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Israel - Palestine news this week
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Israel - Palestine News 4th-10th June 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. 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.
Hebrew News Sources (English versions):
 
Times of Israel, Raoul Wootliffe: Tel Aviv victims: professor, mother of 4, ex-commando, engaged woman 
Four Israeli civilians were murdered by Palestinian terrorists in a shooting attack on Wednesday night in the Sarona complex, Tel Aviv. They were: Ido Ben Ari 42 a father of 2 who worked for Coca-Cola; Ilana Naveh a mother of 4 who was out celebrating her 40 birthday, 58-year-old father of 3 Michael Feige a professor of Israeli studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and 32-year-old Mila Mishayev who had been planning her wedding in the near future. 16 others were injured and 3 remained in intensive care on Thursday morning plus one of the attackers who was being treated in hospital alongside the victims.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/victims-in-tel-aviv-terror-attack-named-as-father-of-two-professor/
 
Jerusalem Post, Jeremy Sharon: International coverage of Sarona Market angers Israel activists, public diplomacy groups
The terror attack at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night in which four Israelis were gunned down evinced consternation from Israel activists and public diplomacy groups. Renowned media outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and others were all accused of having omitted key facts about the story, such as the Palestinian identity of the terrorists, or in some cases for having given credence to arguments justifying terror attacks. One report highlighted for such problems was the live coverage broadcast by MSNBC and its Israel reporter Ayman Mohyeldin who managed to squeeze in four mentions of “the occupation” and three mentions of Israeli politics “shifting to the right’ or the “extreme right,” while talking of Palestinian “frustration” and Israeli oppression. Among other news outlets under scrutiny was the BBC, which was accused of failing to identify the attackers as Palestinians in its initial report and CNN was lambasted for a tweet about the attack in which it put the word terrorists in quotation marks.
http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/International-coverage-of-Sarona-Market-angers-Israel-activists-public-diplomacy-groups-456377
 
Ynet News, Noam (Dabul) Dvir & Ahiya Raved: PM: 'We caught the man who collaborated with the murderers"
Following the terrorist attack on Tel Aviv's Sarona Market on Wednesday that killed four Israelis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the scene of the attack under heavy guard on Thursday night and addressed the media. "We caught the man who collaborated with the murderers," he announced. He explained". Today, I assembled the Security Cabinet, and we decided on a series of offensive measures: We cancelled (the terrorists') families' work permits, and we've increased our forces in the (West Bank) buffer zone". The prime minister passed to sharply criticise the Palestinian Authority's behaviour following the attack. Their presidency had issued earlier in the day a carefully-worded statement condemning terror attacks against civilians, but failing to specifically mention the Sarona attack.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4814240,00.html
 
Haaretz, Max Schindler: Father of Tel Aviv Shooter Blames ‘Conditions’ For Terror Attack, but Brother Says He’s Proud
The father of one of the terrorists who opened fire at a high-end Tel Aviv food and retail center Wednesday says he still has trouble believing his son could be behind the attack that left four Israelis dead. “He never even spoke about the most recent [knife] Intifada,” says Ahmad Mahamra in the conservative Palestinian market town of Yatta, south of Hebron. But even as he expressed disbelief, he absolved his son, Mohammed Ahmad Mahamra, whom he described as religious and uninvolved in politics, of blame. “Our conditions drove or motivated them to do these things,” he said. Mohammed’s older brother Hussein Ahmad, meanwhile, praised the attack. “I’m very proud of what Muhammed did,” he said. “I know that my brother showed discipline.” Mohammed Ahmad Mahamra and his cousin Khaled Mohammed Mahamra, of Yatta, shot and killed four Israelis at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv Wednesday night. They were both arrested by security forces at the scene of the attack. The two cousins are members of the prominent Mahamra clan in the West Bank. One of their relatives is Khaled Mahamra, a Hamas member who was released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal and re-arrested after the kidnap and murder of the three Jewish youths in 2014. Ahmad said he now expects their house in Raga, a neighborhood one kilometer north from the center of Yatta, to be demolished. “And I spent 30 years, hundreds of thousands of shekels building it.”
http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.724321
 
Arabic News Sources (English versions):
 
PNN: Four Israelis killed in Tel Aviv shooting
On Wednesday night, four Israelis were killed and several others injured in a shooting that took place in Tel Aviv by two Palestinian youths. The shooters are cousins, both in their early twenties from Yatta city in the southern West Bank. One of them was arrested and taken in for questioning, and the other, who was injured, was taken to hospital. The attackers were disguised as ultra-Orthodox Jews when they entered a cafe in Tel Aviv. Father of one of the youths, Ahmad Khamamreh, said that his son, Mohammad, is not affiliated to any political party or organization, and that the family was utterly shocked when they heard about him in the news. In response to the shooting, Israel has cancelled entry permits for 83,000 Palestinians during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. Following the attack as well, Israeli Forces broke into the family home of the Palestinian attackers in Yatta, measured it for demolition “The [soldiers] searched the house, asked me about him and asked me where he sleeps… I answered that my son does not have his own house and sleeps here in a room with his siblings. Then they brought an engineer and took measurements of the house,” Ahmad said.
http://english.pnn.ps/2016/06/09/four-israelis-killed-in-tel-aviv-shooting/
 
Al Arabiya: Israel to deny return of all Palestinian attackers’ bodies
On Thursday, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the bodies of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks not be returned for burial, as Israel clamped down after a deadly shooting in Tel Aviv. A spokesman for Lieberman confirmed the order, his first major decision related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the hardliner took office on May 30. Israeli officials argue funerals for attackers often turn into rallies that promote further violence. Palestinians and rights groups say the measure, used in the past, amounts to collective punishment and feeds into anger over Israel's occupation of the West Bank. Muslim custom demands the dead be buried as soon as possible. Two Palestinian gunmen opened fire at a Tel Aviv cafe on Wednesday night, killing four Israelis and wounding five others. One of the attackers was arrested, while the other was wounded by gunfire and had undergone surgery, police said.
https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/06/09/Israel-to-deny-return-of-all-Palestinian-attackers-bodies-.html

Al Jazeera, Jonathan Cook: Why Israel is blocking access to its archives
Israel is locking away millions of official documents to prevent the darkest episodes in its history from coming to light, civil rights activists and academics have warned as the country's state archives move online. They claim government officials are concealing vital records needed for historical research, often in violation of Israeli law, in an effort to avoid damaging Israel's image. The Israeli army has long claimed to be the "most moral" in the world. Accusations of increased secrecy come as Israel marks this week the 49th anniversary of the 1967 war, when it seized and occupied Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Golan Heights. Many of the records to which access is being denied refer to that war and the first years of Israel's military rule over Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/israel-blocking-access-archives-160609054341909.html

Ma'an News Agency: Israeli Defense Minister halts the return of all Palestinian bodies following attack in Tel Aviv
On Thursday, the newly-appointed Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued an order to suspend the return of all Palestinian bodies killed during suspected attacks in response to a shooting in Tel Aviv on Wednesday that left four Israelis killed and an additional six injured. According to Israeli news agency Haaretz, the ultra-right Defense Minister issued the order following a security cabinet meeting to discuss government responses to Wednesday’s attack. Lieberman’s decision split with his predecessor Moshe Yaalon who argued against withholding Palestinian bodies, saying the policy has only served to exacerbate tensions with Palestinians. However, Lieberman has claimed the return of bodies has sent the “wrong message” to Palestinians and halting their return could prevent future attacks against Israelis. The decision comes a day after Israeli police announced that Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem suspected of “terrorism” would no longer be able to have funerals in their neighbourhoods or villages, but would instead be buried in cemeteries chosen by the Israeli police.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=771818 
 
US-UK News Sources:
 
BBC: Tel Aviv shooting: Israel suspends Palestinian permits
Israel says it has suspended entry permits for 83,000 Palestinians after gunmen killed four people in an attack at an open-air complex in Tel Aviv. Two Palestinians from the occupied West Bank opened fire on shoppers and diners at the Sarona precinct, officials said. Islamist group Hamas praised what it called an "heroic attack" but did not say it was behind it. In a statement a day after the killings, the West Bank-based Palestinian Presidency said it "repeatedly emphasised its rejection of all operations targeting civilians regardless of their identity and irrespective of the justifications", without directly addressing the Tel Aviv attack. Two women - Ilana Nave, 39, and Mila Mishayev, 32 - and two men - Ido Ben Aryeh, 42, and Michael Feige, 58 - were killed in the shootings, police said. Permits for 204 relatives of the attackers had also been suspended, a statement from Cogat, the Israeli body which manages civilian affairs in the West Bank, said. It added Palestinians were being prevented from entering and leaving Yatta, and access to the village would only be allowed for humanitarian and medical cases. According to Israeli media, army forces have also measured the houses of the attackers, in preparation for possible demolition.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36486918

The New York Times, Isabel Kershner: Israelis Find Rare Moment of Solidarity in Aftermath of Tel Aviv Shootings
Following Wednesday's shooting, Defense Minister Mr. Lieberman said he had come “first and foremost to salute the people of Tel Aviv,” who, he said, “know how to return to life and prove that life is stronger than terror.” Minutes earlier, Shelly Yacimovich of the centre-left Labor Party bicycled up and said she had moved all the day’s meetings to Sarona, the restaurant and shopping complex where the attack occurred. “It was important for me to come here,” she said. “We cannot let the terrorists win and upend our lives.” Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky and colleagues from the central Tel Aviv branch of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement erected a table outside the scene of the shootings — Max Brenner, a chocolate bar and cafe, and Benedict, an adjacent all-day breakfast joint. They encouraged mostly secular passers-by to pray for the dead. Mr. Gerlitzky urged a tougher policy against Israel’s enemies to “put fear in their hearts.” Shocked waiters and cooks in striped pants hugged each other while diners ate on the Max Brenner patio. On a patch of lawn opposite, dozens of youths from a pre-army leadership course sat in a circle and sang peace songs.  The assault on Wednesday took place in the shadow of Israel’s military and Defense Ministry headquarters, across the road from Sarona. The Palestinians and human rights groups have denounced measures such as these, and the demolition of the family homes of assailants, another frequent Israeli tactic, as collective punishment that only encourages more violence.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/10/world/middleeast/israel-palestinians-violence.html?ref=middleeast&_r=1

The Guardian, Peter Beaumont: Four dead in Tel Aviv market shooting
Four people have been killed and six wounded in a shooting attack at a popular retail complex in central Tel Aviv near Israel’s defence ministry. The shooting on Wednesday evening took place around the Sarona complex, an area with shops and restaurants close to the Israeli military’s main headquarters. Police later said the two gunmen were two Palestinians from the same family in the Hebron area of the occupied West Bank. Officials said both gunmen were shot, apprehended and disarmed by security forces. Security footage showed the pair, dressed in suit and tie and posing as customers at a restaurant, suddenly pull out automatic weapons and open fire, shooting one man point blank, as other diners fled. Yechiel Miller, a volunteer medic with United Hatzalah, related from the scene of the attack: “When I arrived at the scene I saw a woman who was unconscious and not breathing and in critical condition. We began resuscitation efforts. We also treated numerous other individuals who suffered gunshot wounds and wounds from shrapnel.”
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/08/tel-aviv-market-shooting-sarona-complex
 
The Washington Post, William Booth: Israeli revelers give Palestinians the finger in march through Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter
Thousands of Israelis marched through the alleys of Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday in a controversial parade through the Muslim Quarter that marks Israel’s capture of the ancient walled metropolis in the 1967 war against Arab armies. The Jerusalem Flag Parade can be a tense episode because revelers, many of them high school students from nationalist religious schools accompanied by their rabbis, wind their way through the Arab section of the city, celebrating the Jews’ return to the holy city — but also shouting abuse at the few Palestinians out on the streets. On Sunday, Israeli police vowed there would be zero tolerance for the racist chants that marked past parades. Although the march featured some pushing and shoving, there were few arrests and no serious violence and few arrests. Arab shopkeepers were ordered to close their stores along the route, but a few remained open. “I am not afraid. This is my shop. This is my Jerusalem. I am not closing,” said Ahmed Dandes, a tailor who sells men’s trousers at the Damascus Gate. Israeli police were especially anxious about the march because it took place on the eve of Ramadan, Israeli media reported scattered chants against the Muslims — shouts of “Muhammad is dead!” and “Burn down the mosque!” At one Palestinian sweets shop, youths surged forward, singing, “The people of Israel live!” while giving the Arab bakers their middle fingers.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israeli-jews-march-in-jerusalems-muslim-quarter-on-eve-of-ramadan/2016/06/05/2989b100-2b2e-11e6-b9d5-3c3063f8332c_story.html
 
Op-eds:
 
Ynet News, Ron-Ben Yishai: A terror attack next door to the IDF headquarters
Yishai strongly suspects that Wednesday night's shooting ‘bears the markings of something more professionally planned’ despite the fact that the terrorists acted as lone wolf attackers. However, there are still ‘big questions’ that need answering such as: ‘How did they get their hands on the firearms, and how did they manage to make their way from the Hebron area into the heart of Israel with these firearms without being stopped{?}’ asks the author. Yishai explores the possible symbolism behind the attack as it happened ‘right across the street from the IDF and Defense Ministry headquarters’ and also the fact that there is usually a surge in attacks during Ramadan due to the ‘religious incitement that prevails in the Muslim world, mostly among those belonging to radical sects’. Lastly, he sheds light onto disturbing unconfirmed reports saying that the Palestinian security forces knew the two cousins went missing from their homes several days ago. Yishai finishes by arguing that it needs to be revealed whether this report was also passed on to the Israeli security forces, and if it didn't, ‘Abbas should answer for it’.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4814157,00.html
 
Haaretz, Amira Hass: Israel’s Right to Sweep Away Palestinians
Hass centres her deeply sarcastic article on a quote by Uzi Narkiss, who headed of the army’s Central Command in the 1967 war. In the quote, he explains that it would only take ‘less than 72 hours for us to sweep all the Arabs out of the West Bank’. She then gives three modern examples, uncovered in the media, of how the Israeli state constantly exercises that right. First is how around 4,000 Jews, including Knesset members, prayed at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus from late Thursday night to early Friday morning last week, under heavy military protection. Following the protesting of ‘brazen locals’, the IDF fired live bullets at them. This, Hass believes, demonstrates the Israeli state’s belief that it has ‘the right to worship, trespass and kill’. Secondly is the example of the dismantling of a kindergarten in the Hamadin Bedouin community in Sateh al-Bahr. Hass explains that this ‘right’ was bestowed onto Israel following the establishment of Area C by the Oslo Accords. According to Hass, this is done to force this community out of their homes to then push them into a crowded township, ‘so that they will adjust their way of life and their movements to our sacred right to spread southward and eastward and build kosher Jewish villas’. The final example showcases ‘[t]he right to prepare for the coming and welcome wars’. She highlights how five Palestinian communities were ordered to evacuate their homes in the Jordan Valley due to ‘IDF exercises’ between May 30 and June 1. This, explains the author, is a strategy to reduce the number of Palestinians according to Einav Shalev, an officer in Central Command’s operations division. She concludes that displacing Palestinians from Israel is actually a paradigm that’s alive and well in the Jews’ state – a plan that was carried out and that is always waiting to be replicated’.
 http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.723737
 
Al Monitor, Ahmad Abu Amer: How Gaza's summer camps teach youth more than just sports 
Abu Amer juxtaposes the different agendas underpinning the summer camp activities organised by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. On the one hand, the UNRWA is described as organising cultural competitions, promoting the English language, democracy and the revival of Palestinian heritage. In other words, it is delivering a liberal but also nationalistic set of values. Hamas, on the other hand, with their highly politicised "Jerusalem Intifada" programme wish to transfer their narrative of the Palestinian cause and some of the activities include basic military training, according to the head of the media unit at Hamas' Popular Action Department. Finally, we have the most extreme case of the Islamic Jihad, whose goal is to ‘reshape and educate the new generation about their moral, behavioural and revolutionary backgrounds so they can carry the torch of the Palestinian cause in the future’. The agenda here becomes even more proactive in terms of indoctrination as it is about moulding youths, not just influencing them. As opposed to Hamas, these camps have a stronger ‘moral’ sphere to them. The author then shifts the attention onto parents, who ‘seem divided about the events’. The author uses two opposing examples. The first is of Suhad Nassar, a mother who refuses to enrol her children into ideologically soaked summer programmes despite pressure from Palestinian factions. She believes the UNRWA to be the most ‘nonpartisan’ option. Then there is Mohammed Nofal, who believes that Hamas’ summer camps are the best option for his son as he would like him ‘learn military combat to grow up and take part in liberating our land’.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/06/gaza-chidlren-summer-activities-unrwa-hamas.html
 
The Jerusalem Post, Shlomo Brody: May Israel withhold burying the corpses of terrorists?
Brody critically outlines the theological debates within Judaism about burying the bodies of Gentile enemies. He quotes the Torah and the Talmud to justify the burying of executed criminals and the inherent immorality behind leaving an unburied body in front of God, as in the book of Deuteronomy this is explicitly referred to as an ‘affront to God’. He starkly makes his next point, which is that when it comes to Palestinian terrorists, ‘there should be no debate’. The strategic reasons are many: it empowers radicals because a theological explanation can be found to assure ‘martyrs’ go to Heaven, buried or not. Secondly, retaliation needs to be considered, as how the Israeli state treats Palestinian corpses will most certainly be reflected in how Palestinians treat Israeli corpses in the future. However, Brody’s most powerful and moving phrase sums up his strongest argument against the withholding of any corpse: ‘…while in the midst of a campaign against terrorism, one must never forget that every human being was created in God’s image’. This however does not mean that Israel should return the corpses of terrorists their families for burial, anticipates Brody, just that at the very least, their right to burial must be inviolable. He finishes on a pragmatic note, assigning the responsibility to assess the risk of keeping Palestinian corpses to ‘the political and military echelon’.
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/May-Israel-withhold-burying-the-corpses-of-terrorists-456403
 

 
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