAN, November 28, 2011(WAFA) – UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi called on the international community to renew and strengthen its support for Palestine refugees; particularly the youth, who form a substantial and increasingly significant segment of the refugee population, Monday said a press release by United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL).

Speaking during the opening session of the Advisory Commission, Grandi, who heads the Agency, noted that at a time when there are growing demands for human rights, fundamental freedoms and improved living conditions across the region, the international community, in consultation with refugees, must re-double its efforts to find a just and lasting solution that is consistent with UN resolutions. In a speech which set UNRWA's work against the backdrop of the 'Arab Spring', Grandi urged delegates to keep in mind the continuing relevance of UNRWA and its mission of human development and humanitarian support to refugees.

UNRWA is the only agency of the United Nations directly providing essential services in education, health, microfinance and social safety-net support, to Palestine refugees. Grandi called attention to the dire situation many Palestine refugees face, particularly those living under occupation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

He highlighted the issues of Israeli settlements expanding 'relentlessly on Palestinian land, including in the East Jerusalem periphery.' Warning of the implications of this for a future Palestinian state, Grandi expressed UNRWA's grave concern about the humanitarian consequences of settlement expansion and the demolition of Palestinian homes and property. 'This deepens the isolation of Palestinians and creates fresh displacement,' he said. He pointed out that there are an estimated 3,000 demolition orders pending in the West Bank, the Commissioner-General warned: 'The worst is yet to come, unless much more urgent and effective pressure is exercised to stop these abuses.' The Commissioner-General expressed gratitude to UNRWA's donors, including Arab donors, for their generous support for the Agency. He noted that pledges from Arab donors this year stand at US$ 144 million, including US$ 44 million from the Gulf Cooperation Council through the Islamic Development Bank. Grandi, however, expressed concern about the future funding of UNRWA, particularly funding urgently needed to sustain food and cash assistance to the refugees most affected by poverty. He appealed to Arab donors in particular to continue their trend of donating generously to the Agency's General Fund, which finances core services in education, health and support to the poorest refugees.

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

Abbas: Israel is Required to Provide Clear, Written Position on Security, Borders

VIENNA, November 28, 2011 (WAFA) - President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that the Israeli government is required to give a clear and written position regarding the borders and security issues.

In his speech delivered at the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, in Vienna, in the presence of Austrian President Heinz Fischer, Abbas said, “We, international quartet and all the countries concerned with peace, are still waiting for an Israeli clear and written position regarding the issues of security and borders.”

Abbas added that the Palestinians made all efforts to achieve peace with Israel and fulfilled all what were required for the success of all forms of negotiations. PA recently submitted its written positions, regarding the final status issues, in response to the Quartet’s statement issued in September 2011, which called on the parties to present their positions on the borders and security issues within three months ending on January 26, 2011, he said.

He said that the Palestinian spring is “ending the occupation and internal division,” “and we are determined to achieve this as soon as possible.”

Abbas thanked the Bruno Kreisky Forum’s staff for organizing this meeting and praised the late Bruno Kreisky for his leading and historical role in serving truth, justice, peace, democracy and independence, especially the question of Palestinian.

Bruno Kreisky, born in Vienna in 1911 and died in 1990, was an Austrian politician who served as Foreign Minister from 1959 to 1966 and as Chancellor from 1970 to 1983.

A Jewish anti-Zionist, Kreisky was a great champion of the rights of the Palestinian people and the strongest western European critic of Israel. He was the first European leader to meet with PLO leader Yasser Arafat and in 1979 gave an official state dinner in Arafat's honour in Vienna.

Aged 72 at the end of his chancellorship, he was the oldest acting Chancellor after World War II.

He resigned in 1983 not wishing to head a coalition government after his party had lost ground in the elections.

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

Abbas: Israel is Required to Provide Clear, Written Position on Security, Borders

VIENNA, November 28, 2011 (WAFA) - President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that the Israeli government is required to give a clear and written position regarding the borders and security issues.

In his speech delivered at the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, in Vienna, in the presence of Austrian President Heinz Fischer, Abbas said, “We, international quartet and all the countries concerned with peace, are still waiting for an Israeli clear and written position regarding the issues of security and borders.”

Abbas added that the Palestinians made all efforts to achieve peace with Israel and fulfilled all what were required for the success of all forms of negotiations. PA recently submitted its written positions, regarding the final status issues, in response to the Quartet’s statement issued in September 2011, which called on the parties to present their positions on the borders and security issues within three months ending on January 26, 2011, he said.

He said that the Palestinian spring is “ending the occupation and internal division,” “and we are determined to achieve this as soon as possible.”

Abbas thanked the Bruno Kreisky Forum’s staff for organizing this meeting and praised the late Bruno Kreisky for his leading and historical role in serving truth, justice, peace, democracy and independence, especially the question of Palestinian.

Bruno Kreisky, born in Vienna in 1911 and died in 1990, was an Austrian politician who served as Foreign Minister from 1959 to 1966 and as Chancellor from 1970 to 1983.

A Jewish anti-Zionist, Kreisky was a great champion of the rights of the Palestinian people and the strongest western European critic of Israel. He was the first European leader to meet with PLO leader Yasser Arafat and in 1979 gave an official state dinner in Arafat's honour in Vienna.

Aged 72 at the end of his chancellorship, he was the oldest acting Chancellor after World War II.

He resigned in 1983 not wishing to head a coalition government after his party had lost ground in the elections.

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

MK says Israel should 'prepare for worst' in Egypt

Maan News Agency

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli Knesset member Benjamin Ben-Eliezer on Monday said Israel should be prepared for "the worst scenario" following changes in Egypt.

Ben-Eliezer called for the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in order to improve relations with Egypt, Israeli Radio reported.

Israeli Forces Kidnap Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

GAZA, November 28, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli forces kidnapped Monday two Palestinian fishermen, who were on board of a small boat in the Gaza Sea, in front of Al-Shate’ refugee camp, according to local sources.

Local sources said that an Israeli gunboat intercepted the Palestinian boat while Israeli forces kidnapped, Mohammad Abu Klub, 20, and Mahmoud Al- Nahal, 21, and confiscated their boat.

Unannounced meeting: Jordan king tells Peres settlements hinder peace :.

King Abdullah II tells Israeli President Peres Israel's settlement building on
Palestinian land poses ‘serious obstacle’ to peace efforts.
‘Israel must stop unilateral measures’

AMMAN - Jordan's King Abdullah II told visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres on Monday that Israel's settlement building on Palestinian land posed a "serious obstacle" to peace efforts, the palace said.
"Israel must stop unilateral measures, particularly settlement building which is a serious obstacle to peace efforts," the king told Peres, who was in Amman on a brief and previously unannounced visit.
The king and Peres, whose countries signed a 1994 peace treaty, discussed the "means to revive Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations and remove obstacles facing them in line with a two-state solution," the palace
"The Israeli president talked about efforts that Israel can make in the coming phase to
build trust with the Palestinian Authority," it said without elaborating.
A statement from Peres's office said that the two also "exchanged assessments on the
latest developments in our region" and discussed bilateral issues.
It said that before leaving for Amman Peres met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu and they talked about "the importance of strengthening the good strategic
ties between Israel and Jordan."
The statement described the Amman meeting as "warm, open and friendly" and said
that the king and Peres agreed "to continue talks in the near future."
The meeting comes a week after the king held talks in Ramallah with Palestinian
president Mahmud Abbas on his first visit to the West Bank in more than a decade.
Israeli-Palestinian talks came to a halt in September 2010 when Israel ended a
moratorium on construction in the occupied territories.

Middle East Online

Association Awards Member of Swedish Party “Friend of Palestinians” Prize

STOCKHOLM, November 27, 2011 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Association in Stockholm granted on Friday the Secretary of the International Affairs at the Swedish Social Democratic party, Ann Linde, the “Friend of Palestinian People” award for 2011, said a statement by the association.

The statement said the award was given to Linde for her work and dedication to the Palestinian cause, as well as her visits to Palestine and Israel and discussions she held with both parties, which ultimately highlighted the Palestinian rights with lucidity, clarity and courage.

The statement praised her work to support the Palestinian application for full United Nations membership of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital, saying “Ann Linde's struggle for peace and justice has been always based on international law and human rights.”

The association received Linde's approach for freedom and support to human rights with appreciation, after years of despair and disappointment among the Palestinian community in Stockholm due to the Swedish governments’ conflicting political position on the Palestinian issue, added the press release.

It said Linde summarized the main problem of the Palestinian issue in her address to a conference on democracy in Tel Aviv in 2008, where she said that the key to end the Palestinian-Israeli struggle is to end occupation, which will form the milestone of a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East.

Chairman of the Palestinian Association, Nael Touqan, awarded Linde during a Palestinian cultural festival in Stockholm to celebrate the UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which featured performances by the Palestinian singer Sana’ Mousa and Oud (Arabic musical instrument) player Mohammad Mousa.

The association has been granting the “Friend of the Palestinian People” award for eight years; among the previous winners were, Leader of the Left Party in Sweden, Lars Ohly, and Professor Matthias Gardel, a famous Swedish academic.

It’s worth mentioning that Linde’s winning of the award caused media and political stir as it represented a slap to the Swedish People’s Party, strongly supportive of Israel and part of the governing collation that had a major role in Sweden’s vote against the Palestinian membership in UNESCO.
Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

Israeli forces arrest 6 people, mayor of Nablus village

Israeli soldiers pictured making an arrest in Nablus, 2009. (MaanImages/file)

NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli troops detained six people on Monday, including the mayor of a Nablus village, the army and Ma'an's correspondent said.

Soldiers stormed the Nablus village of Osarin at dawn on Monday, ransacking the home of Mayor Mahir Fawzi Adeli, 39, before arresting him, witnesses told Ma'an.

Israeli troops also detained Diyaa Omar Adeli, 16, his brother Fadil, 15, Azzam Rasmi Adeli, 20 and Muhammad Raslan Adeli, 17.

Locals said that several other homes were ransacked and that the five detainees were taken to Huwwara military base near Nablus.

One man was also detained in the Jenin village of Jaba.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that the men were taken for security questioning.

Maan News Agency

Official: Israel deliberately disconnects Gaza electricity

Palestinians receive food aid from the United Nations Relief and Works
Agency in Gaza. (MaanImages/Hatem Omar)

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian energy authority in the Gaza Strip on Monday accused Israel of deliberately disconnecting the main electricity grid to the coastal enclave as part of a "punitive policy."

“The Israeli occupation uses security pretexts to justify disconnecting a grid which provides 14 megawatts to the northern Gaza Strip," head of energy authority Kanaan Ubeid said.

He added that electricity had been cut off to the north for 9 days.

The current electricity crisis in Gaza is also being caused by the cold weather, which has seen a surge in energy use, and maintenance works being carried out by Swedish engineers, Ubeid added.

Israel continues to supply the Gaza Strip with water and 70 percent of its electrical power, the rest being supplied by neighboring Egypt or local power plants.

Israel warned on Saturday that it would cut the supply of water and electricity to the Gaza Strip if rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas form a unity government.

AFP contributed to this report

Maan News Agency

Power Outage in Jerusalem Suburbs due to Israeli Checkpoint Construction

JERUSALEM, November 28, 2011 (WAFA) – An ongoing power outage, affecting 50,000 people, began Sunday night in some suburbs in central Jerusalem due to Israeli construction work to build a new checkpoint, according to Jawad al-Dibs, an employee in the Jerusalem District Electricity Company.

He said power was cut off in the suburbs of Ras Khamis, Al-Salam and Ras Shehadeh, the town of Anata, as well as in Shu'fat, a refugee camp in East Jerusalem, due to Israeli construction work on a new checkpoint to replace the existing military checkpoint in Shu’fat.

Al-Dibs added that the power outage was caused by the explosion of the main power cable which provides the area with electricity, speculating that the explosion was caused by the surge in electricity use caused by the construction work.

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

Qalandia Residents Gather to Stop Israel Razing Land

RAMALLAH, November 28, 2011 (WAFA) – Palestinians from the village of Qalandia, south of Ramallah, Monday gathered to stop Israeli bulldozers from razing agricultural land in the village in preparation for expanding the Apartheid Wall, said an official.

Head of Qalandia village council, Yousef Awad, speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, said the area of the land to be razed and seized is estimated at 400 dunums (1 dunum=1000 square meters), and owned by a number of village residents.

Israeli bulldozers started razing land in the village on Sunday, according to witnesses, who reported that the land will be used for expanding the Wall and the nearby Atarot settlement, adding that the Wall will separate a number of residents’ homes from their village, and will completely isolate the village from its surroundings.

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

Nabil Shaath suffers heart attack; in stable condition

Israel News

Senior Fatah member Nabil Shaath suffered from a heart attack during a flight from Belgium to Malaysia. The plane made an emergencylanding in Amsterdam and Shaath was taken to a local hospital where he received medical care. His wife told the media that he was no in stable condition.

Israeli Forces Arrest 9 Palestinians in the West Bank

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

WEST BANK, November 28, 2011 (WAFA) - Israeli forces Monday arrested 9 Palestinians across the West Bank, according to security sources.

Israeli soldiers arrested one Palestinian from the town of Jaba, near Jerusalem, after searching his house and tampering with its contents.

Israeli soldiers arrested five Palestinians from Ausreen, south of Nablus, after raiding the village at dawn and searching residents’ houses. They also arrested another three from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.

Local sources said Israeli soldiers raided the homes of four released Palestinian ex-detainees in Jenin, and handed one of them a notice to report to Israeli intelligence.

Israeli soldiers are extensively raiding released Palestinian prisoners’ houses and handing them notices to report to intelligence.

Raw Video: Attackers Blow Up Gas Pipeline

Video: Bil'in outpost,demolished by Israeli forces 28.11.2011By haithmkatib@gma...

Israeli Bulldozers Level Areas of Qalandia to Build Separation Wall

by Alaa Ashkar - IMEMC & Agencies
Israeli military bulldozers leveled farming lands of Qalandia town to build the Apartheid wall, the Palestine Info & News Agency, WAFA, reported Sunday afternoon.

Israeli Bulldozer. Image by Palestine News & Info Agency (WAFA)
Israeli Bulldozer. Image by Palestine News & Info Agency (WAFA)

Eyewitnesses stated that two Israeli military bulldozers alongside with Israeli borders' guards have leveled farming lands belong to the townspeople of Qalandia in order to rebuild the Israeli-controlled Qalandia airport as well as expanding the settlement of Atarot.

the track of the new wall, being constructed, would separate many of villagers' homes from the same town, and it would get them apart from the outside world, the eyewitnesses added.

the Town of Qalandia lies in the North of the occupied city of Jerusalem. Moreover, an airport, called Qalandia Airport, and a refugee camp were constructed on the lands of the town.The town has a population of 1100, and it is surrounded with the Apartheid Wall from East and North. After the constructing of the wall is completed, it would separate the town from the outside world thoroughly.

the mayer of the town, Jousef Awad, said that Israeli bulldozers are leveling and destroying vast areas of the town's lands, pointing out that "The villagers have fought the Israeli soldiers and bulldozers" "We are asking for international intervention to stop the Israeli actions against the lands of the town," stated he.

he said that the lands, being leveled by Israeli bulldozers, belong to a plenty of Qalandia residents, and the area intended to be confiscated, is about 400 acres.

International Middle East Media Center

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Report: Jewish group delays East Jerusalem eviction

Israeli forces guard a home demolition in Silwan. (MaanImages/Stringer, File)

TEL AVIV, Israel -- The Jewish National Fund has delayed the eviction of a Palestinian family from their home in East Jerusalem, Israeli media said Sunday.

The Sumarin family had received an order to evacuate their Silwan home by Monday. Their house, declared absentee property and transferred by the government to the Jewish National Fund subsidiary Himnuta in 1991, lies at the entrance of the East Jerusalem neighborhood and adjacent to the controversial Israeli-built City of David tourist site.

The JNF announced a delay in their takeover of the property on Thursday night, Israeli daily Haartez reported. It did not specify how long the Sumarin's will be allowed to remain in their home.

Himnuta's takeover of the home will "dramatically change the character" of Silwan, Settlement Watch director at Israeli Peace Now organization Hagit Ofran warned in an article on the Huffington Post at the time.

Silwan families have lost a number of homes to demolitions and evictions by Israeli forces.

Legal scholars say the the Absentee Property Law -- under which the Sumarin house was seized -- enables Jewish individuals or associations to claim rights to property allegedly owned prior to 1948, while not recognizing similar Palestinian claims.

Jewish settlers illegally built the seven-story building Beit Yonatan in Silwan, and a number of court orders decreeing its eviction have never been implemented.

Israel insists that Jerusalem is its "eternal and indivisible" capital, and annexed the city's eastern sector after a 1967 war in a move never recognized by the international community.

For Palestinians, East Jerusalem is the capital of their promised state.

Maan News Agency


Israel Attempts to Foil Palestinian Initiative for Self-Generating Energy

Ramallah, November 27, 2011 (WAFA) - The Israeli decision demanding Palestinians in the west bank to obtain permits from the Israeli authorities to build solar-cells to generate electricity power, aims at thwarting the Palestinian efforts to self-generate power and stop the reliance on Israel for it, Sunday said an official.

General Director of The Palestinian Energy and Environment Research Centre (PEC), Ayman Ismail, told WAFA that the Energy & Environment Research Center proposed to the Cabinet a three-year initiative, starting from 2012, to generate electricity by using solar – cells, during which the solar-cells, with capacity of 150 Megawatts (MW), will be put on rooftops, and from which 1000 houses will benefit.

Six days after proposing the initiative, Israel demanded Palestinians to obtain special permits that allow them to install solar panels over a required space of 500 square-meters, generate power using photoelectric device, and link it to the electricity companies, according to a previous law enacted in 2008 and imposed only in settlements in the West Bank.

The decision also limits the kilowatts allowed for households, schools, hospitals, and others; houses have only 4- 15 kW to cosume, schools and hospitals up to 50 and institutions and farms 50 kW and over.

Ismail stated that they will demand the four companies providing electricity in the west bank not to deal with the Israeli authorities’ procedures concerning this issue.

He added that the Israeli authority has no right to request permits from the Palestinians and that this request must be addressed and rejected completely.

He added that the PEC is raising awareness on the importance of using the solar power in different parts of the west bank.

He said, “The proposed three-year initiative consists of three phases, through small projects of 5 kW for each project, to be installed on rooftops, whereas the aim of the initiative for the first year is to obtain 0.5 MW from 100 houses and then to expand the project for generating 1.5 MW in the following year. In the last year of the project, an additional 3 MW are generated, to reach a total of 5 MW during the three years, initially.”

He indicated that each Palestinian, who installs this system in his house, will receive a distinctive electricity fee and Incentive rewards. This will be done in coordination with Palestinian electricity regulatory council (PERC), responsible for the organizing of the electricity sector in Palestine.

Concerning the usage of the solar power in the Palestinian Territory, Mohammad Al Helu, Founder and General Manager at Palestinian Solar & Sustainable Energy Society, said that 79% of the Palestinians use solar-cells on their rooftops, thus save 9% of the Palestinian energy bill through solar energy, which is one of the highest rates in the world. It is a Palestinian practice with no legislation or law, he said.

He told WAFA, “The Israeli request has two dimensions; first , it represents the Israeli attempts to dictate that it is the only reference for energy and renewable energy in Palestine, and its efforts to deal with the Palestinian public as detached from the Palestinian Authority, reminding us of the occupations’ measures before Oslo, which is completely unacceptable. The second dimension is concerning the installation of the solar panels and generation of electricity power.”

“As an association we demand to generate electricity power by using the solar power, despite the Israeli rejection,” he added.

He stressed that Palestinians should only refer to Palestinian institutions, on top of which the Energy Authority, in the matter.

He revealed that “the Israeli officer issued this declaration after several Israeli companies completed planning for projects in Area ‘C’, which is under the military and administrative control of Israel, to facilitate the settlements’ obtainment of the solar energy.”
Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

Official media: Russian president writes to Abbas of his support

The head of Russia's mission to the Palestinian Authority Alexander Rudakov
delivers a presidential communique to general secretary of the Palestinian
presidency al-Tayeb Abdul Rahim at the PA headquarters in Ramallah on
Nov. 27, 2011. (MaanImages/HO)

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev welcomed the reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas and applauded efforts to attain Palestinian statehood in a letter to President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, official media reported.

The head of Russia's mission to the Palestinian Authority Alexander Rudakov delivered the letter to general secretary of the Palestinian presidency al-Tayeb Abdul Rahim at the PA headquarters in Ramallah, PA news agency Wafa said.

Medvedev said Russia will continue supporting the PA's state-building agenda, and confirmed Russian support to Palestinians and their goal of an independent state.

"For Palestine to have its national sovereignty will help to reach a solution in the Middle East," the letter said, according to the report.

The Russian president also praised the steps taken by Fatah and Hamas to implement a reconciliation deal ending the hostility that split Palestinians into separate administrations in Gaza and the West Bank, after party heads met in Cairo on Thursday.

Abdul Rahim thanked Russia for its continued support to Palestinians, the report said.
Maan News Agency

Video: Devastating effects of Gaza siege-Remember Palestine-11-26-2011

video: Israel security unnerved by Egyptian politics

Jordan minister calls to halt Al-Aqsa bridge demolition

The bridge to Bab al-Margharbeh in Jerusalem's Old City. (MaanImages/HO)

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Jordan's Minister of Islamic Affairs Abdul Salam al-Abadi spoke out on Saturday against the plan of Israel's Jerusalem municipality to demolish and rebuild an access route to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City.

The minister said King Abdullah II of Jordan -- who met President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Monday -- had personally taken up the issue, official news agency Petra reported.

The bridge leading to Bab (gate) al-Margharbeh is a main entry point to the Islamic holy site the Haram al-Sharif -- a compound housing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem including the Old City after a 1967 war which usurped Jordanian rule in the city's east and the West Bank.

Israel's Jerusalem municipality said on Oct. 24 it needed to demolish and replace the bridge within 30 days due to danger of collapse or fire, PA official news agency Wafa reported.

The municipality had already obtained a permit to demolish the structure, but delayed it to allay inciting protests at any tampering with the flashpoint site which abuts Jewish holy site the Western Wall, Wafa reported.

Palestinian officials have appealed to halt the demolition and Jordan says it has developed an alternative solution with the UN's cultural agency UNESCO.

Al-Abadi said Sunday that Jordan -- which registered the site on UNESCO's World Heritage list in 1981 -- was working with international organizations to stem the demolition. A 1994 peace agreement between Jordan and Israel recognized Jordan's special role regarding the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.

"King Abdullah has said many times that Jerusalem is a red line that cannot be crossed," Al-Abadi told Petra.

"This bridge is an essential part of the holy Islamic site," he said, warning that the site was entrusted to Jordan and Muslims across the world.

"Israel should realize that the Islamic world is watching with tension all the Israeli projects and tunnels around al-Haram al-Sharif."

Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are unable to visit East Jerusalem without special permits, and say that Israel's control of the city endangers their right to worship and a future Palestinian state, which is not viable without the eastern sector as its capital.

Maan News Agency

Israeli Forces Raze Land in Qalandia Village to Expand Separation Wall

JERUSALEM, November 27, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli bulldozers razed Sunday the agricultural land north of the village of Qlandia, south of the city of Ramallah, in preparation of expanding the Separation Wall, according to witnesses.

Witnesses said that two Israeli bulldozers, accompanied by borders’ guards, razed land, belonging to the village’s residents, to steal it in favor of expanding ‘Atarot’ settlement.

They added that the Wall will separate a number of the residents’ homes from their village, and will completely isolate the village from the outside world.

Head of Qalandia village council, Yousef Awad, said that the razing process is going very fast and is destroying a lot of land, indicating that the villagers had confronted the soldiers and bulldozers, however, they continued bulldozing.

He called for an intervention to stop the bulldozing that targets the village’s land.

Awad indicated that the area of the land, which is inhabited by 1100 Palestinians, intended to be seized is estimated to around 400 dumuns (1 dunum=1000 square meters), and is owned by a number of the village’s residents.
Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

Israeli Forces Storm Palestinian College, Arrest Students in Hebron

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

HEBRON, November 27, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Sunday stormed the faculty of the Palestine Technical College in Arroub, a refugee camp north of Hebron, in the southern West Bank, and arrested a number of its students, according to witnesses.

Bassam Al-Hadad, one of the teachers at the college, told WAFA that Israeli forces stormed the college, patrolling in its courtyard and checking students’ identity cards, and arrested several students under the pretext of looking for wanted Palestinians.

Palestinians to skip interim government: Hamas

27 November 2011 RAMALLAH, West Bank - The Palestinians’ rival leaders have quietly decided to keep their respective governments in the West Bank and Gaza in place until elections, a senior Hamas figure told The Associated Press. This proposal would remove a major obstacle to efforts to reconcile the factions: the need to form an interim unity government.

A representative of Hamas’ rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, denied that such a deal was struck. Abbas envoy Azzam al-Ahmed insisted there was no agreement and “no possibility of holding elections without a unity government.”

The Hamas figure said the understanding was reached between Western-backed Abbas and Khaled Mashaal, chief of the Islamic militant Hamas, during one-on-one talks last week. He spoke on condition of anonymity, because he said the two leaders decided not to make the arrangement public.

Another top Hamas official, Moussa Abu Marzouk, said that it was at least possible to skip an interim government and head straight to elections, tentatively scheduled for May.

The Hamas statements suggested that a solution was being finessed to get around the disagreement over keeping Salam Fayyad, prime minister of the West Bank government, who is popular with Western donors but strongly opposed by Hamas. By retaining the separate governments until the elections and perhaps enabling them to work closer together, both sides could save face.

Keeping the existing governments in place would help Abbas avoid a Western backlash and continue the flow of international aid to his government in the run-up to elections. Western powers fear a unity government, even one composed of technocrats without clear political affiliations, would be heavily influenced by the Islamic militant Hamas.

It also would mean that Salam Fayyad, an internationally respected economist, remains in charge in the West Bank for the time being and continue to ensure that donor countries keep funding Abbas’ Palestinian Authority. Hamas will keep running Gaza, the territory it seized from Abbas by force in 2007. The Hamas government is not internationally recognized.

Shelving the unity government step would also remove a major sticking point in Hamas-Abbas negotiations.

At Thursday’s meeting, Abbas told Mashaal that that the two-government status quo was “convenient for both sides and any change might be costly,” according to the Hamas figure. The Hamas figure said he was briefed by Mashaal, who welcomed the idea.

Al-Ahmed, the Abbas envoy, said negotiators from both sides would meet again next month to try to form a unity government. Abu Marzouk confirmed that such talks are planned.

Palestinians to skip interim government: Hamas

Rap and Reconciliation in Gaza: An Interview with the DARG Team


In one of the most crowded places on earth, four Palestinians are standing out. They call themselves Da Arabian Revolutionary Guys—or the DARG Team—and they are considered to be the premier rap group in the Gaza Strip. Together with fellow Palestinian hip hop crews DAM, Awlad al-Hara, and Ramallah Underground, the DARG Team comprises the most famous faces of rap music in the occupied territories.

The Gazan rap crew the DARG Team (DARG Team Photographer QD).

PNN French Editor Alexis Thiry corresponded with the rappers, who are currently on tour in Switzerland, via email.

AT: I know Ramallah Underground as one of the pioneers of Palestinian rap. Where did you find inspiration when you started writing your songs?

DARG: Well, Ramallah Undergound is one of the best in the industry no doubt, but we don’t see ourselves in that position as the precursors of Palestinian hip hop. We just put our hearts into it, because music expresses our daily life in both Gaza and abroad in a describable way. We were inspired and still are from the pulse of the street, from what is around us and the ones who came before us: musicians, writers, producers, singers, and most of all people who give us the strength to go on doing what we believe we do best by telling their stories and ours, of living in the strip and facing all these obstacles, starting with the occupation and ending with society’s restrictions and oppressions.

We start writing 2002/03 and founded DARG Team late 2007 by combining two groups known back then as Da MCz and RG Band.

AT: How did you manage to impose your style in Gaza, a place one imagine in Europe as conservative and traditional? Do you feel you have initiated a new musical trend ?

DARG: Nothing comes that easy in Gaza, and you are right by saying Gaza is “conservative and traditional” but meanwhile it’s very creative and full of talents. Living in Gaza with all these limitation and restrictions is not easy for hip hop talents where the society believes that this kind of culture comes from the West and it’s not related to our culture and struggle in any way. Therefore we made sure that we reflect our traditions via music by [blending] traditional and oriental instruments into the music and mixing it with Western [styles]. Above all we rhymed in Arabic to ensure that we do represent this culture, where we come from, and make sure that our streets will back us up. We are the continuous evolution of those who initiated this musical trend and have left a remarkable imprint that no one can deny or overlook in Gaza.

AT: Do you think others with follow you, if that’s not already the case ?

DARG: I wouldn’t say they follow as much as I think they are inspired by us and the others. They have finally found out that they can use that kind of music to express themselves in nonviolent way, which we believe is the new way of resistance which we are part of. We’re proud to be the ones who helped in putting the foundation of it in the Gaza Strip.

AT: You have concerts planed in Lausanne and Zurich in December. Do you plan to stay in Europe after your Swiss tour ?

DARG: This is not our first time to tour in the EU and will not be the last.

AT: How is it to travel in Europe with a Palestinian ID? Is there any deadline when you have to go back to Gaza ?

DARG: It is always a great pleasure for us to travel with a Palestinian ID, but yes there is always deadline when we have to go back home.

AT: Do you know if you have an impact on the Palestinian youth society or is your audience is mainly European?

DARG: When we come across young men or women in the streets of Gaza, they sing our songs or show us respect or ask us what’s new or when’s the release of our latest album. We know that we have an impact on the streets of Gaza. First of all, it’s where we started, it’s where our inspiration comes from. We do have audiences all over, in the places we’ve been to and places we never been, thanks to the Internet, which helps us deliver our voices and messages to every single house around the world. And we feature and participate in mixtapes all over the world: Germany, France, Haiti, USA, Italy, etc.

AT: You seem to be a politically committed team and your lyrics seem to reveal your desire for Palestinian unity. How do you feel about a possible reconciliation of Fatah and Hamas?

DARG: We have politics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That’s why our music is all about politics, domestic and regional. We are always concerned and looking forward to the unity of the Palestinian people, especially since we have many common objectives, the most important being the liberation of Palestine. What the rest of the world is claiming, always waving the democracy card, is nothing but bullshit. When Palestinians show [them] the biggest example of democracy, they’re being fought, blockaded and isolated by the main forces of the world.

PNN - Palestine News Network

Islamic Jihad will not renounce armed resistance

A child pictured at an Islamic Jihad rally in the Gaza Strip. (MaanImage/file)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Islamic Jihad movement said Sunday that it would support a Palestinian consensus on strategies to resist the occupation, but on condition that popular actions do not become a substitute for armed resistance.

“The Islamic Jihad movement, though not convinced that peaceful rallies are efficient against occupation, will not 'sing differently from the flock', but on condition that popular resistance does not nullify our right to practice armed resistance or replace it,” senior leader Sheikh Khalid al-Batsh told Ma'an.

“Popular resistance is acceptable despite the fact that our enemy must be faced with painful ways as peaceful rallies do not inflict casualties or cause pain to an enemy who mercilessly kills children,” he added.

The Sheikh said that factions had tried peaceful resistance to the occupation, but everyone saw how Israel had "killed children in Rafah."

Despite being convinced of armed resistance, the leader said that Islamic Jihad would discuss any new strategies with Fatah and Hamas.

Al-Batsh confirmed that Islamic Jihad would be interested in joining the PLO, but only on condition that it is restructured and its new agenda does not include any recognition of Israel.

The senior Islamic Jihad leader stressed that the group would never accept a Palestinian state on 1967 borders and said the "conflict will continue over the whole Palestine, and not over a portion."

Maan News Agency

Video: nabi saleh 25112011

Israeli intelligence summonses two female ex-detainees for interrogation

WEST BANK, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) violently stormed at dawn Sunday the homes of two Palestinian women recently released as part of the swap deal between Hamas Movement and Israel and handed them summonses for interrogation from the intelligence.

In Dura village south of Al-Khalil city, the IOF broke at dawn into the house of female ex-detainee Randa Al-Shahatit and handed her a summons for interrogation from the Israeli intelligence.

Shahatit, 25, told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that Israeli soldiers demanded her and her family to hand over their IDs before giving her the summons and threatening her with arrest if she did no show up at the intelligence headquarters inside Etzion military post.

Shahatit was serving four years and two months on a charge of attempting to kill a Jewish settler at the Ibrahimi Mosque in revenge for the massacres committed by Israel during its war on the Gaza Strip in the winter of 2008.

In Izza refugee camp north of Bethlehem city, the IOF also broke into the house of another female ex-detainee called Hanan Al-Hamouz and handed her a summons from the intelligence.

Local sources said the IOF stormed the camp, spread in its alleys and streets and closed its main entrance before breaking into and ransacking the house of Hamouz family.

Israeli intelligence summonses two female ex-detainees for interrogation

Palestinian PM says he can't pay civil servants because Israeli sanctions starting to bite

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad says he will be unable to pay the the salaries of tens of thousands of civil servants, as Israeli economic sanctions start to bite.

Israel decided last month to suspend the monthly transfer of about $100 million in tax revenues it collects on behalf of Fayyad's Palestinian Authority. The transfers, along with foreign aid, are crucial for keeping Fayyad's government afloat. Nearly one-third of the close to 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza depend on public sector salaries.

Fayyad told reporters Sunday that the sanctions have a "devastating impact" on the Palestinian economy.

Israel suspended the transfers in retaliation for Palestinian attempts to win international recognition for a state of Palestine.


Residents stage Friday prayer outside threatened Sumrain house

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) -- A public prayer was held on Friday, 25 November outside the threatened Sumarin family’s house in Wadi Hilweh. Authorities issued an eviction notice to the family several weeks ago.
Dozens of Silwan residents flocked to the Sumrain home for the Friday prayer in an expression of solidarity with the family and rejection of the settler agenda in Silwan. Those attending expressed support for the Sumrains’ long legal battle with Israeli authorities attempting to evict them, and the multitude of fines they have been ordered to pay in an attempt to pressure them out.
The speaker leading the prayer spoke out against the illegality of the settlements in general, and the City of David archaeological tourism settlement in Wadi Hilweh in particular.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem

Assaf: Fatah and Hamas agree to delay forming government

NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Khalil Assaf, head of independent figures in the West Bank, said Saturday that President Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal have agreed to delay the formation of a government.

Assaf made the comments after a meeting between the Independent Palestinian Figures assembly and Mashaal on Saturday. Mashaal stated that a meeting between all factions and independent forces will take place in Cairo on Nov. 20 to discuss reformation of the PLO, Assaf said.

"We understand the amount of pressure on the Palestinian people. We felt the serious motivation of the president to implement the reconciliation. Mashaal promised Abbas that Hamas will be a factor to shatter the pressure on our people, not to increase it,” Assaf said in a statement.

Mashaal and Abbas met in Cairo on Thursday for the first time since signing the May agreement to end the rivalry that split the West Bank and Gaza into separate administrations under each party.

Maan News Agency

IOF troops arrest 60 Palestinians in one week including minors, young women

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested 60 Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem over the past week including ten minors and two young women, a report by Hamas movement said on Saturday.

It said that 18 were arrested in Nablus province, 9 in Jenin, 8 in each of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, 7 in Al-Khalil, 6 in Ramallah, 2 in Salfit, and one in each of Tulkarem and Qalqilia.

The report pointed out that the two young women were detained in Yatta village, Al-Khalil province, adding that they were 17 and 19 years old respectively. It noted that the 20 minors were 11 to 18 years old.

It said that the IOF soldiers arrested four Palestinians who were released from PA jails in the West Bank, charging that the step fell in line with security coordination between the two.

IOF troops arrest 60 Palestinians in one week including minors, young women

Resheq: The popular resistance is no substitute for the armed resistance

DAMASCUS, (PIC)-- Member of Hamas's political bureau Ezzat Al-Resheq said there was an understanding between his Movement and Fatah faction on the importance of the popular resistance, but this would not be at the expense of the armed resistance or replace it.

"The armed resistance is Hamas's unchangeable and uncompromisable program, and Hamas will remain adherent to the resistance of all forms including the armed one. It is the legitimate right of our people and all peoples under occupation," Resheq stated in a press release on Saturday.

The Hamas official also said that Hamas and Fatah along with other Palestinian factions will set the appropriate mechanisms to activate and expand the popular resistance as a kind of resistance against the occupation, the settlement and the apartheid wall.

The popular resistance is a kind of mobilizing other efforts to stand alongside the armed resistance against the Israeli occupation, he added.

Resheq: The popular resistance is no substitute for the armed resistance

Israeli Soldiers Arrest 12 Palestinians in West Bank

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

HEBRON, November 27, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers Sunday arrested 12 Palestinians across the West Bank, according to security sources.

They said Israeli soldiers arrested two Palestinians from Hebron and Balata camp and another three from Beit Ummar town, after they searched their homes and tampered with their contents.

They also raided the Old City in Hebron and handed one Palestinian a notice to report to Israeli intelligence.

Israeli soldiers erected a number of checkpoints on the entrances of Halhoul, Samu and Yatta, all in Hebron governorate.

Soldiers also arrested seven Palestinians from Tireh town west of Ramallah, Battir town in Bethlehem and Jalazone camp.

Israeli Intelligence Summons Released Prisoner

BETHLEHEM, November 27, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli Intelligence Sunday summoned the released prisoner, Hanan al-Hamuoz from al-‘Azza camp, north of Bethlehem, according to security sources.

They said Israeli forces raided the camp and blocked the main entrance before raiding Hamouz’s house.
Soldiers searched the house and tampered with its contents, then handed Hamouz’s parents a notice for her to report to Israeli intelligence in Etzion settlement, south of Bethlehem.

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA - Two Israeli Strikes Target Gaza

GAZA, November 27, 2011 (WAFA) – Israel launched two air strikes targeting the city of Khan Younis, north of Gaza, and al-Nuseirat, a refugee camp south of Gaza City, according to local sources.

Israeli warplanes launched missiles at greenhouses in Khan Younis, while another airstrike targeted an area west of al-Nuseirat, resulting in property damage, said witnesses.
No injuries were reported in either attack.

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA

Turkey: Relations Not To Be Normalized until Israel Lifts Gaza Blockade

by Alaa Ashkar
Turkish Minister of Foreign Affair, Ahmed Dawud Aghlo, reconfirmed that relations between Turkey and Israel won't be normalized till the latter issues an official statement, apologizing for Israeli attacks on the Turkish “Freedom Flotilla” in bound to Gaza and lifting Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, the Maan News Agency reported Friday afternoon.

The Turkish Flag. Image by Maannews.net
The Turkish Flag. Image by Maannews.net

His statement came after talks held with his Italian Counterpart, Giulio de Tertisa Santagata, on Friday in the Turkish Capital of Istanbul.

Oglu said “Israel must choose: either to cooperate and resolve the ongoing tension or not to cooperate and keeps the tension raised,” adding that “Israel is the world's current tension as it keeps expanding its illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, if Israel extends its hand in peace, Turkey would extend its hand in peace in reverse,” said he.

He further pointed out that there is a possibility of normalizing bilateral relations between Turkey and Israel if the latter apologized over killing the Turkish “Freedom Flotilla” activists in bound to Gaza in May 2010. Israel, moreover, must pay compensations to the families of the Turkish victims who were killed on board the Marmara ship, which was transferring humanitarian aid to the people of the enclave.

Turkey claims that one of the conditions, must be executed, in order to normalize bilateral relations between Israel and Turkey is to end the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.

On May 23rd, 2010, Israeli Navy forces attacked the Gaza-bound Turkish Marmara Ship, sailing in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea which led to the killing of nine boarding activists and several other were wounded. As a result, Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Israel and expeled the Israeli ambassador to Turkey, requesting Israel to issue an official statement that apologizes and promises to pay compensations to the families of the victims. Turkey, furthermore, announced that it would sue Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

International Middle East Media Center

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tahrir sit in continues - اعتصام رحيل المجلس العسكري

Video: Nilin Village - Struggle Against The Apartheid Wall 25.11.2011

Israel threatens to cut off power, water to Gaza

26 November 2011 JERUSALEM — Israel warned on Saturday that it would cut the supply of water and electricity to the Gaza Strip if rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas form a unity government.

‘The foreign ministry is examining the possibility of Israel pulling out of the Gaza Strip in terms of infrastructure,’ Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the daily Yediot Aharonot website.

A unity government deal ‘would transform the Palestinian Authority into a terrorist authority and would put an end to any hope for a peace agreement’ with Israel, said Ayalon, who is also a Knesset deputy from the nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party.

On Friday, Israeli ministers decided to maintain a freeze on the transfer of tens of millions of dollars in tax monies to the Palestinian Authority hours after Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas held top-level talks with Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal at which they announced a new era of ‘partnership.’

The transfer of funds, which make up a large percentage of the authority’s monthly budget, was frozen on November 1 as a punitive measure after the Palestinians won full membership of the UN cultural organisation.

‘If the Palestinians have signed an agreement over a unity government, it would make a transfer of funds impossible,’ a senior government official told AFP.

In January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already threatened to cut off water and power to Gaza, which has been controlled by Hamas since the Islamist group chased Fatah from the territory in 2008.

Israel, which unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and dismantled Jewish settlements in 2008, continues to supply the territory with water and 70 percent of its electrical power, the rest being supplied by neighbouring Egypt or local power plants.

Israel threatens to cut off power, water to Gaza

OIC chief stresses Palestinian unity

JEDDAH, Nov 26 (KUNA) -- Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu underlined here Saturday the importance of Palestinian national unity for boosting gains on the international arena.
Commenting on a recent meeting between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Meshal in Cairo, he said Palestinian unity is a must, especially as Palestine has become a UNESCO member and is required to step up efforts in the context of UN membership bid.
He added that inter-Palestinian reconciliation would lead to the fulfillment of the Palestinian people's expectations and hopes, chiefly an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. (end)

OIC chief stresses Palestinian unity

Free Salah Hamouri Franco-Palestinian student held in Israel since March 13, 2005

Salah Hamouri
On 28 November, the young Franco-Palestinian Salah Hamouri should be released. Indeed at that time, he will, in the words of his sentence, served the full sentence. But now, for the Palestinians imprisoned in Israel and in particular for the residents of East Jerusalem, it is not uncommon that they are detained beyond their sentence. An arbitrary since May 2010 based on a law called "Law Shalit."   This law passed in the Knesset gives prison authorities various options to harden at will, so in a completely arbitrary, the conditions of detention of all Palestinian prisoners. Among the possibilities that are "given" to the Directorate of Israeli prisons, there is that to add 20 more days in jail a year of detention. For Salah Hamouri, innocent, was sentenced to seven years in prison and whose "trial" with the date of release of 28 November, the government can arbitrarily add 140 days in jail.   For many weeks, the support committee Salah Hamouri strongly urges the French government to intervene to secure the release of Salah at that time. Even senators and deputies, but also many citizens wrote to Alain Juppé to that effect and an engagement with this first step has been achieved. Indeed, on October 25, Minister of Foreign Affairs received the Israeli Ambassador to France and asked that the release of the Franco-Palestinian intervene "as soon as possible." The President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy, who spoke in person several times to obtain the release of French prisoners abroad has never been demonstrated in support of Salah. It must act now to secure the release of this French Palestinian student of schedule in the grounds of decision.   Recall that this fellow was convicted by a military court to seven years in prison, without crime or evidence, but only on the basis of a charge of intent. To this injustice, we must not add arbitrary extension of his sentence. The President and his Minister of the Interior must act to get all the assurances of the release of Salah to 28 November, and as we know, if "they" do not grow, it will not be done. The Committee therefore asks the support elected officials and citizens to "take their writing to request an intervention by France that Salah's release on November 28 and he joined his many homes in East Jerusalem. 

Maan News Agency: Students spell out peace message in Jericho desert

Hundreds of Palestinian refugee students from UN schools sit in the shape of
Pablo Picasso's 'Peace Dove' and write "LOVE ALL" at the foot of the Mount of
Temptation in Jericho on Nov. 25, 2011, in a UNRWA/Project Peace on Earth
project in partnership with international artist John Quigley.
(MaanImages/ John Quigley, Spectral Q, HO)

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of students gathered in the Jericho desert on Friday to create a massive aerial image of Pablo Picasso's Dove of Peace, in a project by British artist John Quigley and UNRWA.

"Palestinian youth are sending the message to "Love One Another" and "Love All" so we can find a path to peace," a UN statement quoted Quigley saying.

It took some 1,000 children from schools run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees to draw out the image at the foot of the Mount of Temptation in Jericho.

"The world needs to sit up and listen to the youth of this region, their message of peace is essential. It is the voice of the next generation," UNRWA Commissioner General Filippo Grandi said.

The initiative is part of Project Peace on Earth, which will stage a "musical prayer for peace concert" from Bethlehem's Manger Square on Christmas Day, the release said.

"These kids are planting seeds of hope into the heart of the middle east conflict ...they deserve the kind of positive future we wish for all children," Quigley said.

Maan News Agency