Arsonists attacked the administrative offices of leading Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem on Friday, police said. The attack occurred just days after the club signed two Muslim players. (Read more)
Archive for the 'Israel/Palestine' Category
I have posted in the past about the policy of ethnic separation around the Jewish houses in Hebron. Shuhada street – once the location of a central market – was first closed to Palestinian cars, and now even Palestinian pedestrians must walk along a tiny dirt road, while Jewish settlers and their guests get the rest of the street. The pretext might be security, but the policy (like in the rest of the West Bank) is ethnic segregation.
Watch this B’tzelem video to see what’s going on not far away, on the road near the Tomb of the Patriarchs:
Starting on Monday, certain buses running from the West Bank into central Israel will have separate lines for Jews and Arabs.
The Afikim bus company will begin operating Palestinian-only bus lines from the checkpoints to Gush Dan to prevent Palestinians from boarding buses with Jewish passengers. Palestinians are not allowed to enter settlements, and instead board buses from several bus stops on the Trans-Samaria highway.
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Last November, Haaretz reported that the Transportation Ministry was looking into such a plan due to pressure from the late mayor of Ariel, Ron Nahman, and the head of the Karnei Shomron Local Council. They said residents had complained that Palestinians on their buses were a security risk.
The buses will begin operating Monday morning at the Eyal crossing to take the Palestinians to work in Israel. Transportation Ministry officials are not officially calling them segregated buses, but rather bus lines intended to relieve the distress of the Palestinian workers. (Read more)
Israel has admitted for the first time that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent.
The government had previously denied the practice but the Israeli Health Ministry’s director-general has now ordered gynaecologists to stop administering the drugs. According a report in Haaretz, suspicions were first raised by an investigative journalist, Gal Gabbay, who interviewed more than 30 women from Ethiopia in an attempt to discover why birth rates in the community had fallen dramatically.
One of the Ethiopian women who was interviewed is quoted as saying: “They [medical staff] told us they are inoculations. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.” It is alleged that some of the women were forced or coerced to take the drug while in transit camps in Ethiopia.
The drug in question is thought to be Depo-Provera, which is injected every three months and is considered to be a highly effective, long-lasting contraceptive.
Nearly 100,000 Ethiopian Jews have moved to Israel under the Law of Return since the 1980s, but their Jewishness has been questioned by some rabbis. (Read more)
Israel on Tuesday became the first nation to skip a United Nations review of its human rights record without giving a reason — and then won a precedent-setting deferral.
The president of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, Remigiusz Henczel, declared Israel a no-show at a meeting in Geneva and then reconvened the 47-nation council to decide what to do. (Read more)
Israel’s Education Ministry rejects findings of a study that determined that Arab texts rarely demonize Israel or incite hatred against JewsPosted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine on February 13th, 2013
Israel’s Education Ministry has rejected the findings of a study funded by the U.S. State Department that determined that Palestinian textbooks rarely demonize Israel or incite hatred against the Jewish people and that both sides use the texts to present children and students with a one-sided view of their conflict.
“Dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the other are rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books,” according to the study, titled ”Victims of Our Own Narratives?,” funded by the U.S. State Department and carried out by Palestinian, Israeli and American academics. (Read more)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed a presidential decree on Friday officially changing the name of the Palestinian Authority to the “State of Palestine.” All Palestinian stamps, signs and official letterhead will henceforth be changed to bear the new name, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
The move marked the first concrete, albeit symbolic, step the Palestinians have taken following the November decision by the United Nations to upgrade their status to a non-member observer state. Abbas, who has enjoyed a boost in his status since the successful bid at the United Nations, has hesitated to take more dramatic steps, like filing war crimes indictments against Israel at the International Criminal Court, a tactic that only a recognized state can carry out.
Also on Friday, tens of thousands of Fatah supporters rallied in the Hamas stronghold of Gaza for the first time since they were routed from power there by the Islamist militants in 2007.
The rally, approved by Gaza’s Hamas rulers, marks a renewed attempt by the rival Palestinian factions to show unity following a fierce Hamas battle with Israel in November and Fatah’s recognition bid at the United Nations. (Read more)
The Defence Department has quietly removed from the Internet a report into the killing of a Canadian military officer by Israeli forces, a move the soldier’s widow says is linked to the Conservative government’s reluctance to criticize Israel for any wrongdoing.
Maj. Paeta Hess-von Kruedener and three other United Nations observers were killed in 2006 when the Israeli military targeted their small outpost with repeated artillery barrages as well as an attack by a fighter aircraft.
. . . .
The death of Hess-von Kruedener, a UN observer assigned to the Israeli-Lebanon border, has largely been forgotten.
The Israeli attack on the UN outpost began shortly after noon on July 25, 2006, prompting the UN deputy secretary general to almost immediately call the Israeli ambassador to the UN and complain.
Several hours later another artillery barrage hit the outpost. That was followed by another 16 artillery rounds hitting the base, destroying most of the buildings above ground and blowing the door off the underground bunker where Hess-von Kruedener and his fellow peacekeepers had taken refuge.
At one point, a general in charge of UN operations in Lebanon called the Israeli liaison officer and told him, “You’re killing my people.” Previously, the Israelis halted such attacks when protests were received.
Later that day, an Israeli fighter pilot directed a precision-guided bomb through the door of the UN bunker. The blast from the massive bomb killed the four men. (Read more)
Israel approves another 1,200 settlement units around Jerusalem Israel has given the green light for the fast-track development of a further 1,200 settlement units around Jerusalem. It brings the total number of new approvals to 5,500 in just over a week, the largest wave of proposed expansion in recent memory.
The latest plan, which would see almost 1,000 new apartments built over Jerusalem’s green line in Gilo, comes as the Israeli media is reporting mounting pressure on the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to drop his commitment to a two-state solution from his platform for re-election in January. (Read more)
Israel criticised by Britain over West Bank university The British government has warned that the official authorisation of Israel’s first settlement university will create another hurdle in the peace process.
Israel’s defence secretary, Ehud Barak, approved the upgrade of a college in the settlement of Ariel, 11 miles inside the West Bank, earlier this week.
In a statement released on Thursday, the British foreign office minister Alistair Burt said the UK was deeply disappointed by the decision.
“Ariel is beyond the Green Line in a settlement that is illegal according to international law. This decision will deepen the presence of the settlements in the Palestinian territories and will create another obstacle to peace,” the statement said. (Read more)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday said he would continue to ignore the international community’s condemnation of Israeli construction plans across the Green Line, in an interview with Channel 2. “The Western Wall is not occupied territory, and I don’t care what the United Nations says,” Netanyahu said. “We are living in the Jewish State. The capital of the Jewish state, for 3,000 years, has been Jerusalem. I want to say it clearly.” (Read more)
Ten years before his “red line” speech at the United Nations last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared before the United States Congress and called for bringing down Saddam Hussein before he developed nuclear weapons. (Read more)
Over 500 U.S. rabbis, cantors, rabbinical students and cantorial students have signed an open letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warning against his decision to advance settlement construction in the sensitive E1 area of the West Bank and build 3000 new housing units in East Jerusalem. The decision, which was announced the day after the U.N. voted to upgrade Palestine’s status, constitutes “the final blow to a peaceful solution,” the letter states. “If Israel builds in E1, it will cut East Jerusalem off from its West Bank surroundings and effectively bifurcate the West Bank. (Read more)
From last month:
Hacker group Anonymous has launched a massive attack named #OpIsrael on almost 700 Israeli websites, protesting against Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Israeli media confirmed the group’s move.
The hackers reportedly took down websites ranging from high-profile governmental structures such as the Foreign Ministry to local tourism companies’ pages. (Read more)
Vandals sprayed anti-Christian graffiti on a monastery and a Christian cemetery in Jerusalem overnight, in two apparent “price-tag” attacks, police told AFP on Wednesday.
“Overnight, graffiti was sprayed on the gates of the entrance of the Armenian cemetery reading ‘Jesus is a son of a bitch’ in Hebrew, and on a monastery belonging to the Greek Orthodox saying the same thing,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.
Samri said the attackers also wrote “Happy Hannukah” and “price tag” at the second site, the Valley of the Cross monastery, and slashed the tyres of nearby cars.
“Price tag” is a euphemism for revenge hate crimes by Israeli extremists, which normally target Palestinians and Arabs.
Initially carried out in retaliation for state moves to dismantle unauthorised settler outposts, they have become increasingly unrelated to any specific government measures.
The attacks tend to involve the vandalism or destruction of Palestinian property and have included multiple arson attacks on cars, mosques and olive trees. (Read more)