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Sunday, February 12

‘State of Jenin’: A Palestinian Refugee Camp Raided by Israeli Troops Night After Night
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HAARETZ –  This is a type of anxiety that no Israeli civilian is familiar with: nights when sleep is marred by the noise of soldiers moving about, gunshots, armored vehicles outside the window, stun grenades and explosives in an adjacent alley. Night after night. Soldiers who storm the house rowdily, after blowing up the front door. Children who wake up in a fright to the sight of masked, heavily armed figures during dead-of-night kidnappings euphemistically called “arrests.”

On one occasion during the second intifada, I slept over in the Jenin refugee camp. I’ll never forget the fear that seized me when soldiers raided it. It’s a particularly chilling experience in a densely crowded, yet determined and militant camp like that in Jenin. Last week, raids were carried out there almost every night. After a soldier sustained light to moderate wounds during one, the Israel Defense Forces ratcheted up even more the rate and intensity of its infiltration.

Residents are convinced that on the night between Jan. 28 and 29, soldiers had come to avenge the wounding of their buddy and teach the camp a lesson it wouldn’t forget. “They came to kill,” people in the battered camp said this week, as they buried another of its sons, Mohammed Abu Khalifa, after he was killed by soldiers’ bullets on Sunday. He was buried in the cemetery of intifada victims at the edge of the camp, which, like Jenin itself, suffers from severe overcrowding.

The young adults in the camp spend their days sleeping and their nights in wakefulness. They have no reason to get up during the day. They hang out in the meager café on the main street; some of them man observation posts at the camp’s entrances and instantly report every suspicious movement on Facebook. They also post real-time videos when the IDF enters. Facebook is the most widely used means of communication when it comes to warning about everything, including the arrival of Israeli troops. Of the Facebook groups in the camp, the best known is “State of Jenin Camp.”

The soldiers usually show up at about 2 A.M. in armored vehicles, some of which look like civilian cars. They descend on foot from the hilltop where the houses are, and information about their whereabouts spreads like wildfire. By the time they reach the alleys below, half the camp is awake and young people are waiting for them with stones, pipe bombs and makeshift weapons. In contrast to the second intifada, when we met armed people at almost every street corner, there is hardly any standard-issue weaponry in evidence these days. The army uses tear gas, stun grenades and, of course, live ammunition.

It’s not only the IDF that executes nocturnal raids. Similar operations are carried out by the forces of the Palestinian Authority, in coordination with the army. When the Israelis arrive, the PA personnel leave. The young people oppose them, too, but less intensely, and the mutual firing of weapons is mainly into the air. No one has been killed in the Palestinian forces’ raids of the past few months.

In recent weeks, PA troops – who at one time were afraid to enter the camp – arrested 15 to 20 young people, taking them to Jericho for interrogation. The IDF arrested only four people in that period. No one from either group has been released yet.

The same pattern played itself out last week: Almost every night, Israeli or Palestinian forces were in the camp. Never a dull moment. Last Thursday, an Israeli soldier was wounded. On the two nights that followed, the IDF entered in large numbers. On Saturday night, they didn’t arrest anyone – residents of the camp are convinced that they came not to detain people but to kill: They killed one young person and wounded four others.

After a year in which no one was killed in the camp, they’re in mourning again here.
Twenty-year-old Mathin Dabiyeh was in the café at the foot of the hill on that night. Now he hobbles about on crutches at the entrance to his house. At 3:15 A.M., after it was known that soldiers had entered the camp, he began to make his way home. The soldiers appeared opposite him in an alley, he recalls now. There’s no point asking him if he was carrying a pipe bomb or an improvised firearm, as I won’t get a straight answer. The soldiers shot him in the leg and he started to run up the alley, limping. The troops gave chase but he managed to elude them. A neighbor with a moped took him to the hospital just outside the camp’s entrance. The hospital’s ambulances don’t dare enter the camp when the IDF is present, so in most cases the wounded are taken out by local residents.

The bullet lodged in Dabiyeh’s knee. His friend Aslam, who was wounded together with him, is still hospitalized; he was hit in the stomach. What will Dabiyeh do the next time soldiers enter? “I can’t run now,” he tells us, evasively. He wears a black knitted skullcap. His brother works as a security guard at the Jenin branch of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

It all took place in the early hours of Sunday morning in the area between the buildings, next to the Queens’ Salon beauty parlor, which is now closed. According to eyewitnesses, IDF snipers positioned themselves on the roof of a house across from the beauty parlor, hiding behind a black plastic water container. The crying of an infant can now be heard from that house, which, like others nearby, is plastered with militant graffiti. The wounded men escaped through an alley at the end of which is an old poster with a photograph of Saddam Hussein. The home of Mohammed Abu Khalifa, who was killed in the incident, is located next to a mosque named for Abdullah Azzam, from the neighboring village of Silat al-Harithiya, who is said to have been a friend of Osama bin Laden.

Narrow steps lead to a small, stark house, which is almost bursting with people. The last day of Mohammed’s life was his 19th birthday. In the evening he celebrated here with friends. There was a power outage, an almost-daily occurrence, so his friends played music from their cellphones. They drank juice. This is what a birthday party here looks like.

The dead boy’s uncle, Jumaa Abu Jebal, who lost a leg in the IDF’s invasion of the camp in 2002, and his mother, Fatma, greeted us on our visit this past Monday. Mohammed dropped out of school in the 11th grade and began working with his father at his garage. After his friends left that night, we are told, he went to fix a car that had broken down in the camp. That was at about 10 P.M.

An hour later or so, he returned home and went to sleep, his mother relates. At 2 A.M., friends knocked on the door. They came to summon him, after learning that soldiers were in the camp. Mohammed’s father forbade him to go out, but around 3, after his father went back to sleep, the teen snuck out of the house. That act cost him his life.
His mother heard shots at about 3:30 – the shots that killed her son, a few dozen meters from his home. She learned from a Facebook post that Mohammed had been wounded – that’s how parents find out about their children’s fate here. She tried to get to the hospital, but was forced back home by the shooting. It wasn’t until 5:45 A.M., after the last of the troops had left the camp, that she could leave. Mohammed died before she and her husband reached the hospital; he had been struck by three bullets in the chest and one in the stomach.

A week earlier, Israeli troops had entered this house in search of Mohammed’s uncle, Jumaa, who lives on the upper floor. A Shin Bet security service agent ordered the amputee to get dressed, but he wasn’t arrested. Jumaa is a Hamas activist.
“This is the last time I’m coming here. The next time I’ll send a drone to liquidate you,” the Shin Bet man told Jumaa, who replied, “If you have anything [on me], take me.” To which “Captain Haroun,” as the agent styles himself, retorted, “You know what people around you are doing.”

Jumaa, an affable, smiling man who’s married to an Israeli Arab woman from Haifa and speaks broken Hebrew from his years in an Israeli prison, is certain the Shin Bet man was referring to his nephew Mohammed.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated this week, in response to a query from Haaretz: “On Jan. 29, explosive devices were thrown at IDF soldiers during activity in the Jenin refugee camp. The force responded with gunfire at those who were throwing the devices, as a result of which one of them was killed. The IDF enters the refugee camp in accordance with operational needs and with the aim of preventing terrorist activity in the area.”

Not far from the house of mourning, on a wall in another home, is a photograph of Majd Lahlouh, who was shot to death after going out to confront soldiers in the camp in August 2013, at the age of 22. Beneath the photo lies his cousin of 23, Izak Lahlouh. He, too, was wounded that night last month, by a bullet that hit an artery his leg. He was told in the hospital that if his evacuation had been delayed by another few minutes, he would have died from loss of blood. Now he’s bedridden, keeping warm with blankets and watching television, with crutches by his side.

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Saturday, February 11

"How Israel Bulldozes Democracy"
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HAIFA, Israel — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is expected to visit Washington this week to meet with President Trump, presumably to discuss the political philosophy they share: power through hate and fear. A government that bars refugees and Muslims from entering the United States has much in common with one that permits Israeli settlers to steal land from Palestinians, as a new law that Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition pushed through Parliament last week did.

Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Netanyahu used blatant race-baiting tactics to win his last election, in 2015. Since then, he has made discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel central to his agenda. This takes many forms; a particularly painful one is his government’s racist, unjust land use and housing policies.

Arabs make up one-fifth of Israel’s population, yet only 2.5 percent of the state’s land is under Arab jurisdiction. And since the founding of the state, more than 700 new towns and cities have been built for Jews, while no new cities have been built for Arabs.

In Arab towns, the government has made building permits so difficult to obtain, and grants them so rarely, that many inhabitants have resorted to constructing new housing units on their properties without permits just to keep up with growing families that have nowhere else to go. As a result, Arab communities have become more and more densely populated, turning pastoral villages into concrete jungles.

In southern Israel, more than 100,000 Arab citizens face a particular crisis. In the Naqab desert, known in Hebrew as the Negev, there are 35 villages that are officially “unrecognized” by the state. The residents of these unrecognized villages have Israeli citizenship, yet the state has refused to provide even basic services like water, electricity utilities, paved roads and schools.

Worse, because the Israeli government refuses to recognize these villages’ existence, they all live under the shadow of demolition orders from the state. Residents never know when the police will come to evict them and bulldoze their homes.

These policies have existed for decades, but Mr. Netanyahu has turned them into a political bludgeon. Several weeks ago, when it became clear that the government would be forced to implement an Israeli High Court ruling to evacuate Amona, an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank built on land stolen from Palestinians, Mr. Netanyahu vowed to destroy Arab homes throughout Israel in retribution.

The prime minister soon made good on his threat. That was why, a few weeks later, a huge force of armed police arrived to destroy homes in the unrecognized village of Umm al-Hiran.

I first visited Umm al-Hiran not long after I had been elected secretary general of the Hadash party. I spent several weeks living in the Naqab and took part in a nonviolent protest against the demolition of another village, Al Araqib. I was beaten by police and arrested. I had to call my wife, Nardin, from jail.

After a long legal battle, the government has moved to destroy Umm al-Hiran so that a religious Jewish community can be built in its place. This new town would erase all traces of Arab presence, even replacing the town’s name with the more Hebrew-sounding Hiran.

The residents suggested a compromise: Create an Arab neighborhood within the new town so that their community could remain intact. The state rejected this idea: Hiran was to be for Jews only.

A few weeks ago, I had reason to call my wife from the Naqab again. This time, I was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. On Jan. 18, as I stood with the residents of Umm al-Hiran, Israeli police who had arrived to demolish the village pepper-sprayed me and then shot me in the head and the back with baton rounds.

These bullets, which are about 3 inches long and 1.5 inches in diameter, have a hard plastic base and a high-density foam tip. Supposedly nonlethal, they have caused numerous serious injuries, including skull fractures and eye loss, and have been associated with at least one fatality. In my case, the bullet missed my eye and only grazed my skull.

More grave, police actions that day resulted in two deaths: Yakoub Abu al-Qai’an, a math teacher from Umm al-Hiran, was shot and killed while driving, and Erez Levi, a police officer, was hit by Mr. Abu al-Qai’an’s car after he was shot. The police put out a false narrative that this was a terror attack. The Joint List, the group I lead in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, has called for a full inquiry into the day’s events.

In the Naqab, the state claims “planning irregularities,” trespassing or environmental concerns as justification for refusing to recognize the villages and for destroying them. This is a grim farce. The reality for Arab citizens is Kafkaesque: The state refuses to create municipal plans to accommodate growing communities, and instead destroys homes that are built without permits it makes impossible to obtain.

Is this a way for a state to treat its citizens?

The government must meet the housing needs of Arab communities. I have proposed a two-year moratorium on demolishing illegally built homes, together with a public campaign to discourage illegal building. During that time, the state should create municipal plans for every Arab city and town and ensure that there is proper accommodation for expected growth.

This plan has the support of both relevant ministries. But Mr. Netanyahu is ignoring it, just as he ignores our proposal to recognize the Arab villages of the Naqab.

Treating the Arab population as an enemy within is racist in itself, but it is also a political maneuver. Mr. Netanyahu knows that his opponents on the left will not regain power without cooperating with Arab parties. The opposition Labor Party knows this, too. But instead of acting with integrity, Labor has mimicked Mr. Netanyahu’s strategy, treating us not as valued allies but as untouchables.

The very existence of unrecognized villages is perhaps the most blatant example of the government’s cruelty toward its Arab citizens. There is room enough for all of us, in the Naqab and throughout the state. In this moment, it is our moral responsibility to build a principled opposition strong enough to overpower the politics of hate and fear. I will continue to work toward a just and democratic shared future.

Ayman Odeh, the chairman of the Hadash party, leads the Joint List, the third-largest bloc in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.

New York Times.

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Inside the minds of Israel's settlers
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Of all the many roadblocks to peace between Israel and its neighbours, none is more contentious, more controversial and more incendiary than the question of civilian settlements.
A small number of Jews created the first settlement outside their country's borders five decades ago. What began as one small community gave rise to hundreds of settlements and outposts, now occupied by about 400,000 Israelis.
In January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized a wave of new construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, on lands much of the world recognizes as Palestinian territory. His decision was seen as an act of defiance in the face of a United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements on occupied lands.
Israeli documentary filmmaker Shimon Dotan wades into this fractious territory with his latest documentary film "The Settlers." He tells Michael Enright he wanted to understand the perspective of people involved in the settlements — an enterprise he personally considers an "existential threat" to Israel's future.
[The settlement enterprise] is, in my view, a genuine threat to very existence of the state of Israel as we want it, as we know it, as it was designed in the first place. - Shimon Dotan
Shimon Dotan was born in Romania, moved to Israel at age 10 and served for five years in an elite unit of the Israeli navy. He has taught film courses at Tel Aviv University and at Concordia University in Montreal. Since 2003, he has been teaching both at New York University and New School University in New York City.

Click the button above to hear Michael's interview with Shimon Dotan. 

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Israeli forces deliver land confiscation notices in Ramallah-area village
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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces delivered confiscation notices on Friday for 275 dunams (69 acres) of private Palestinian land on the outskirts of the village of Beituniya in the western part of the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.
Official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that farmers from the villages of Beit Ur al-Tahta and Beit Ur al-Fuqa found notices in the fields where Israeli forces had seemingly scattered them around. The notices reportedly read that the lands would be confiscated for “urgent military purposes.”
The notices, according to Wafa, were found near an Israeli military checkpoint on Route 443 west of Ramallah.
A spokesperson from COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, was not immediately available for comment.
According to the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ), at least 60 percent of the village is under threat of confiscation and isolation owing to the construction of Israel’s separation wall. The land confiscated by Israeli authorities has been repurposed for the construction of illegal Israeli settlements, ARIJ said.
The lands isolated by the separation barrier have also been used for Israeli settlements and Israeli military outposts, as well as other Israeli-controlled spaces that prevent Palestinians from developing or living in the area.
ARIJ also noted that the separation barrier has been erected close to the urbanized areas of the village, in effect preventing any expansion in the area to accommodate Beituniya's population.
“This move will create a new reality of increased urban population and population density given the lack of urban space for expansion and new construction,” ARIJ said.

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Friday, February 10

January 2017 In Numbers
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In Case You Missed It.

January 2017 in Numbers

3 new rounds of illegal settlement construction were announced by Israel in January. On Jan. 22, the government announced plans for 566 new housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. On Jan. 24, plans for 2,500 new housing units in the West Bank were announced. On Jan. 31, approval was given for 3,000 additional housing units in the West Bank. The Trump administration declined to condemn the announcements. David Friedman, Trump’s pick to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel, formerly served as president of a group that raises funds for settlements.
137 Palestinian structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem were demolished by Israeli forces in January, according to figures from the United Nations, displacing 237 people, including 134 children. These demolitions build upon the 1,093 Palestinian structures that Israel destroyed last year—the highest number since the U.N. began keeping records in 2009.
2 people—an Israeli Bedouin and an Israeli police officer—were killed in clashes on Jan. 18 after Israeli officials entered the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran with demolition orders. Israeli-Palestinian Knesset member Ayman Odeh was injured and hospitalized after being hit by a foam-tipped bullet during the clashes. Israel regularly demolishes Bedouin villages it does not recognize in order to build new towns for Jewish Israelis only.
20-year-old Israeli Sgt. Elor Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter by an Israeli court in early January. In March 2016, Azaria was filmed fatally shooting a wounded and incapacitated Palestinian attacker in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Azaria’s conviction was a rare moment of justice for Palestinians, as IDF soldiers rarely face severe consequences for crimes committed against Palestinians.
6 months: the amount of time Israeli-Palestinian Knesset member Basel Ghattas has been suspended from the Knesset after he was caught allegedly smuggling cell phones, SIM cards and documents to prisoners convicted of terrorism. Ghattas will still be permitted to vote during his suspension.
56 percent of Americans oppose moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to a January poll conducted by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. President Donald Trump seemed poised to announce the move within his first week in office, but has since put any such announcement on hold.
31 percent of Democrats polled by the Pew Research Center in January said they sympathize more with Palestine than with Israel. 33 percent of respondents said they sympathize more with Israel. These findings mark the first time in Pew Research history that Democrats are as likely to sympathize with Palestinians as they are with Israelis. The poll found that Republican support for Israel remains strong.
342 members of the House of Representatives—233 Republicans and 109 Democrats—voted in favor of a resolution objecting to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemns Israel’s ongoing settlement enterprise. President Barack Obama refused to veto the resolution in December, thereby allowing the resolution to pass and leading to criticism from pro-Israel groups in the U.S.
41 men remain at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, after former President Obama failed to fulfill his promise to close the prison. Obama transferred 18 men from the facility in January—10 to Oman, 5 to Saudi Arabia and 3 to the UAE. During his eight years in office he transferred 197 detainees from the facility.  
26,172 bombs were dropped in seven countries by the United States in 2016, according to an estimate conducted by Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations. The vast majority of bombs were dropped in Syria (12,192) and Iraq (12,095). The remainder were dropped in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. “This estimate is undoubtedly low,” Zenko points out, “considering reliable data is only available for airstrikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, and a single ‘strike,’ according to the Pentagon’s definition, can involve multiple bombs or munitions.”
3 U.S. drone strikes were carried out in Yemen in January, reportedly killing between 6 and 13 militants, according to data complied by New America. Two of the strikes were authorized by President Donald Trump. According to the Director of National Intelligence, the U.S. conducted 526 counter-terror strikes (most of them drone strikes) during President Obama’s tenure in office. The U.S. government estimates 64 to 117 civilians were killed in the strikes, though independent estimates put this number much higher. This official data do not include strikes in areas of “active hostilities,” including Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, where it is believed U.S. drone strikes have been particularly devastating to civilians.
30 Yemenis, most of them civilians, were killed on Jan. 29 when U.S. commandos carried out a raid targeting al-Qaeda militants in southern Yemen. Among those killed in the first military raid authorized by President Trump was 8-year-old American citizen Nawar al-Awlaki, the daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, who was extrajudicially killed by a drone strike in October 2011 and whose 16-year-old son Abdulrahman was killed in a drone strike two weeks later. An American service member was also killed in the January raid, which the president described as “successful.”
1,000 Yemeni children die every week from preventable diseases, according to UNICEF. An estimated 2.2 million children in the poor, war-torn nation suffer from malnutrition, according to the agency.
7 years after being jailed for leaking American military and diplomatic documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Chelsea Manning had her sentence commuted by President Obama on Jan. 17. Manning’s leaks led to a greater public critique of U.S. military action in the Middle East. Manning is set to be released on May 17, after originally being scheduled for release in 2045.
1,363 civilians were killed in violence in Iraq in January, according to Iraq Body Count.
64 percent of Americans oppose the U.S. withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran, according to a poll conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation in late December.
82-year-old Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died of a heart attack on Jan. 8 in Tajrish, Iran. The two-time president and former chairman of the Assembly of Experts was one of the most influential politicians in Iran. A leader of the 1979 revolution, Rafsanjani was a mentor to current President Hassan Rouhani and used his power to give greater legitimacy to more “moderate” forces within Iran.

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Moving Forward For Palestine
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It just seems things are getting worse in Palestine along with the treatment of the Palestinians and I try to keep hope that all the different movements are slowly helping to bring about change.

Here in my part of the world I always ask myself what can I do - what is my role  with the millions around the globe working to bring about a change. I am only one person buy with the support of many around the globe since 1996 I keep going to spread awareness around Canada & the globe.

Finally we have a domain address for Window into Palestine and I am slowly working on the launch of a few projects which include a book as well other small projects to help spread awareness.

At this point we are trying to give Window into Palestine a whole new look which involves the design of a whole new site that would be more interactive for users any financial help you can provide would be much appreciated.

I know it has been financially tough for many but any donations no matter the amount will help the site move forward to give small thank yous to the people who give their time to help out in the operation of the site. It will also help out with our monthly operational expenses for things associated with the site and social media. That was the short term needs as we try and save for the long term in hopes of publishing a book as well as pay for a few projects to raise and spread awareness.

As always I want to thank the people who continue to send in their donations and if you cannot give just share our postings and follow us on face book and twitter. If you have any questions, need more info or have suggestions we would love to hear from you.

Any of the above along with Sharing articles from other sites, writing and share with us you can reach us at

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Hope and Empowerment
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[now we know why Trump and his supporters hate the Liberty] The Statue of Liberty Was Originally a Muslim Woman: “The New Colossus" was actually born in Egypt

[If a Palestinian or any other non-Jew speaks of eh role of money and the Rothschild’s in establishing Israel, they would be called “anti-Semitic”. But what if those speaking are the Rothschild’s? What is not mentioned is that part of the deal the Zionists represented by Rothschild got for the Balfour and Cambon declarations of support from Great Britain and France respectively is that the Zionist movement in the US successfully lobbied to get the US to join WW I on
the side of the allies. See ]
Lord Rothschild discusses cousin’s crucial role in ‘miracle’ Balfour
Declaration: Speaking ahead of the 67-word letter’s centenary, Jacob Rothschild describes the historic declaration which paved the way for
Israel’s existence
And see this

[Here is a modern day Rothschild trying to buy US policy to serve Israel. Billionaire Shedlon Adelson meeting Billionaire Trump ahead of Netanyahu’s visit. They have loyalty to money and Israel not to the USA. Shame] Days Before Netanyahu Visit, Trump Expected to Meet
Sheldon Adelson: Adelson, a major Republican donor and the owner of Israeli pro-Netanyahu daily Israel Hayom, will reportedly lobby Trump against a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The “Jewish State” Knesset (parliament) passed a law that
retroactively legalizes land theft (in violation of International law.
Zionism (and its vassal state of Israel) is a threat to humanity and not just us Palestinians. They pushed for the wars on the Arab world (Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, Syria etc) that has caused significant mayhem, over 2 million lives, and the worst is yet to come. Please note the Trump policies including the seven countries he selected for a travel ban are the same ones that the neocon Zionists targeted in the 1990s hoping to serve their masters in Tel Aviv. If Trump starts a
nuclear war, please remember Kushner, Adelson (who already called for nuking Iran), Elliot Abrams, Friedman, and others surrounding Trump (who clearly cannot even read or speak). But then again we will not be around to remember anything. A brand of intelligent roaches who
inherit the earth (they are resistant to radiation) may write that history. But I am optimistic because I do see resistance both here in Palestine and in the US and elsewhee. I wrote a book “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment.” I hope politicians/billionaires read it (it can burst their bubble). Others can read it to get encouraged to go on pushing.

In very difficult circumstances of occupation and repression, our Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability and the Museum of Natural History at Bethlehem University continue to grow. Every week on average:

-More than 15 individuals are working here daily (volunteers and paid staff)
-100-200 visitors a week visit the museum.
-We take 2-3 field trips weekly to marginalized areas
-We collect data daily that benefit over 10 research projects (we submitted 2 research papers a month in the last six months)
-We plant > 50 plants/week
-We teach students almost daily just this week supervision senior thesis work of several students from Hebron)
-We meet with key officials of governments and NGOs to coordinate and cooperate
-We issue reports and publish many of them in mainstream and
alternative media (this particular weekly email for example

These frenzied activities help us retain balance (I would even say sanity) in a difficult world.

Come visit us

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
Join me on facebook

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Tuesday, February 7

Palestinian teen dies in Gaza after Israel denies him access to hospital
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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A 17-year-old Palestinian died last week after Israeli authorities refused to allow him to leave the besieged Gaza Strip to undergo treatment for a congenital heart defect, the Gaza-based al-Mezan Center for Human Rights said in a report on Sunday.
Israeli authorities had denied Ahmad Hassan Shubeir from Gaza City, permission to cross into Israel to receive life-saving medical treatment from a hospital after the teen “refused to serve as a collaborator for the Israeli authorities, a coercive measure regularly employed on Palestinian patients in need of permits,” according to the center.
After being repeatedly denied permission by Israel to cross, despite securing a number of appointments at Israeli hospitals as his health declined, Ahmad died at approximately 4 a.m. on Jan. 14.
Ahmad’s father told al-Mezan that his son had been suffering from a congenital heart defect since birth. The father said that he accompanied Ahmad several times to Israeli hospitals, including Tel Hashomer Hospital, Schneider Children’s Medical Center, as well as al-Makassed Hospital in the occupied West Bank, and that Ahmad’s condition remained relatively stable throughout the treatment.
After Ahmad fell into a critical condition, his family applied for a crossing permit in February 2016 with supporting medical documents attached.
According to the report, Israeli authorities responded to the request by attempted to blackmail and coerce Ahmad’s mother into cooperating with the authorities in exchange for her child’s permit during an interview at the Erez crossing.
Though she refused, authorities ultimately allowed her and Ahmad to pass after being held several hours.
A subsequent permit request in September received no reply from authorities, and after the family obtained a new hospital appointment, the applied again in October, again without reply.
In November, Israeli authorities replied to another permit application with a refusal.
“The Israeli security services then summoned Ahmad for an interview at the crossing; during the interrogation, he was pressured to serve as a collaborator for the Israeli authorities in exchange for his permit. The child refused and was denied a permit,” al-Mezan’s report continued.
Finally, the family again obtained an appointment at a hospital for Jan. 30, 2017, as Ahmad’s health continued to decline. He died two weeks before the appointment.
“Al-Mezan strongly condemns Israel’s ill-treatment of Palestinian patients of Gaza and expresses remorse at the death of Ahmad Shubeir,” they wrote in their report.
The group warned of the continued “abuse” of critically ill Palestinian patients sealed inside the enclave, where health care services are crippled due to Israel’s ongoing blockade of the small territory that will enter its tenth year this coming June.
“The denial of adequate medical care, which amounts to ill-treatment, is in violation of treaty and customary international law, and amounts to a prohibited collective punishment,” al-Mezan stressed, noting that the Israeli hospitals Palestinians are attempting to reach are in close proximity to Gaza.
According to the center, 2016 represented a steep decrease in the number of permits granted to Palestinian patients wishing to pass through the Erez crossing: In 2015, 77.66 percent of patients were granted access, whereas 61 percent were granted in 2016.
Israeli authorities have also expanded the age group of those subjected to increased security checks from 16 to 35 years old to 16 to 55 years old, "which subsequently expanded waiting times and resulted in increased rejection of permits."
Between 50 and 60 percent of the patients who were refused permits in 2016 by Israeli authorities were people with cancer, with al-Mezan noting a trend that developed over the year, "whereby cancer patients were granted up to three permits, but not more, resulting in unfinished cancer treatment, and greatly diminished effectiveness of cancer care."
Furthermore, Palestinians who were finally granted permits were nevertheless subjected to measures that al-Mezan said amounted to “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,” including long-waiting periods, intense interrogations, invasive searches, blackmail, and coercion, all of which that were greatly strenuous for the sick patients who were not given sufficient rest amid the procedures.
The center further noted that obtaining a permit did not even guarantee a successful crossing for Gazans, reporting that Israeli forces arrested at least nine patients in addition to five Palestinians accompanying patients at the Erez crossing in 2015 and 2016.

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