“. . . In the framework of international law . . . Palestinians are virtually nowhere . . .” (Laurie King-Irani)

Jan, 15, 2014. A sports uniform is accused of “fomenting terrorism” and inspiring “violence and hatred”. The team is a Chilean soccer club called CLUB DEPORTIVO PALESTINO, and their offense was incorporating an image of historic Palestine on their jerseys. (Photo: Portside.org)

❶ . Chile-based court files war crimes lawsuit against Israeli Supreme Court justices
❷ . Human Rights Watch: Arabs face imminent displacement in Israel
❸ . IOF closes main road in Ramallah

  • Background: “Exiled To A Liminal Legal Zone: Are We All Palestinians Now?” Third World Quarterly

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency     
Nov. 29, 2016
A Santiago-based court in Chile on Monday filed a war crimes lawsuit against three Israeli Supreme Court justices for approving the construction of the Israeli separation wall, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2004.
___According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the lawsuit was filed by six Palestinian landowners in Beit Jala in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem and alleged war crimes, including crimes against humanity, against former chief Justice Asher Grunis, and Justices Neal Hendel and Uzi Vogelman.
___The claimants reportedly own the land that is expected to be cut off from their village by the separation wall, while five of the plaintiffs are Chilean nationals, Haaretz reported.
___Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians migrated to Chile over the last century, resulting in a large Palestinian diaspora community in the South American country, while many Palestinians with Chilean nationality also reside in the West Bank, particularly in Beit Jala.      More . . .

Days of Palestine
Nov. 30, 2016
More than 80,000 Palestinians in Negev are currently under Israeli threat of displacement Israeli occupation authorities should revoke plans to forcibly displace Arab residents from the Negev village of Umm al-Hiran, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
___The American human rights group said that the Israeli occupation is planning to force the Arabs, the indigenous Palestinian resident who remained home after the Israeli occupation of Palestine, in the village to build a new Jewish community in its place.     ___According to a statement by HRW, the Israeli Execution and Collection Authority on November 20, 2016, approved a request by the Israeli Land Authority to forcibly demolish two homes and approximately eight surrounding structures at the entrance of Umm al-Hiran.
[. . . .] Adalah, a nongovernmental legal centre that advocates for Arab minority rights in Israel and represents Umm al-Hiran residents, fears that the evictions will take place before the November 30 deadline.
___In a statement to Human Rights Watch, the lead Adalah attorney on the case, Suhad Bishara, said they would continue to “seek all available legal channels” to halt the displacement and support the “existential, moral and legitimate right” of the villagers to “continue living on their land.”
___In conditions similar to those in Umm al-Hiran, about 80,000 Arabs live under constant threat of home demolitions in 35 villages that Israel does not recognise in the Negev.     More . . .    Related . . .    ETHNIC  CLEANSING:  NEGEV  IS  A  BATTLEFIELD  FOR  A  VERY  FIERCE  STRUGGLE    Palestine Chronicle    Nov 29 2016

May 06, 2015. Court rules that Umm al-Hiran in the northern Negev is built on state land, paving way for construction of Jewish community of Hiran. (Photo: Ha’aretz)

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency 
Nov. 30, 2016
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) closed on Wednesday morning the main road between Silwad town and Ain Yabrod village east of Ramallah city in the center of the West Bank with cement cubes.
___Local sources said that the IOF closed the bridge connecting Ain Yabrod village with Silwad town and forced Palestinian citizens to take other long alternative roads. More . . .

(Note: While the article below is 10 years old and some of the legal issues it discusses have been decided, it is still an insightful and compelling study of the Palestinian Diaspora. I have included a much longer quotation than I usually do. Unfortunately the article is available online only through EBSCO databases or Research Gate.)   

  • King-Irani, Laurie. “Exiled To A Liminal Legal Zone: Are We All Palestinians Now?” Third World Quarterly 27.5 (2006): 923-936.   SOURCE. 

As a diaspora of over nine million people, Palestinians are everywhere: second-class citizens of Israel, stateless residents of fragmented and walled-in Bantustans in the occupied West Bank, refugees residing inside and outside of camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan; and immigrants, students, professionals and nationalised citizens in virtually every country in the world. Palestinians dwell in the ‘First’ as well as the ‘Third’ worlds, economically speaking. Among the far-flung Palestinian diaspora are some of the poorest as well as some of the wealthiest people in the world. In the framework of international law, however, Palestinians are virtually nowhere. As stateless persons they occupy a liminal and interstitial space in the international legal and political order, an order that (contemporary discourses of cosmopolitanism, globalisation and emergent transnational organisations aside) remains founded upon and grounded in the interests of sovereign nation-states rather than in the claims of sub- or transnational actors, whether individuals or groups.
___Palestinians reaped few if any benefits from the late 20th century florescence of international humanitarian law (IHL), an era that witnessed a serious international focus on human rights and ‘policing the past’, as well as the establishment of the first ad hoc international criminal tribunals in half a century to address massive human rights violations (including genocide) in Africa and Europe. The defining event of the 1990s for Palestinians was the signing of the Oslo Accords and the now-famous handshake  between PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and the late Israeli Prime Minster Yitzhak Rabin in 1993.
___Oslo, however, was not founded on international law or treaties but, rather, constituted a negotiated agreement between unequal partners. It was an agreement that side-stepped the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (concerning the rights of Palestinian refugees), UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 (censuring Israel’s acquisition of territory by force), the Fourth Geneva Convention’s limitations on the actions of an occupying power, and a bevy of annual reports, issued by such bodies as the UN Human Rights Commission, the International Jurists Commission, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, emphasising Israel’s duty to uphold IHL and to abide by all of international treaties it has signed.
___The Oslo Accords (the Declaration of Principles— DOP) did not represent a legally binding, international document, but a slippery ‘deal’ or ‘understanding’ brokered by the USA, a superpower actor with a long record of supporting Israel regardless of its failure to comply with international humanitarian norms. Rather than being empowering, conciliatory, or liberating the Palestinians from a chronic state of legal and political liminality, the Oslo process ultimately proved to be a coercive set of mechanisms that further entrenched Israeli control over Palestinian land. It also set precedents for a dangerous attenuation of IHL’s relevance to the overall Israeli – Palestinian conflict.
___Following the Al-Qaida attacks on New York City and Washington, DC on 11 September 2001, IHL’s growing focus on the needs of individual victims was eclipsed once again by the interests of sovereign states, or, as Hajjar terms them, hyper-sovereign states.10 The USA and its ally, Israel, are the chief embodiments of hyper-sovereignty, a political and military stance characterised by pre-emptive policies, a distaste for multilateral legal frameworks to counter emerging extra-state threats, and a pronounced reliance on overwhelming unilateral force that often violates IHL, international human rights law (IHRL) and UN resolutions, while rendering international diplomacy beside the point. The travails of the Palestinian people since 1948 offer a disturbing, though highly instructive, reverse-image view of the contours and limitations—as well as the possibilities—of an international legal order. The ongoing Palestinian tragedy also illuminates serious contradictions in prevailing discourses of human and civil rights, exposing ambiguities in prevailing legal definitions of, and guarantees for, human beings.
[. . . .]



“. . . the international community decided to intervene negatively, and thus began the tragedy of Palestine . . .” (Hanan Ashrawi)

The UN passing Resolution 181, Nov. 29, 1947 (Stock photo online)

❶ . Ashrawi: Partition is a historical concession, and solidarity should be an active engagement
❷ . Egyptian power line malfunctions, parts of southern Gaza left without electricity

  • Background:  “The Energy Poverty Nexus In The Middle East And North Africa.” OPEC Energy Review

❸ . Israeli forces enter southern Gaza Strip, level lands
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA     
Nov. 29, 2016
In marking on Tuesday the 69th anniversary of the adoption of UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (the Partition Plan)  and the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said: “This anniversary marks an occasion in which the international community decided to intervene negatively, and thus began the tragedy of Palestine.”
___She said in a statement that “[a]lthough the Partition Resolution itself gives the international community the right and power to take action against any party that is responsible for attempts that constitute ‘any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression’ and alter ‘by force the settlement envisaged by [the] resolution,’ it has repeatedly failed to do so or to hold Israel to account.”       More . . .  
Related:  Jeremy R. Hammond. “The Myth of the Creation of Israel.” Foreign Policy Journal. Oct. 26, 2010.

Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 29, 2016
Parts of the southern Gaza Strip were left without electricity on Tuesday morning, after a main Egyptian line feeding southern Gaza malfunctioned hours after it was reported as fixed.
___Spokesman for the Gaza Electricity Company Muhammad Thabet confirmed to Ma’an that an Egyptian electricity line known as ‘Gaza 2’ malfunctioned on Tuesday morning, causing outages across the southern besieged coastal enclave.
___He pointed out that the line was fixed on Monday evening after it, along with an Israeli power line, had been damaged on Wednesday.
[. . . .]  Even at full capacity, Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids, together with Gaza’s sole power plant, fail to cover the Gaza Strip’s energy needs and only provide energy to Gaza’s inhabitants for eight hours each day.        More . . .

  • El-Katiri, Laura. “The Energy Poverty Nexus In The Middle East And North Africa.” OPEC Energy Review 38.3 (2014): 296-322.     SOURCE.

In part of the [Middle East and North Africa], the persistence of energy poverty does not stem from a lack of government attention, underinvestment, geographical factors or low incomes. Rather, it is driven by socio-political instability, whether short-term or ongoing. Little is known about the scope and duration of conflict-driven energy poverty, especially in the case of conflicts that result in years of instability and a lack of effective domestic institutions. The consequences must nevertheless be seen as severe for local populations, adding to socioeconomic neglect that in turn perpetuates and feeds into social conflict. The Arab–Israeli conflict is a case in point. The conflict caused hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees to settle in the Gaza strip and camps in Jordan and Lebanon, where many of them ended up spending decades in provisional housing, often with little if any access to electricity and sewage. There are no available data on electricity service rates in the West Bank and Gaza, but official Israeli reports estimated operating rates at the Gaza Strip’s sole power station’s 20 per cent of capacity at end of 2012, suggesting significant undersupply of Gazan households (Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2012***).
***Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2012. The humanitarian situation in Gaza. 18 November 2012.

(A journal article justifying Israel’s economic and humanitarian treatment of Gaza.)
Meisels, Tamar. “Economic Warfare – The Case Of Gaza.” Journal Of Military Ethics 10.2 (2011): 94-109.

Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 29, 2016
Israeli military vehicles escorted several bulldozers into the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, where they leveled Palestinian agricultural fields.     ___Witnesses told Ma’an that five military bulldozers escorted by military vehicles crossed the border fence in the eastern outskirts of the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, “and carried out earthworks near the border fence.”        More . . . 

The Egyptian power plant that provides electricity to parts of the southern Gaza, Jan. 29, 2016 (Photo: Ma’an News Agency)


“. . . the major obstacle to any peace negotiations has always been Israel’s incessant building of settlements on Palestinian lands . . .” (Ghada Hashem Talhami)

Israeli settler looks at the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem. Sep. 5, 2013. (Photo: AP/Sebastian Scheiner)

❶ . Israeli forces detain Hamas-affiliated Palestinian lawmaker in Hebron

  • Background: “The Conundrum Of The Palestinian Two-State, One-State Solution.” Arab Studies Quarterly

❷ . Hamas, Islamic Jihad invited to attend Fatah conference
❸ . Foreign Minister says resolution on settlements in few days
. . . ❸ ― (a) Tayseer Khaled : Betting on International Initiatives is futile, Unless Coupled with Encountering Occupation on the Ground
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
Nov. 28, 2016
Israeli forces detained Hamas-affiliated Palestinian lawmaker Azzam Nuaman Salhab during a raid in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Monday morning, his family told Ma’an.
___According to the family, large numbers of Israeli troops stormed the home of 60-year-old Salhab and thoroughly searched the house before taking the Palestinian MP into custody.
___Separately, Israeli forces detained Anas Hatim Qafisha — the son of oft-imprisoned Hamas MP Hatem Qafisha — and Asim Amr Ubeido in Hebron, locals reported.  More . . .   

  • Talhami, Ghada Hashem. “The Conundrum Of The Palestinian Two-State, One-State Solution.” Arab Studies Quarterly 38.2 (2016): 468-480.     SOURCE.

Since the Nixon and Ford administrations, the US has assiduously attempted to ban any unfriendly government, such as the Soviet Union, from participating in the Middle East peace negotiations and to maintain control of the peace process itself. Now, there seems to be a palpable willingness to relinquish the entire arena of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the initiatives of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
___Unfortunately, the US’s withdrawal will only perpetuate the current territorial status quo favoring Israel. This has already delineated the weakness of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and energized the simmering debate among supporters of the two-state and one-state solution, with the latter claiming the backing of a wide spectrum of Palestinians, as well as international sympathizers. Not surprisingly, the debate has acquired an ideological tinge, turning into a referendum on the future of the PA.
[. . . .]  No one questions that the major obstacle to any peace negotiations has always been Israel’s incessant building of settlements on Palestinian lands. The bi-partisan determination to choose this form of establishing facts on the ground, which the Palestinians describe as creeping annexation, constricted any possibility of achieving a genuine peace settlement.
[. . . .] Israel recognizes that the only time in which the outside world will accept its own borders is through the signing of an agreement to create an independent Palestinian state. It is generally believed that such an eventuality would act as an inducement for Israel to hasten moving in this direction. But the two-state solution which has been predicated on such a plan was perceived by Israel to be advantageous on another level, namely, the prevention of the creation of a unified Israeli-Palestinian state, or the one-state solution. Israel continues to fear this development, assuming that it will threaten its own security when the demographic balance inevitably tilts in the Palestinians’ direction. According to this majority view, an influx of Arabs will also erode the democratic nature of the state.

Ma’an News Agency    
Nov. 27, 2016
The Hamas movement is currently discussing the possibility of attending Fatah’s seventh conference later this week, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasim told Ma’an on Sunday.
___The announcement came almost a week after Hamas denied reports that it had been invited to attend the congress.
___Qasim said that Hamas had recently received an invitation to attend the Nov. 29 event in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
___Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shihab told Ma’an that the political faction had also received an invitation to the conference, and that it would send a representative to participate.     More . . .  

Feb. 28, 2007, IOF troops kidnapped Palestinian MP Hatem Qafisha bringing the number of Palestinian lawmakers kidnapped. (Photo: The Palestinian Information Center)

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 28, 2016
Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said Monday work on a draft resolution on the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories to be submitted to the United Nations Security Council is underway and will be ready in few days.
___Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, Malki said consultations with the Arab countries are continuing to ensure their support to the Palestinian bid in the international organization.       More . . .    
Palestine News Network – PNN
Nov. 25, 2016
The so called French Peace Initiative is facing obstacles and impediments. Betting on reaching settlements in Paris is, in fact, running after a delusion,” said Tayseer Khaled, member of the PLO’s Executive Committee , Head of the Palestinian Expatriate Affairs Department during an interview with local mass media.
___“The alternative is an actual confrontation of the Israeli procedures on the ground, in addition to a truthful implementation of the National Consensus Paper, aka. The Detainees’ National Consensus Paper,” asserted Khaled.      More . . .    

“. . . inside fear lies an unsustainable fire that eventually leads to hell. . .” (Samah Salaime)

Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom. (Photo from community website)

❶ As firefighters try to control wildfires, Israeli troops abduct 23 Palestinians for ‘arson’

  • Background: “Forest fires across Palestine (aka ‘Israel’).”  Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights Newsletter.

. . . ❶ ― (a) Army Abducts Eight Palestinians In The West Bank
. . . ❶ ― (b) Israeli Army Abducts Five Palestinians Near Jenin
❷ . No fires or inciting politicians can destroy our shared society
❸ . Deported from Palestine: Why Israel fears journalists
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Celine Hagbard
Nov. 27, 2016
Despite a total lack of evidence of any human cause of the wildfires that have burned in Israel for nearly a week, Israeli troops have detained 23 Palestinians. This follows a statement Thursday by Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who claimed “only someone who this land does not belong to would be capable of setting fire to it”.
___By this statement, he pointed blame at Palestinians, who have continuously lived on the land and had connection to it for thousands of years prior to the displacement of hundreds of thousands when Israel was created on their land in 1948.       More . . .

  • FOREST FIRES ACROSS PALESTINE (AKA “ISRAEL”).  Mazin Qumsiyeh, Human Rights Newsletter, Fri, Nov 25, 2016.       Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches and does research at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He is director of the main clinical cytogenetics laboratory and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute for Biodiversity Research.

Over 200 forest fires are raging in Palestine (now renamed the Jewish State of Israel including its occupied Palestinian territories). Many countries are helping put out the fires including four teams of Palestinian firefighters (no body helped Gaza when it was being fire-bombed by white phosphorous). But the fascist racist government of “Israel” blamed the Palestinians for the fires! Even some decent Israelis pointed out that fires are raging across Western Asia (aka the “Middle East”). Here is a map
%d7%9e%d7%a4%d7%aa-%d7%a9%d7%a8%d7%99%d7%a4%d7%95%d7%aa-%d7%91%d7%9e%d7%96%d7%a8%d7%97-%d7%94%d7%aa%d7%99%d7%9b%d7%95%d7%9f-%d7%9e%d7%95%d7%9b%d7%9f-500x333put out by one Israeli website of location of fires across the region including in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.
___Perhaps coincidentally or otherwise, right after war criminal Netanyahu blamed Palestinians, new fires erupted near Palestinian communities. If you really want to know who is to blame for the damage, it is clearly Zionism as I wrote in many articles and books before. In 1901 at the World Zionist Congress and despite objections of conscientious Jews, a Jewish National Fund (Keren Keyemet Li’Israel, or KKL) was establish to further “Jewish colonization” (the term they used) of Palestine. One of the tasks was to raise money and they used the gimmick of collecting money for trees. Indeed they did plant trees but it was unfortunately the highly flammable European pine tree. After 1948-1949 when some 500 Palestinian villages and towns were depopulated, their lands (cultivated with figs, almonds, olives and other trees) were razed to the ground and again resinous and inflammable pine trees were planted. The same happened after 1967 when more Palestinian villages were demolished and their village lands planted with the same European pines, one of those villages s the biblical Imwas (see photos before and after here).

IMEMC News   
Nov. 27, 2016
Israeli soldiers abducted, overnight and at dawn Sunday, at least eight Palestinians, including former political prisoners, in different parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported.      More . . .
IMEMC News     
Nov. 27, 2016
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday evening, five Palestinians, including a child, from Barta’a town, isolated behind the Annexation Wall, southwest of Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.       More . . .  
+972 Magazine 
Samah Salaime
Nov. 26, 2016
The wildfire that struck Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam left our Jewish-Arab village more resilient than ever before. We invite Israel’s politicians to learn from us on how to heal our society’s wounds.        More . . .  
Al Jazeera   
Eoin Wilson reflects on Israel’s policy of deporting foreign witnesses to the Israeli occupation.
Nov. 27, 2016
As Israel tightens its grip on Palestinians and their international supporters, a growing number of activists, researchers and journalists have been denied access by the Israeli authorities. Among them is Eoin Wilson, an Irish-Scottish freelance journalist, earlier this month refused entry and banned for 10 years.
It is early November 2016, and we are at the Allenby crossing, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This crossing, also known as the King Hussein Bridge, is the only crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, and is controlled entirely by Israel. Palestinian baggage handlers pass by in orange high-vis vests. Like Palestinians who work on the construction of settlements and the Wall, they seem like prisoners employed by the prison.
[. . . .]  After several more hours of waiting, we are finally handed a letter confirming our denial of entry, and told that we are banned for 10 years. Among the reasons cited for my denial were “public order considerations”. When independent journalism is considered a threat to a society’s “public order”, profound questions must be asked about the values and principles of that society.        More . . .

“. . . an intentional policy to exacerbate the chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza . . .” (Aeyal Gross)

Flames engulf the fuel tanks of Gaza’s only power plant, hit by Israeli shelling, on July 29, 2014. (Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

❶ . Health Ministry: Gaza’s fuel shortage puts hospitals at serious risk

  • Background: “We Didn’t Want To Hear The Word ‘Calories'”: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power, And Food Sovereignty–Lessons From The Gaza Closure.” Berkeley Journal of International Law

❷ . Army blocks two roads near Hebron school, movement curtailed
❸ . Arresting 4 Jerusalemite children from Silwan
. . . ❸ ― (a) The Martyrdom of a Palestinian young man at Shu’fat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 26, 2016
The spokesperson of Gaza’s health ministry said in a statement on Friday that the health ministry would face a difficult situation if fuel is not provided to hospitals in the few upcoming hours.
___Ashraf al-Qadra called upon all competent authorities to quickly intervene and provide fuel for Gaza’s hospitals, noting that the fuel crisis in Gaza is expected to have severe effects on the besieged enclave’s hospitals.
___The plead came two days after health services in a children’s hospital were suspended due to a lack of fuel to its generators.         More . . .     Related . . .

Gross, Aeyal, and Tamar Feldman. “We Didn’t Want To Hear The Word ‘Calories'”: Rethinking Food Security, Food Power, And Food Sovereignty–Lessons From The Gaza Closure.” Berkeley Journal Of International Law 33.2 (2015): 379-441.    ARTICLE.

[. . . .] . . . the movement of goods and people into and out of the Gaza Strip was restricted to a so-called humanitarian minimum. . .  Although framed at first as “sanctions,” the policy was subsequently referred to as “economic warfare.” In essence, it was designed, according to Israel, to press the residents of the Gaza Strip to pressure Hamas . . .
___ . . .  Since its occupation of Gaza following the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel has controlled the land crossings as well as Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters. . . all border crossing points between Israel and the Gaza Strip have been shut except for the Erez Crossing . . .  and the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which is the sole passageway for consumer goods.
[. . . .]  ___In a September 2007 decision, the Israeli Security Cabinet stated, “The sanctions will be enacted following a legal examination, while taking into account both the humanitarian aspects relevant to the Gaza Strip and the desire to avoid a humanitarian crisis.” Hence, the closure policy was aimed at causing damage to the Gaza economy and bringing the population to the verge of a humanitarian crisis . . .  The underlying principles of this policy were challenged early on, in October 2007, in a petition brought before the Israel Supreme Court . . . which focused on the restrictions on the supply of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip, the petitioners argued that the deliberate worsening of the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip to a state of minimal existence for the sole purpose of putting pressure on Hamas constitutes collective punishment which is strictly prohibited under international law . . .  In its response, the state claimed that its closure policy is a legitimate form of “economic warfare,” and it presented a set of calculations it had used to establish the minimum humanitarian fuel needs in the Gaza Strip, including industrial diesel for the power plant. Yet this minimum was knowingly calculated based on figures below the average, but above the minimum need for electricity in the Gaza Strip and, therefore, reflected an intentional policy to exacerbate the chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza.
___The Supreme Court ruled that Israel’s positive obligations towards the Gaza Strip are based on three factors: (1) its control over the land crossings and borders; (2) Gaza’s almost complete dependency on Israel to supply its electricity, which had developed over the course of the prolonged occupation; and (3) the ongoing state of belligerence in Gaza . . .  the Court authorized the electricity and fuel restrictions . . . In so doing, it gave its stamp of approval to the closure policy in its entirety and de facto accepted the “humanitarian-minimum standard” as a legitimate benchmark   [. . . .]  

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 26, 2016
The Israeli army Saturday blocked with cement cubes two roads in the vicinity of Tareq Ben Ziad school near the Ibrahimi mosque in the center of Hebron, south of the West Bank, according Rashad Muhtaseb, a local factory owner.
[. . . .]  The army put up cement cubes to close roads in the area, where several shops and factories are located, hampering as a result movement of people, mainly students.     ___Thousands of Israeli settlers are planning to converge on the Ibrahimi mosque and the old city of Hebron in the coming days to mark a Jewish event.      More . . .             Related . . . SETTLERS  TORCH  PALESTINIAN  FAMILY  HOME  IN  HEBRON       Palestine News Network – PNN      Nov. 22, 2016

Children walking past soldiers on their way to school, May 7, 2016 (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan
Nov. 24, 2016
The occupation forces arrested on Thursday four Jerusalemite children from the village of Silwan.
___Wadi Hilweh Information Center’s lawyer, Saleh Mheisen, explained that the Israeli forces arrested three children while heading home after school on charges of throwing stones. . . .
___Lawyer Mheisen added that the police released the three children after interrogating them for several hours on condition of house-arrest for 5 days and an unpaid bail of 5 thousand NIS for each.
___Lawyer Mheisen added that the forces also arrested 13-year old Jamal Mohammad Qaraeen and interrogated him for several hours on charges of throwing stones . . . .     More . . .
Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan 
November 25, 2016
A young man passed away after being shot at Shu’fat Refugee Camp checkpoint north of Jerusalem.
___ Lawyer Mohammad Mahmoud said that the Martyr is 14-year old Mohammad Nabil Salam.
___Thaer Fasfoos, spokesman of Fateh movement in the Refugee Camp, said that the young men descended from a bus right before the checkpoint for unknown reasons before being shot by the occupation forces which led to his immediate Martyrdom.     More . . .


“. . . and it’s enough that the situation appears to be a war incident, even without serious risk . . .” (Eitay Mack)

Soldiers watching footage of Palestinian crushed in gate heard laughing at him. (Still from viral video)

❶ . Israel issues 25 administrative detention orders in just 2 weeks

  • Background: “There Will Not Be a Stable Peace without Justice and Accountability.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture

❷ . Israeli court sentences Palestinian teen girl to 13-and-a-half years in prison
❸ . Video: Israeli soldiers crush Palestinian worker in gate
❹ . Israeli forces detain 16 Palestinians over suspicions of starting fires in Israel, West Bank
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
November 25, 2016
The Israeli authorities have issued 25 administrative detention orders against Palestinians over the past two weeks, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said on Wednesday.
___The orders are for periods ranging from 3 to 6 months and cover three new prisoners.
[. . . .] Under administrative detention, prisoners are held without charge nor given a trial for up to six months on the basis of secret evidence.     More . . .

  • “There Will Not Be a Stable Peace without Justice and Accountability.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture 21.3 (2016): 114-125.     SOURCE.   An interview with Eitay Mack, an independent Jerusalem-based human rights lawyer.

[. . . . ] there are actually four systems, there is the Israeli civil law, there is the military law, there is the Jordanian law, and there is also Palestinian law?
. . .  now there is an Israeli law for Palestinians in the West Bank . . . .  that [the Knesset] established protection for the State from war-related damages. What’s unique with the Israeli occupation is . . . [t]he jobs of most IDF soldiers are to police – it’s not a warzone. Until the end of the 1990s, even Palestinians from Gaza still filed civil lawsuits and won in the Israeli courts. The shift manifested when the judicial system widened the definition of “war activity”, which gives them impunity from civil lawsuits. Almost every situation in which a Palestinian was injured by the Israeli security services, the IDF . . .  they were all acting within the definition of war activity according to the Israeli legal interpretation.
___Not only is there a lack of accountability on the criminal level, there is also none at the civil level . . .  In the past, the state had to prove the soldiers were under objective and subjective risk for their life and their body. In the new definition of war activity, they removed the risk, and it’s enough that the situation appears to be a war incident, even without serious risk. In this way, they received impunity in many cases when they are policing . . .  the state is allowed to give this argument . . . and the court usually accepts the state’s position. . . .
So, there’s a sense of the blurring of the border between a settler who is living in the West Bank and an average Israeli living in Israel proper?
Not only that, in the past you can say that there was a hierarchy between the way Israeli courts and law enforcement treated the Palestinian in the West Bank and inside Israel. Jewish citizens were on another level. Since the Second Intifada, you see that despite the so-called united Jerusalem, the Israeli authority treats the East Jerusalem neighborhoods as Palestinian Territory. You can see it in the way they use  force in ways they would never imagine to use in other parts of Israel . . . .
But they’re not allowing the Palestinian Authority to have responsibility in East Jerusalem either, so who’s left?
Nobody, it’s like a twilight zone. There has been an increase in Palestinian body and property damage, and the Israeli authority doesn’t take responsibility for that – they don’t pay compensation for innocent Palestinians who are hurt. Also, if you go to Issawiyah, it looks like the West Bank. Soldiers are going in with their guns held high, effectively militarizing the East Jerusalem neighborhoods, but continuing to ask the residents to pay their debt to the courts, the authorities and the Jerusalem municipality. They’re saying you live in a war zone, and still you have to pay for this lifestyle.

Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 23, 2016
An Israeli magistrate court in Jerusalem Wednesday sentenced a teenage Palestinian girl to 13-and-a-half years in prison for a stabbing attack.
[. . . .] Exactly one year ago, when [Nurhan] Awwad was 16-years-old, she carried out a stabbing attack  with her 14-year-old cousin Hadil Wajih Awwad, who was shot dead by an Israeli security guard during the incident.
[. . . .] Video footage showed both girls running at the security officer waving scissors, before the security guard and another Israeli managed to knock the girls to the ground.    ___Once on the ground, the security guard ran forward and shot each of them several times.     More . . . 
Days of Palestine  
Nov. 24, 2016
Footage has emerged of Israeli soldiers laughing as they crush Palestinian worker in a gate in occupied Jerusalem [at the Atarot Industrial Zone].
___A video of the event . . . which went viral on social media, shows a Palestinian worker walking through a small gap in the gate only for it to be closed on him.
___After he was crushed, the Israeli soldiers opened the gate and the man falls onto the ground as he has lost consciousness.
___Soldiers watching the incident on a screen of a CCTV camera can be heard laughing at the Palestinian worker.     More . . .

People run past flames several stories high in Haifa. (Photo: Ariel Schalit/AP)

Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 25, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 16 Palestinians across Israel and the occupied West Bank on Thursday and Friday over suspicions of starting fires that erupted in Haifa and have continued to spread for the fourth consecutive day.
___Israeli media reported on Friday that three Palestinian workers were detained in the Haifa district over suspicions of arson. . . .  Another 11 Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces in Israel and the Jerusalem area. . . .  Israeli forces detained a Palestinian for allegedly attempting to start a fire near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kochav Yaakov.       More . . .
Related . . .




“. . . religiously motivated policies of colonization hide behind a security narrative . . .” (Christopher J. Ferrero)

Ramat Shlomo
The illegal Ramat Shlomo settlement near the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, June 6, 2014 (Photo: The Guardian).

❶ Water situation in Gaza is alarming “. . . only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water. . .”
. . . ― (a) Electricity shortage causes children’s hospital in Gaza to suspend medical care
❷ Israel to build 500 new settler homes in East Jerusalem     Palestinian leaders say Israel’s settlement movement is emboldened by the election of Donald Trump in the US.
. . . ― (a) Israel approves construction of road on confiscated Palestinian lands

  • Background: “Sidelining the Hardliners: A 2 + 1 Solution for Israel- Palestine.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies   

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
WATER  SITUATION  IN  GAZA  IS  ALARMING  “. . . Only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water. . .” 
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency   
Nov. 24, 2016
The World Bank indicated in a report Wednesday that the water sources in Gaza are critically scarce, and the situation in Gaza is alarming. . . .
___Adnan Ghosheh, Senior Water & Sanitation Specialist, remembers a time not so long ago when everyone in Gaza could drink water from their tap. That was in the late 1990s, but so much water has been pumped out of the natural aquifer underneath Gaza since then that seawater has seeped in, making it too salty to drink. These and other factors mean that only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water, compared to 90% in the West Bank . . . More . . .
Ma’an News Agency 
Nov. 23, 2016
Health services in a children’s hospital in Gaza will be suspended for more than a day due to a lack of fuel to power its generators, the Ministry of Health of the besieged Palestinian enclave said in a statement on Wednesday.
___The ministry said that the al-Durrah children’s hospital would be out of commission for 27 hours due to the power shortage, adding that other hospitals across Gaza faced similar risks.      More . . .

ISRAEL  TO  BUILD  500  NEW  SETTLER  HOMES  IN  EAST  JERUSALEM     – Palestinian leaders say Israel’s settlement movement is emboldened by the election of Donald Trump in the US.
Al Jazeera English 
Nov. 24, 2016
Israel has announced plans to move forward with the construction of 500 homes for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem, the first such move since the US presidential election.
___”This morning, the local planning and building committee made the decision to advance [plans]… for 500 units in Ramat Shlomo,” the Ir Amim anti-settlement NGO said, referring to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlement near the Palestinian neighbourhood of Shuafat.
___The plans had been on hold since 2014, Ir Amin said.      More . . .

Off the main road in Nabi Elias. Some kids are on the roof. May 2013. Photo By Orrling – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28992790

. . . ― (A) ISRAEL APPROVES CONSTRUCTION OF ROAD ON CONFISCATED PALESTINIAN LANDS      Ma’an News Agency       Nov. 24, 2016       The Israeli Civil Administration’s higher planning committee approved constructing a bypass road on confiscated Palestinian lands in the northern occupied West Bank on Wednesday.
___A spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma’an that the committee had approved the construction of a road on lands of the village of al-Nabi Elyas.      More . . .     Related . . . 

  • Ferrero, Christopher J. “Sidelining The Hardliners: A 2 + 1 Solution For Israel- Palestine.” DOMES: Digest Of Middle East Studies 23.1 (2014): 128-155.    SOURCE.

[. . . .] Achieving a state in the West Bank should be the proximate, urgent goal of the Palestinian people. Ideologically motivated Israeli settlement of the West Bank continues apace and threatens the viability of a two state solution. Meanwhile, religiously motivated policies of colonization hide behind a security narrative conflating Hamas with Fatah and suggesting that the Palestinians pose an existential threat.
[. . . .] The pro-settlement attitudes and policies of the Netanyahu government are the most urgent and alarming threat to a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Over a half-million Jewish settlers reside in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; nearly 200,000 of them in East Jerusalem. Despite Israeli talking points about “natural growth,” the West Bank’s Jewish population is growing three times faster than that of Israel proper. . . . Israeli governments across the political spectrum—but especially Likud—have financially incentivized the settlement of Judea and Samaria. Approximately 100 settlements have been constructed since Netanyahu’s first stint as prime minister began in 1996. During the first half of 2013,  Israel approved or advanced plans for over 15,000 new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a surge that one settlement expert calls “unprecedented in scope and intensity since 1967”. Even as talks with the Palestinians resumed in late summer 2013, the Netanyahu government continued to roll out construction plans, including work at Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem. The announcement of plans for this site during a 2010 visit to Israel by the Vice President of the United States, Joseph Biden, stirred temporary outrage by the Americans. Yet, despite Palestinian protestations of Israeli bad faith and warnings about the implications for peace, Washington has acquiesced to continued settlement work during the talks . . . .


“. . . I gathered up Haifa sand and cleansed myself with it . . .” (Abdallah Abu Bakr)

Yafa Street in Haifa, Palestine, before the 1948 Israeli occupation. (Photo: taken from Razan Masri Blog, razanmasri.com)

❶ Israeli forces demolish Palestinian home, seal off restaurant in Jerusalem area

  • Background: “Spacing Palestine through the Home.” Transactions of the Institute Of British Geographers.

❷ Israeli forces demolish 3 Palestinian-owned buildings in Lod, deliver demolition orders in Haifa
❸ Israeli forces ransack printing shops in West Bank, seize computers
❹ POETRY by Abdallah Abu Bakr
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
Nov. 22, 2016
Israeli authorities on Tuesday morning completed the demolition of a Palestinian house under construction in the al-Tur village of the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, according to the family.
[. . . .]   Separately, Israeli authorities sealed off a restaurant owned by Moussa Naim Fatafta in the Jerusalem-area village of Silwan.
___According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, Jerusalem municipality crews sealed off the restaurant over claims that Fatafta had not obtained a construction license, nor a license to run a restaurant.     More . . .

  • Harker, Christopher. “Spacing Palestine Through The Home.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers 34.3 (2009): 320-332.     Source.    

[. . . .] There is a now an established politics of directly confronting the Israeli Occupation through direct action activism, lobbying, advocacy work and education. Such political work has established Palestine as ‘a moral cause’ among a very particular set of international networks, primarily through a human rights discourse that condemns the manifold wrongdoings that are intrinsically part of occupying another nation. Such work is both absolutely necessary and in some circumstances effective. This is particularly the case when organisations are able to generate quantitative data.
___However, what I want to suggest is that it may also prove beneficial to explore and experiment with complementary strategies. People such as Khaled and Abdullah [whose “home” stories are told at the beginning of the article] have their own specific cultural and historical contexts, and while they have undoubtedly been affected in many different ways by the actions of the Israeli Occupation, they are also people who have been affected by time and snowfall. I think foregrounding the multifaceted nature of  Khaled and Abdullah’s pasts and presents might help us to imagine a Palestinian future that is not tied so intimately to Israeli Occupation, where Palestinians move beyond tropes such as refugee, victim or terrorist. Similarly, the homes of Khaled and Abdullah are complex sites at which ideas around family and security, the construction and destruction of built materials, and some of the histories and geographies of Birzeit village and Palestine intersect. These domestic spaces and practices (in contrast to the demolished home) are an effective milieu for generating more complex representations because of the banal, quotidian and intimate practices that take place there (in addition to the violent and ⁄ or destructive processes that may co-constitute such sites). Envisioning Palestinians in Birzeit as people who make homes in particular ways, while nevertheless living under occupation, encourages greater degrees of intimate engagement than geopolitical analyses. Intimacy is important in this context because it challenges the orientalist practices of folding distance (both cultural and spatial) into difference that are partly responsible for allowing the atrocities that occur in Palestine to continue.

Ma’an News Agency     
Nov. 23, 2016
Israeli forces early Wednesday demolished three buildings belonging to a Palestinian family in the city of Lod in northern Israel, while demolition orders were delivered to Palestinian homes in the Haifa district.
___Sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces and border guards in Lod facilitated the demolition of the three buildings which belonged to the Shaaban family in the neighborhood of Karm al-Tuffah north of Lod city without any prior notice.      More . . .

View from the old city walls on East-Jerusalem. Israel
East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood. (Photo: vevesworld.com)

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Nov. 23, 2016
Israeli forces Wednesday ransacked two printing shops and seized computers during raids into the northern West Bank districts of Salfit and Qalqiliya, said municipal and security sources.
___Israeli forces stormed and ransacked ‘Alam al-Ibad printing shop during a raid of Al-Zawiya village, west of Salfit.
[. . . .]  In a different incident, forces stormed the Asayel Yaffa printing shop during an overnight raid into Qalqiliya city, seizing six computers.     More . . .  

“A HAIFA PRAYER,” by Abdallah Abu Bakr
I was on my way from Haifa to Haifa.
That’s been my only road ever since I was a child.
I went down to the shoreline and paddled in the ocean
then dug a hole in the sand and buried my heart.
That way I know for sure I would never forget her.
I gathered up Haifa sand and cleansed myself with it
because, God knows, I know precisely
how I should pray to God
and how I should worship her ―
my Haifa.

―Trans. John Glenday

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.

“. . . Hebron, historically centered around the Cave of the Patriarchs, is a microcosm of military occupation in the West Bank . . .” (Sarah Stern)

A used diaper and bag or urine thrown from the settlement above hang on a fence in the occupied city of Hebron. (Photo: Sarah Stern)

❶ Hebron area residents face multiple demolitions within a week

  • Background: “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review

❷ Lawyers of Israeli soldier Elor Azarya call for acquittal in Hebron shooting trial
❸ Opinion/Analysis: In Hebron, a namesake falls short

  • Background: “Abraham The Settler, Jesus The Refugee: Contemporary Conflict And Christianity On The Road To Bethlehem.” History & Memory

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 21, 2016
Israeli forces on Sunday delivered 20 demolition notices in the Um al-Kher village in the southern occupied West Bank Hebron district, according to locals.
___Ratib al-Jabour, coordinator of a local committee that resists settlement activity, said that Israeli Civil Administration workers escorted by armed Israeli forces delivered the demolition notices to Suleiman al-Hathalin and Shuab al-Hathalin.
___The notices ordered demolitions on both Suleiman and Shuab’s homes, barns, barracks and residential caves.
___Al-Jabour added that Israeli forces “took Suleiman to a depopulated area and assaulted him,” resulting in injuries and bruises all over his body.     More . . .   

  • Reuveny, Rafael. “The Last Colonialist: Israel In The Occupied Territories Since 1967.” Independent Review 12.3 (2008): 325-374.   Source.  

[. . . .] Recent setter actions in the West Bank city of Hebron . . .  Seeking to gain control over Hebron’s old city, settlers have attacked Palestinians since 2001, playing a key role in driving out 15,000 to 20,000 Palestinian residents and 1,500 to 1,700 Palestinian businesses from the city. Settlers also have often attacked verbally and physically the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) personnel sent to enforce order. In early 2007, settlers took over a large Palestinian house in Hebron . . .  Defense Minister Amir Peretz from the Labor Party sought to evacuate them, but the World Council tor Saving the People and the Land of Israel, a settler body, warned him not to intervene. . .  In Hebron, the settlers reportedly presented forged documents to prove their ownership of the house and have refused to leave.
[. . . .]  Yet this concession [in the Oslo accords] did not placate the settlers, who viewed the Oslo process as a sin against God that must be stopped. With this goal in mind, Baruch Goldstein, a religious settler and physician, killed twenty-nine Palestinian worshipers in Hebron in 1994. After the massacre, PM Rabin sought to remove settlers from the Tel Rumeida hill in Hebron (their presence there had long promoted strife), but he backed down after settlers said the order negated Jewish law and urged the IDF to reject it. Some settlers called Baruch Goldstein a holy martyr who had rushed to prevent Israel from falling into gentile hands. Nevertheless, the Oslo process continued, and settlers began to debate openly whether Jewish law allowed the killing of Rabin on the grounds that he planned to surrender Jewish land. Rabin was killed on November 4, 1995; his killer, an admirer of Baruch Goldstein, believed that God wanted Rabin killed in order to stop the Oslo process. After the massacre, Palestinians attacked Israelis, and Israel turned to the harsh methods that other colonial rulers used to suppress rebellion.

Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 20, 2016
The defense team of Elor Azarya called for the Israeli soldier to be exonerated of all charges for shooting a prone Palestinian in the head in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in March, Israeli media reported on Sunday.
___According to the Jerusalem Post, Azarya’s lawyers argued that the trial had confirmed the soldier’s version of events, which stated that Azarya shot Abd al-Fatah al-Sharif at point-blank range after the Palestinian had already been shot and severely wounded after allegedly attempting to stab another Israeli soldier, because Azarya believed al-Sharif could have reached for a knife or had been concealing explosive underneath his jacket.     ___However, Azarya’s version has been thoroughly contradicted during the duration of the trial by his commanders and experts, who stated that al-Sharif did not constitute a threat at the time of his death, and that him wearing a jacket was not suspicious given the weather that day.       More . . .  
The killing  (with video) . . .

A-Sahla St. in Hebron, now another ghost street. Photo by Musa Abu Hashhash, B’Tselem, 3 Jan. 2016

Opinion/Analysis:  IN  HEBRON,  A  NAMESAKE  FALLS  SHORT 
+972 Blog       
By Sarah Stern
Nov. 16, 2016
What it means to be named Sarah in Hebron — where the streets are segregated and occupation manifests itself in the ugliest of ways.
[. . . .]   Hebron, historically centered around the Cave of the Patriarchs, is a microcosm of military occupation in the West Bank. Near the Cave of the Patriarchs, Palestinians are not permitted to even walk on the streets, and must instead walk along rooftops to get from place to place. Only recently, a low cement block wall was removed from the street leading to the tomb. . . .    ___On the day we visited Hebron with Encounter, I saw a “Shoko Besakit”, a chocolate milk bag, dangling from a fence separating a new Jewish settlement complex from shops in the Palestinian old city of Hebron. These chocolate milk bags are a favorite for IDF soldiers as quick calories after military workouts . . .  When I drew closer with my camera, however, I realized I wasn’t looking at my favorite sweet, but at a bag of urine. It was thrown down from the heavens in the settlements above.      More . . .

  • Feldman, Jackie. “Abraham The Settler, Jesus The Refugee: Contemporary Conflict And Christianity On The Road To Bethlehem.” History & Memory 23.1 (2011): 62-95.   Source. 

[. . . .] . . . in Hebron and Jerusalem, the scene is often one of sophisticated, often wily, ideologically committed guides who become “soldiers in the national struggle,” generating and manipulating images for a generally uncommitted, under-informed, malleable and curious tour. One Christian Zionist tour outlines the Bethlehem day of their “Feast of Tabernacles Tour” itinerary as follows:
Day 8 – Hebron – Jerusalem
Today we will head south into Judea. The Kfar Etzion sound and
light show will give you a picture of the price the Jews have paid to
hold on to their land. Driving past Bethelem [sic], down the path
taken by Abraham to the burial place of the patriarchs in Hebron
and the Cave of Machpelah as well as the first capital of King David.
We will meet some residents of the old city of Hebron and walk to
the ancient neighborhoods and museum. Return to Jerusalem for
dinner and the Feast Celebration.
Note that Abraham and David are mentioned here, but not Jesus. The tour bypasses Bethlehem completely, to make its first stop in a sound-and-light show at a Jewish West Bank settlement. This corresponds with the major emphasis in Christian Zionist tours: “it’s not about where Jesus walked, it’s about where he’s going to walk.” The remainder of the program includes encounters with the Jewish settlers in Hebron, while the museum there frames the Muslim hostility toward the settlers . . .  as endemic, drawing parallels with the Holocaust. Clearly, it is only the Jewish “residents of the old city” who are linked with the Patriarchs—the “old city” and “ancient neighborhoods.” This corresponds to the Christian Zionist ideology in which “Eretz Israel [the Land of Israel] is given under the Abrahamic covenant to Jews alone . . .

“. . . Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms . . .” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Israeli vandals, soldiers attack Palestinian schoolchildren at Qurtuba School, Al-Khalil, May 4, 2016 (Photo: Aljazeera)

❶ Israeli forces raid Al-Quds University, damage contents of book fair for the needy
❷ Yet another demolition hits Umm Al Khair; community continues to stand strong
❸ Statistics Bureau: About half the population are children
❹ The latest statistics show that 96.3% of the population of Palestine is literate.

  • Background from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 19, 2016
Israeli forces on Saturday morning stormed the campus of Al-Quds University in the Jerusalem district village of Abu Dis, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Education.     ___The ministry said in a statement on Saturday that “large numbers of heavily armed” Israeli troops stormed the university campus at dawn and damaged the “contents of a book fair,” which students had been organizing to help their fellow students in need.     ___”All books, magazines, and stationery which are being sold to needy students at low prices have been either stolen or damaged [by Israeli forces],” the statement said.     More . . .

International Solidarity Movement   
November 19, 2016
On November 15th, the Bedouin community of Umm Al Khair experienced the fifth wave of demolitions by Israeli forces on their structures to take place in the past year. The most prominent of the two structures demolished on Tuesday was their community center, which was also the space used for their Kindergarten classes.       More . . .

STATISTICS  BUREAU:  ABOUT  HALF  THE  POPULATION  ARE  CHILDREN      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 20, 2016
The estimated number of children less than 18 years old mid 2016 is about 2,207,535 children in Palestine, representing about 45.8% of the population, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said on Sunday.
[. . . .]  The number of students for 2015/2016 academic year in Palestine reached to about 1.193 million students, (1.053 million in the elementary level and 140 thousands in the secondary level).  While the number of children enrolled in kindergarten in the same academic year arrived at about 141 thousands boy and girl.
___The drop-out rate from elementary school for the 2014/2015 academic year was 1.5% among male children compared to 1.1% among females.  In the secondary level, the rate was 2.1% of males compared to 1.8% of females.
____Failure rate at elementary schools during 2014/2015 was 1.2% of males and 0.9% of females. The secondary level rate was 0.4% of males and 0.3% of females.   More . . .

Palestinian students at Mahfouz El Nahnah high school on the first day of the new school year in Gaza City, Gaza on Aug. 28, 2016. (Photo: Getty Images

The 2014 Palestine Human Development Report (UN)―United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
The latest statistics show that 96.3% of the population of Palestine is literate.  This rate is even higher than that of the UNDP 2014 HDI “high human development” category average.     More . . .   
Note:  The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations’ global development network.     Headquartered in New York City, UNDP advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. It provides expert advice, training, and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries.        More . . .

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
[. . . .]    Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
[. . . .]   Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms.
Article 26: Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

The CONVENTION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN EDUCATION is a multilateral treaty adopted by UNESCO on 14 December 1960
Note: the signatories include nearly every member of the UN, including such nations as China, Russia, Israel, and Iran.  
There a a very few nations not signatories, including the United States and Syria.