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Will new Fatah leaders` fluency in Hebrew make a difference?

21 hours 16 min ago
Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor "By spending years in Israeli jails, the top elected candidates in Fatah’s seventh congress speak fluent Hebrew. Both imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti and the head of the Palestinian Football Association and former prisoner Jibril Rajoub can read, write and speak the language most Israelis understand." ca

Israeli bill to legalise settler homes `unequivocally illegal`: UN

21 hours 16 min ago
AFP - "I strongly urge lawmakers to reconsider their support for this bill, which if enacted, would have far-reaching consequences and would seriously damage the reputation of Israel around the world," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra`ad Al Hussein." ca

Barghouthi: Legitimizing Settlement Outposts a Declaration of War

21 hours 16 min ago
IMEMC News & Agencies - IMEMC "In a press statement, the leader of the Palestinian National Initiative said that the misappropriation of private Palestinian land in favor of illegal settlements amounts to “a death sentence against the longed-for Palestinian State.” ca

Bethlehem Lights Christmas Tree With Message Of Peace And Justice (Video)

21 hours 16 min ago
Saed Bannoura - IMEMC "The Mayor of Bethlehem, Vera George Baboun, delivered this years’ Christmas message of peace and justice during the annual official Christmas tree lighting ceremony, held on December 4th, at the Manger Square in front of the Church of Nativity in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem." ca

U.K. Intelligence Called Israel `True Threat` to Middle East

21 hours 16 min ago
Haaretz&JTA - Haaretz  "British intelligence spied on Israeli diplomats and firms in addition to its military, the French daily Le Monde reported on Wednesday, based on leaked documents that came into the possession of whistleblower Edward Snowden. In one of the files, Britain’s GCHQ intelligence-gathering apparatus defined Israel as "a true threat" to the Middle East." ca

More than half of US aid ‘to entire world’ goes to Israel and it ignores our warnings on settlements

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 00:00
Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - But back then in 1993 [when Oslo principles were signed], there were 110,000 settlers in the West Bank. Today there are 385,500 or so. There is an increase – there is about 90,000 settlers living outside of the barrier. And the barrier, I want to remind everybody here, was established by Israel. That’s a line that was drawn by Israel – not necessarily a border, but it’s a line. It’s a reflection of a security line. Outside of that line drawn by Israel there are now 90,000 Israelis living in these patchworks of settlements. There are 129 settlements. There are about 100 outposts, and outposts, as you all know, are illegal.-rh

How Many Israelis Does It Take to Arrest One Palestinian?

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 00:00
Amira Hass - Haaretz - So how many is that so far? At least 65 people. It’s clear that every soldier/policeman gets to arrest a few Palestinians every month with the same force often arresting a few all at once, which is much preferred. The same applies to the Nahshon teams and the Shin Bet coordinators, the prison guards, the detectives and the judges. Efficient and resourceful, they pass the detainee from hand to hand in assembly-line fashion.-rh

Despite Hundreds of Complaints of Shin Bet Torture, Israel Yet to Launch Single Criminal Investigation

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 00:00
Yotam Berger - Mivtan, it turns out, has never launched a single criminal investigation against a Shin Bet agent, even though it has examined many hundreds of complaints. Haaretz has learned that the department employs only one investigator, meaning it’s unlikely that complaints can be thoroughly examined. In practice, then, the unit does not interfere with the Shin Bet’s work, even though complainants have reported harsh and prohibited forms of torture – including severe beatings and extensive sleep deprivation.-rh

Palestinians in Israel decry removal of Arabic on buses : Israeli buses remove Arabic-language announcements in southern city of Beersheba after pressure from Jewish residents

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 00:00
Patrick Strickland - Aljazeera - Israel`s Ministry of Transportation instructed the Dan Bus Company to remove Arabic announcements after several local Jewish-Israeli residents lodged complaints to the company and the Beersheba`s city hall.-rh

Arab Bedouins expelled for second time to make way for new Jewish community

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 00:00
Mersiha Gadzo - Mondoweiss - For the Abu al-Qi’an tribe, Umm al-Hiran has been home since 1956. They settled in the northern Negev after they were expelled under military order from their original village of Wadi Zubaleh where Kibbutz Shoval now stands. They now have to leave their homes for the second time. Nedal Abu al-Qi’an holds his daughter, one-month-old Jowan Abu al-Qi’an. “There’s no space for us. We have to go from one place to another,” 35-year-old Hassan Abu al-Qi’an said sitting in his living room with family members. They could receive orders to move out at any moment, he explained.-rh

Israel`s Lehava stirs `anarchy` in Jerusalem : The far-right group stokes hatred and incites followers to violence against Palestinians, say analysts

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 00:00
Jonathan Cook - Aljazeera - The attacks were carried out by a far-right group called Lehava, or Flame in Hebrew, an acronym for the Organisation for the Prevention of Miscegenation in the Holy Land. Run by a far-right rabbi, Ben-Zion Gopstein, Lehava rejects any interaction between Jews and Palestinians.Run by a far-right rabbi, Ben-Zion Gopstein, Lehava rejects any interaction between Jews and Palestinians. Founded in 2009, Lehava is distinguished from other far-right groups by its official focus on stopping miscegenation and intermarriage between Jews and Palestinians. In addition to the 300,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem, some 1.7 million of Israel`s citizens are Palestinian by origin, making them nearly a fifth of the population.-rh

Israel refuses visa to theologian over boycott and divestment activism

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 00:00
Peter Beaumont - The Guardian - Israel has denied entry to a prominent theologian and academic for her alleged activism in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – the first time officials say a foreign national has been refused entry for that reason.Isabel Phiri, who is an assistant general secretary with the World Council of Churches in Geneva, was refused a visa at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on Monday afternoon.-rh

One week later: Where is the evidence of an `arson intifada?`

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 00:00
Haggai Matar - +972 - But what do we actually know about this wave of wildfires? We know that there were 1773 different fires according to the Israel Fire and Rescue Services. The police were called to 90 of these “events,” 40 of which were investigated for a number of crimes (including negligence, as well as arson and attempted arson). The Israel Tax Authority announced that nine of the fires will be counted as nationalistically-motived arsons, yet the police and the Fire and Rescue Services were quick to respond that Authority’s list was not based on facts, and that there is no way to prove that any of those nine fires were the result of arson.-rh

Golden statue of Benjamin Netanyahu toppled after causing stir

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 00:00
Jeffrey Heller - Independent - A gilded statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dubbed “King Bibi” by its creator stirred condemnation from Israel`s culture minister and was toppled by an onlooker after a brief public appearance. Sculptor Itay Zalait said he had placed the four metre (13 foot) tall effigy of Mr Netanyahu on a white pedestal in Tel Aviv`s Rabin Square, adjacent to city hall, to test the limits of freedom of expression in Israel.-rh

West Bank village turned into a `prison` in the wake of arson accusations

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 00:00
Ma`an - Dozens of Palestinians have been detained -- including a number of children -- and clashes have erupted daily in the occupied West Bank village of Deir Nidham since it was blockaded by the Israeli army three weeks ago, “turning the lives of 1,600 into a prison,” locals told Ma’an on Wednesday. Deir Nidham, northwest of Ramallah city, was placed under a military closure after a fire erupted just a few kilometers away in the illegal Israeli settlement of Halamish, which is built on the lands of the village and on the lands of neighboring Nabi Saleh.-rh

Palestinian circus trainer marks year in Israeli jail without charge

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 00:00
Charlotte Silver - EI - "Abu Sakha is the 25-year-old Palestinian circus trainer and performer who specializes in working with children with severe disabilities." - id

Israel Asked to Reconsider Settlement “Legalization” by UN Special Coordinator

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 00:00
IMEMC - "“If adopted, it will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel, across the occupied West Bank and will greatly diminish the prospect of Arab-Israeli peace,” Mladenov said, in  a statement." - id

Will Israel expand settlement to Jerusalem border?

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 00:00
Akiva Eldar - al-Monitor - "Israeli plans to expand the Ma’ale Adumim settlement and achieve territorial continuity all the way to Jerusalem might spark international uproar." - id

How the Israeli Right easily manipulates Palestinians and the Left

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 00:00
Rami Younis - +972 - "Distracted by the ‘fire intifada’ that wasn’t and the progress of the ‘muezzin law,’ the Israeli Left and several Palestinian Knesset members failed to call out the other injustices of the last few weeks." - id 

Darfur Refugee Beaten to Death for Trying to Consort with Israeli Girls

Wed, 12/07/2016 - 00:00
Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "While I’ve not been able to establish a direct connection between the murderers and groups like Lehava, which advocate violence against Palestinians, Christians and Africans–this is part of their modus operandi.  The attack is a mark of Kahanist thuggery, of which Lehava makes a specialty." - id