Israel demolishes another EU-funded school

from Electronic Intifada

Israeli occupation forces demolished two school buildings in the Abu Nuwwar community on 4 February, located in the so-called E1 area of the occupied West Bank, east of Jerusalem.

The destruction leaves more than 25 children in the third and fourth grades without a place to learn.

“The demolition of educational buildings is one of the means Israel uses in its attempt to expel Palestinian communities from their homes, so that it can concentrate the residents in enclaves and use the territory for its own needs,” the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem stated

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New York Times Erases Palestinian West Bank from Map

from TeleSUR

As Israeli government mulls the annexation of the Palestinian occupied territory of the West Bank, the New York Times and a local Israeli newspaper seem to embrace the potential plans by removing the West Bank from the map while only naming Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

According to Electronic Intifada website, the map was included in the print version of an article about secret Israeli airstrikes in Egypt, which are approved by the government of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The article was published on Feb. 3, according to the website.

Meanwhile, the online version of the article did not include the same map but a photo attached with it shows Israeli Prime Minister speaking at an event for the Jerusalem Post with a map behind him that also omits the West Bank from a map showing only Israel and Gaza.

“One possible conclusion is that Netanyahu and The Jerusalem Post are promoting a future in which some two million Palestinians are squeezed into a Gaza Strip bantustan while even more Palestinians in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) are forced into a greater Israel in which they may or may not have voting rights,” Michael F. Brown wrote for Electronic Intifada…

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Can You Imagine Life Like This? A Glimpse into Palestinian Life in Gaza Strip

Netanyahu Tells European Leaders Concern for Palestinian Rights Is “Crazy”

from the Intercept

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, was caught on tape on Wednesday urging four European leaders to help him undermine a provision of a European Union trade agreement that imposes an obligation on Israel to respect the rights of the millions of Palestinians it rules in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In private remarks to the leaders of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia that were accidentally broadcast to members of the Israeli media outside the room, Netanyahu was overheard calling it “crazy” for the E.U. to insist that Israel honor Article 2 of an association agreement signed in 1995 which makes trade with the bloc conditional on Israel’s “respect for human rights and democratic principles.”..

In recent years, Israel has destroyed hundreds of European-financed structures — including schools, playgrounds and solar panels — built to help Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Netanyahu and his ultranationalist supporters have harshly criticized European governments for providing financial support to Israeli rights groups, including Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, which work to expose abuses by Israel’s military in the occupied territories…

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UK students launch hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners

from Press TV

A group of students in the University of Manchester have gone on hunger strike to raise awareness about the abuses Palestinian prisoners are being subjected to in Israeli jails.

So far, five students have joined the movement, which began on Thursday and would last at least a week.

The hunger strike is an act of solidarity with a mass strike by more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners, who have been refusing food for two weeks to denounce the harsh conditions in Israeli jails.

Palestinian detainees complain that they have been subjected to assault and torture at Israeli prisons.

Dubbed the Freedom and Dignity Strike, the ongoing action began on April 17. There are currently 6,500 Palestinians are in Israeli jails, according to rights group Addameer…

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Facebook ‘blocks accounts’ of Palestinian journalists

from al Jazeera

Editors from two Palestinian news publications based in the occupied West Bank say their Facebook accounts were suspended last week and that no reason was provided, alleging their pages may have been censored because of a recent agreement between the US social media giant and the Israeli government aimed at tackling “incitement”.

Last week, four editors from the Shehab News Agency, which has more than 6.3 million likes on Facebook, and three executives from the Quds News Network, with about 5.1 million likes, reported that they could not access their personal accounts.

Both agencies cover daily news in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Nisreen al-Khatib, a translator and journalist at the Quds News Network, told Al Jazeera that the publication believes the account suspensions were triggered by an agreement between Facebook and Israel earlier this month, in which they agreed to jointly combat what Israeli claims is “incitement” by Palestinians on social media.

[read more here]

Is anti-BDS group Sawtona impersonating Palestinians?

by Charlotte Silver, Electronic Intifada

Claiming to be a group of Palestinians opposed to the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in the US, an organization calling itself Sawtona – “our voice” in Arabic – has emerged over the last two months.

But the organization does not appear to be what it says it is.

The group first emerged at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) last month when faculty and students were meeting to discuss BDS and support for Palestinians.

It then popped up at City University of New York (CUNY), just ahead of today’s scheduled graduate student council vote on a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

The group claims to be a voice “from the ground” in Palestine that is dedicated to ending Israel’s occupation. But so far the only objective Sawtona has in fact pursued is to stop BDS, claiming it does more harm than good for Palestinians.

And some evidence – including fraudulent postings on Facebook – cast significant doubt on the group’s central claim that it is run by Palestinians.

Rather, the group would appear to be based in present-day Israel – not Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank where people representing Sawtona claim to live.

Sawtona has emerged at a moment when Israel has greatly stepped up its efforts to sabotage and attack the BDS movement, including efforts to undermine it by Israeli intelligence agencies.

[read more here]