Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel-Palestine News 8th-14th October 2016
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Purpose: to provide a varied selection of articles from Arabic, Hebrew and English mainstream media outlets so readers get a flavour of what is being said about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from different perspectives. We do not currently have the capacity to provide translations of actual Hebrew and Arabic media, so bear in mind that news agencies that issue articles in those languages may not produce the same content as the English versions of their outlets provided here (e.g. Aljazeera Arabic and Aljazeera English do not simply produce the same content in both languages). The content and opinions of these articles do not reflect our aims or opinions. Please BE RESOURCEFUL and research for yourself a diversity of sources for everything you read or hear about Israel-Palestine. 
Arabic News Sources

Al Jazeera: Palestinians urge FIFA to level the playing field. Forthcoming FIFA council meeting will examine complaints about football clubs based in Israeli settlements. On a row of plastic chairs overlooking a sandy lot, members of the Beitunia Club discussed their latest project to turn the space into a football field. With funding from people in Beitunia, local businesses and former residents of the small city that lies a few kilometres southwest of Ramallah, work on the pitch began in early 2016 - but by the summer, development had stalled after the club ran out of cash. Today, a handful of bricks are strewn across the unfinished field, while a floodlight hangs precariously from a wire. Beitunia members say the club needs $160,000 and that they have been in talks with the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) but they are looking for other partners as well. In the meantime, the club's football teams - two youth teams and a men's team - have been training on the unforgiving sandy surface. During the season, players travel across Ramallah to neighbouring al-Bireh, where they practise - during the off season - twice a week at the same stadium where they play their home games. It costs the club NIS 500 [$140] each time they practise in Bireh. Several kilometres south, in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, the local football team faces no such problems. Players from Beitar Shabi Givat Zeev practise regularly on the settlement's bright green football field, while the youth and men's teams use it for matches in the Israeli domestic league on Fridays.

Middle East Eye: Israeli police shoot dead young Palestinian during Yom Kippur. A 20-year-old Palestinian man was killed by Israeli security forces in the East Jerusalem town of Silwan on Tuesday evening, after violent clashes erupted at the start of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Ali Atef Shyoukhi, a resident of Silwan, was shot with live ammunition and fatally wounded around 11 pm on Tuesday, and succumbed to his injuries shortly after. Witnesses said that police blocked the area, preventing Ali from receiving aid or medical attention. The violence reportedly began around 10pm when police units forcibly entered and searched the homes of several Silwan families. Residents told Middle East Eye that security forces begun firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian youth who assembled in the neighbourhood to throw rocks and set off fireworks. The Palestinian Red Crescent was prevented from reaching Shyoukhi by the Israeli security forces, who stopped and repeatedly searched their ambulances for over an hour. On Wednesday morning, a burned out vehicle and remnants of dumpster fires littered the streets where the violence took place the previous night. About a kilometre away, the Shyoukhi family gathered in their home in the al-Hara al-Wusta neighbourhood to mourn Ali. Young family members passed out coffee and tea to the hundreds of visitors who had come to pay their respects, while neighbours strung up Palestinian and bright yellow Fatah flags high along the street, sporadically chanting Ali’s name.

Ma’an News Agency: Palestinian officer sentenced to one year in prison for criticizing Abbas. A Palestinian military court in Ramallah ordered that a Palestinian military liaison officer be sentenced to a year in prison and have his military rank suspended for writing a post on social media criticizing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for attending the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres. Osama Mansour’s sentence was awaiting final approval from Abbas, Mansour’s son said, adding that the order had been issued while Mansour’s lawyer was out of the country. Mansour was charged with “disobeying orders” after being detained on Oct. 1 for publishing a post on his Facebook page asking Abbas to reconsider his decision to attend Peres’ funeral. Mansour, also known as Abu Arab, served as the director of public relations and media at the Palestinian military liaison, a unit with the Palestinian security forces responsible for coordinating security with Israel. In his post, Mansour, also known as Abu Arab -- had highlighted the irony of Abbas offering his condolences for Peres -- “the founder of settlement activity” -- in spite of the Palestinian president’s repeated condemnation of the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements. “Whether (Peres) was a terrorist or not, whether he invented of the policy of breaking bones during the First Intifada or not, whether he was involved in the Jenin refugee camp massacre, the massacre of the al-Yasmin neighbourhood in Nablus, or the massacre of Qana -- who is he that you are going to partake in his funeral while the majority of the people you represent oppose him?” the post read. Despite the fact that violations of press freedoms by Palestinian authorities have been fewer and less severe than those committed by Israeli authorities, Palestinian press freedoms watchdog MADA noted in a recent report that as a direct result of violations by Palestinian authorities, Palestinian journalists and media workers “avoid addressing several topics” and practiced self-censorship.

PNN: Palestinian woman injured, another kidnapped by IOF. A Palestinian woman was kidnapped and another injured during clashes that broke out of Wednesday morning when Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) broke into the town of al-Ram, north of Jerusalem. Dozens suffered teargas inhalation during the clashes, and five were wounded. The woman was hit with a rubber-coated metal bullet in the head. Another Palestinian woman was also kidnapped by the occupation soldiers from al-Ram, after a young man, Ali Shyoukhi (20) was killed by IOF as well.

PNN: IOF demolish prisoner’s family home in Nablus. Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday overnight demolished the family home of prisoner Amjad Eleiwi, whom they claim has participated in a shooting last year, which killed two settlers. Intense clashes erupted between the youths and soldiers during the demolition process. According to medics, ten Palestinians were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets, in addition to dozens of teargas suffocation cases. Local sources added that the family of prisoner Eleiwi has appealed to the Israeli supreme court against the demolition, which counts as a collective punishment, however, the court rejected the appeal since two settlers from Itamar settlement were killed in the shooting. The shooting last year followed the series of killings of Palestinians, causing the so called Al-Quds Intifada. Since then, some 250 Palestinians citizens, and 73 Israelis -mostly soldiers- were killed.

Hebrew News Sources:

Haaretz: Jerusalem Attack: Two Killed, Six Wounded in Drive-by Shooting at Light Rail Stop.  Shooter opened fire at Ammunition Hill light rail stop and fled to Sheikh Jarrah, where he was shot down by police. Public security minister accuses Facebook of 'direct responsibility' for allowing incitement, as Hamas lauds attack. An East Jerusalem resident shot and killed a 60-year-old woman and a 30-year-old police officer on Sunday near the National Headquarters of the Israel Police in Jerusalem on Sunday. The drive-by shootings spanned three sites. In addition, three victims were moderately wounded, while a further three were lightly wounded by shrapnel or suffered from shock. Police eventualy shot the assailant, identified as a 39-year-old resident of the Silwan neighbourhood, at nearby Sheikh Jarrah. He succumbed to his wounds shortly thereafter. The shooting began at the Ammunition Hill light rail stop, where the woman who later died was critically wounded while a man was moderately wounded. Another victim was then shot and moderately wounded at the nearby Clermont-Ganneau Street intersection. The assailant then fled to Sheikh Jarrah, where two Israel Police officers were wounded, one critically and one moderately.  Two of the wounded were treated at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital, Mt. Scopus, including one moderately wounded and one lightly wounded by shrapnel. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan commented, "There were no specific warnings for such an event, but we have always said that because of the tension attacks by lone terrorists were likely." Erdan noted that the terrorist had a blue identity card as a permanent resident.

Israel Hayom: PM: Israel is a strong country that is becoming stronger. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praises quick police action in preventing major terrorist attack in Jerusalem on Monday, thanks all members of the Israeli security forces • PM: Israel is a military, economic, technological and diplomatic power.  "Yesterday was a sad day in Jerusalem. I would like to send condolences to the family of our friend, Levana Malihi," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at a toast to the New Year with the employees of the Prime Minister's Office, referring to a terrorist shooting on Sunday that claimed the lives of Malihi, a former Knesset employee, and Border Policeman 1st Sgt. Yossi Kirma. "I think that whoever was in the Knesset remembers her radiant smile, and we cry together with her family and with the family of the heroic policeman, Yossi Kirma, who pursued the terrorist and lost his life and without a doubt saved many lives. And of course we send our condolences to his fellow policeman, who is also a hero, and to all the other wounded. In this case, painful as it may be, there is no doubt that a terrible disaster was prevented by the quick, determined, and fearless action that was imbued with the fighting spirit of the Israel Police. I salute them, along with all the citizens of Israel," Netanyahu continued. The prime minister said that the country was in the midst of the High Holidays, known as a time when "those who incite and fan the flames of terrorism" continually try to provoke violence and clashes. "All citizens must be alert, certainly the security forces, who work day and night to protect us, and be a buffer and a wall between these murderers and the Israeli public. I salute the police personnel and soldiers, the men and women of the Shin Bet security agency, and all security services. We know that without their action, our reality would be different, and thanks to their action we succeed in safeguarding our security, our fabric of life, and our state," Netanyahu said.

Jerusalem Post: UNESCO to vote on resolutions ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount. A bi-partisan group of 39 US Congressmen wrote a letter this week to the Executive Board members asking them to vote against the latest resolution. UNESCO is slated to vote twice this month on Palestinian initiated resolutions that ignore Jewish ties to its most holy religious site of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem. The first of these votes will be taken on Thursday or Friday of this week by the 58-member Executive Board of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris. In advance of that vote, Israel’s Mission to UNESCO in Paris, has given board members and international diplomats a brochure detailing the deep historical connections Judaism has to those sites, which are also holy to Christianity and Islam. Among the evidence listed in the brochure is a 9th Century BC inscription referring to the House of David, an 8th Century BC seal from King Hezekiah, and a stone etching of the Jewish Menorah from the year 66 AD found in Jerusalem. The Executive Board vote will be followed by another vote on a similarly worded resolution that will be brought before the World Heritage Committee that is meeting in Paris on October 24-26. The resolutions, which have been informally put forward by the Palestinians, take Israel to task for a wide range of activities in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The initial parts of the text focus on the Temple Mount area. The language used in the resolutions refers to the Temple Mount area almost exclusively by is Muslim name of Al-Haram Al-Sharrif (the Noble Sanctuary). The text, however, does state that Jerusalem and its Old City walls are important to all three religions. In the draft of the Executive Board resolution dated September 2016 that was shown to The Jerusalem Post, the Western Wall was mentioned twice in quotes. Otherwise it was referenced in the text by its Muslim name of the Buraq Plaza. As a member state of UNESCO since 2011, Palestine may submit resolutions to UNESCO bodies such as the World Heritage Committee.
Times of Israel: Hamas accuses Israel of shooting, killing Gaza boy. Army says it has no knowledge of cross-border incident, after Palestinians claim 10-year-old was shot by soldiers near fence. 10-year-old Palestinian boy was killed along the Gazan border late Wednesday, with a Hamas official and an eyewitness accusing Israel, but the army said it had no knowledge of such an incident. An eyewitness said the Israeli army opened fire from a military base near Kissufim along the border. An eyewitness said the Israeli army opened fire from a military base near Kissufim along the border. On Tuesday night Palestinian officials said Israeli forces shot dead a 20-year-old Palestinian man in East Jerusalem. Israeli officials said they had shot at a man who was among a group who threw Molotov cocktails at them “while greatly endangering the soldiers’ lives.” Tensions along the Gaza border have risen recently. Last week saw several projectile launched into Israel from the Hamas-run enclave. On Wednesday, a rocket hit the southern Israeli town of Sderot and exploded in the middle of a street, causing some damage to the road, cars and nearby homes. Three people were hospitalized after suffering anxiety attacks. In response, the IDF struck Hamas targets, first with tank fire and then with a series of airstrikes in Gaza, targeting “key Hamas strategic infrastructure,” according to a military official. On Thursday, an IDF tank hit a Hamas outpost in the southern Gaza Strip in response to a mortar shell fired at southern Israel earlier in the day. Reports within the Gaza Strip also indicated that Israeli forces struck a site in central Gaza, east of the Bureij refugee camp, though that was not immediately confirmed by the IDF.

US/UK News

Guardian: UN sets out position on Israeli settlement football clubs in letter to Fifa. Warning over validity comes before meeting this week to discuss issue of Israeli teams playing in West Bank. A senior United Nations official has written to FIFA to reiterate that the UN regards Israeli settlements – and by extension Israeli football teams that play in them – to be “without validity” and “illegal under international law”. Wilfried Lemke, the UN special adviser on sport for development and peace, said all clubs playing in FIFA-recognised competitions should abide by its statutes – a demand being invoked by pro-Palestinian campaigners who want six settlement clubs to either relocate to Israeli territory or be banned from FIFA competition. Last year a FIFA committee headed by South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale was set up to consider complaints against the Israel Football Association (IFA), including the fact that settlement teams play in the occupied territories, apparently in breach of FIFA’s own statutes. FIFA urged to kick out Israeli football clubs located in West Bank. Sexwale sought the UN’s opinion on the situation and the advice is contained in a letter sent to him on 7 October and seen by the Guardian this week. Settlement clubs are due to be discussed at a Fifa meeting on Thursday and Friday. FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, said earlier this month that finding a solution to the dispute over Israeli clubs playing inside the West Bank was a priority before next year’s football world congress. Six Israeli football clubs based in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank play in the lower Israeli leagues but on Palestinian land without the permission of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA).


Haaretz: For Israelis, Peace Is War. Most Israelis think Israel doesn’t need 'peace'; it has high-tech, it has an army, a state; at the airport there are long lines, the cafes and restaurants are full. True, from time to time sons are sacrificed, but the numbers are negligible. Two-thirds of Israelis believe there will never be peace here, according to a new survey conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs for the Israeli news site Walla. A similar proportion has expressed their support in recent years for a peace agreement. The more the dream of ending the conflict recedes into the background, replaced by the recognition that it will not happen in the foreseeable future, the more important it becomes to observe the purity of arms and the purity of Jewish real estate in the West Bank, to create at least the appearance of a state of law whose laws also apply in its colonies. That’s the reason for the show trial of Elor Azaria, and also the reason Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman supports the evacuation of the unauthorized West Bank outpost of Amona. The prohibitions against shooting in the head a wounded man lying on the ground, even if he is Palestinian, and against using deception to deprive someone, even a Palestinian, of his property, are irrelevant when the laws “establishing [the] exorbitant rights [of the colonizer and obligations of the colonized” are conceived by the colonizer, as Albert Memmi wrote in “The Colonizer and the Colonized.” Writing in the 1950s, Memmi added that under such circumstances, with the colonized unable to change his situation by agreement through the colonizer, there is nothing left for him to do but revolt. That’s the situation, and any attempt to beautify it is self-deception. Those who feel the lie do not understand. Why are we maintaining an army in the territories — is it not to eradicate the rebellious natives? What’s all the fuss about?

PNN: Decolonizing the vocabulary of Palestinian human rights work. Israeli practices and policies are a combination of apartheid, military occupation, and colonization. This regime is not limited to the Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but it also targets Palestinians residing on the Israeli side of the 1949 Armistice Line, as well as those living in forced exile. Indeed, Israel’s treatment of non-Jewish Palestinians throughout Israel, the OPT, and the Diaspora constitutes a comprehensive discriminatory regime aimed at controlling the maximum amount of land with the least number of indigenous Palestinians. Many Palestinian human rights organizations, however, limit their mandate either to the occupied Palestinian territory or to Israel only, thus conforming to Israeli-imposed legal categories, which aim to geographically isolate these areas from each other. Some organizations circumscribe their scope of intervention even more narrowly – for example, only to the West Bank, to the Gaza Strip, to Area C within the West Bank, or to East Jerusalem. When they restrict their mandate in such a way, human rights groups in the OPT are actually confirming the notion that the problem they are trying to combat is confined only to areas occupied in 1967. In fact, for organizations that limit their operations to those territories only, the implicit starting point could even be considered the 1993 signing of the Oslo Accords, which consolidated the movement restrictions between Gaza and the West Bank. Yet the realities that we all deal with did not begin in 1993 nor in 1967. They began with the emergence of Zionist colonization of Palestine – the starting point of the Palestine ‘question’ – and should be recognized as such in seeking a solution. No organization will find or even come close to finding a solution if they believe or pretend to believe otherwise.

Times of Israel: Saudi Surprise. There appears to be good news to begin our New Year. Relations between the Monarchy of Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel are warming up and are increasing. This week, for example, the Saudi government has lifted the ban on Saudis gaining access to Israeli newspapers, both in English and in Hebrew. This is something that had never been done before. It is a very welcome surprise. Saudi officials have been visiting in Israel to explore possible economic and commercial ventures. The Saudis need Israeli gas and methods of developing water systems for which Israel is world famous. Over the past few years, Saudi Arabia has been less hostile to Israel and even proposed and sponsored an Arab Peace Plan. Although the proposed plan has some very good points, the demand that we retreat to the 1967 borders is one of several proposals which Israel cannot and will not accept. A peace agreement between us and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would benefit both nations. Saudis are highly educated and western oriented. Changes and reforms are being made to comply with requests from the UN and from civil rights organizations. Peace and trade relations with Saudi Arabia would be beneficial also with Egypt and Jordan. More and more Saudi Arabia is frustrated with the absence of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. For our good fortune, they place most of the blame on Palestinian stubbornness. We cannot expect ever Israeli tourism to Mecca or Medina but it is highly probable that we can expect Saudi tourism to Israel. Saudi Muslims would delight at the opportunity to worship at the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It is a very holy place for them due to its connection with Prophet Mohammed.

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