Egyptian militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claimed Aug. 10 that an air-strike that killed four of its fighters in the Sinai peninsula the previous day was carried out by an Israeli drone. But Egypt's military denied there had been any Israeli strikes in Egyptian territory, and later said its own aircraft had carried out the attack. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, with a following among the Sinai's Bedouin tribes, accused the Egyptian military of co-ordinating the attack with Israel. "Our heroes became martyrs during their jihadi duties against the Jews in a rocket attack on occupied lands," the group said in a statement. "How can the Egyptian army allow the Zionist unmanned planes to cross into Egyptian territory?" A motorcade funeral for the fallen fighters made its way through through several border towns in Sinai—with dozens of militants in pick-up trucks flying their black flag in defiance of the army. Egypt's armed forces have killed 60 jihadist fighters in the Sinai in the month since Mohamed Morsi was ousted. (AFP, Al Jazeera, Aug. 10)
At least 28 Palestinian refugees were killed in Syria during July as refugee camps in the country continue to be dragged into the civil war. The UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, estimates that the homes of 44,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria have been damaged by conflict, and that half of the approximately 500,000 Palestinian refugees in the country are now displaced either within Syria or in neighboring countries. An UNRWA staff member was killed in Syria in July, the seventh to have been killed in the conflict; 13 of the agency’s staff in Syria are detained or have been reported missing.
Israeli forces evicted a protest village near the Kfar Etzion settlement compound south of Bethlehem on July 27, a local committee said. The Popular Struggle Committee Against Settlements and the Wall said its activists pitched tents on land belonging to the Abu Ayyash family. Four hours later, the Israeli army arrived with an order to evict the protesters, the committee said. The committee said the action sent a message to the Israeli government that Palestinians were entrenched in their land, and that they would dictate the next stage in peace talks, not the negotiators. An Israeli military spokesman told Ma'an News Agency that Israeli forces dispersed a gathering of 20 to 30 Palestinians in Umm Salamuna. "After a while they left," he said, adding that no riot dispersal means were used.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 24 ruled (PDF) that Israel cannot be listed as the place of birth on US passports for citizens born in Jerusalem. Section 214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (PDF) requires the State Department to list "Jerusalem, Israel," as the birthplace for US citizens born in Jerusalem if the parents request. The appeals court found that § 214 is unconstitutional, basing its decision on the executive power of recognition, affirming that only the executive has the sole power to recognize a state. This decision now requires that section of the law to be reinterpreted, as Congress does not have the power to recognize foreign states. The office of the president has never recognized any one state as having jurisdiction over the city of Jerusalem, and as such, citizens born there cannot include a country name on their passport.
An Israeli magistrate's court ruled July 21 to evict a Palestinian family from their home in East Jerusalem, after a six year legal battle to prove ownership of the property. The court ruled that the house is absentee property and ordered the Siam family to leave the premises by the end of July, Nathira Siam told Ma'an News Agency. The family was also ordered to pay 40,000 shekels ($11,200) as a rent supplement and 20,000 shekels ($5,600) to the court, Siam said. Nathira said that the family have lived in the property since the 1960s. "I've been renting the property from a woman called Sabriye Taha who has the rental contract and have been paying her regularly," she said. "When she passed away, Israel changed the ownership of the house to absentee property..."
Israeli forces used bulldozers to demolish the "unrecognized" Bedouin village of al-Araqeeb in the Negev desert on July 16—for the 53rd time in three years. The demolition came one day after thousands of Palestinian, Israeli Arab and Bedouin protesters took to the streets in towns across the West Bank, Gaza and inside the Green Line to oppose an Israeli bill that would forcibly expel tens of thousands of Bedouins from the Negev. Araqeeb, home to some 500 people, is one of about 40 Bedouin villages in the Negev not recognized by Israel's Land Authority. Following the 38th demolition of Araqeeb last year, villagers said they wanted apply with the Guinness Book of World Records to claim a record for the number of times Israel has demolished a village.
More than 3,000 marched in Tel Aviv July 13 for a rally marking the two-year anniversary of the mass movement against inequality which saw major demonstrations in the summer of 2011. Protesters marched from Habima Square to Kaplan Street, the heart of Israel's administrative center, chanting against the economic policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid. Chants and banners also opposed tax hikes, and Israel's new gas export plan. Some slogans compared Netanyahu to Egypt's recently ousted President Mohammed Morsi, calling for "revolution" and declaring that "the rule of capital is criminal." Protesters blocked traffic on Ayalon freeway, Tel Aviv's main thoroughfare, until they were dispersed by police at around 1 AM. A few remained, however, setting up encampments in front of the Kiriya, the central government complex, and Ministry of Defense headquarters. (Times of Israel, Ha'aretz, July 13)
Dozens of protesters on July 12 were lightly wounded in demonstrations across the occupied West Bank. In al-Maasara village south of Bethlehem, dozens suffered tear-gas inhalation as Israeli forces dispersed a protest against water shortages in the village for over 50 days and in solidarity with prisoners in Israeli jails. Protesters raised Palestinian flags and posters of prisoners, and chanted for national unity and against the wall and confiscation of land. In Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and sprayed demonstrators with skunk water as protesters retreated during the weekly Friday demonstration.