Palestine Theater

Israeli air-strikes target northern Gaza

Israeli air-strikes targeted the northern Gaza Strip on Oct. 28, Israel's army said, in the first air-strike on Gaza in over two months. "In response to the numerous rockets and mortars launched at Israel in the past 24 hours, IAF aircraft targeted two concealed rocket launchers in the northern Gaza Strip. Direct hits were confirmed," a statement said. Witnesses said the attack targeted a training ground used by militants from the armed wing of Gaza's ruling Hamas movement west of Beit Lahiya, but no-one was hurt.  Several rockets were fired from Gaza early that day, with one rocket intercepted by the Iron Dome system above Ashkelon, Israel's army said. A mortar shell was fired from Gaza on Sunday, the army added. No group has claimed responsibility for firing the rockets.

Palestinian olive harvest under attack —again

Palestinian olive harvesters along with Israeli volunteers assisting in the harvest were attacked Oct. 20 by settlers armed with iron bars near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, according to the organization Rabbis for Human Rights. There were apparently no serious injuries in the incident, but the victims are still being examined by medics. The Palestinian Authority complains that settler aggression, specifically destruction of olive trees and groves, has increased in recent weeks, as the harvest season started. More than 100 olive trees have been uprooted in Krayot village, south of Nablus, Palestinian authorities saud. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activities in this sector of the West Bank on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, blamed settlers from the settlement Ali. (Haaretz, JP, Oct. 20)

Clashes in Hebron village, Israeli watchtower burns

Locals of Beit Awwa, a West Bank village in the Hebron district, reported that Palestinians set fire to an Israeli watchtower Oct. 14 during clashes with the army. The clashes broke out when the Israeli army entered the village. Palestinians threw stones and Israeli forces fired tear-gas grenades, locals said, adding that dozens of villagers suffered from tear gas inhalation. Additionally, Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails at an Israeli watchtower located near the village, burning the watchtower and reportedly injuring Israeli soldiers.

Israel set to raze 3,000-year-old village

The Israeli High Court is set to rule this week on the forced expulsion of all residents of the village of Khirbat Zanuta, southwest of Hebron in the West Bank. Israel Civil Administration ordered the demolition of Zanuta in 2007, on the absurd grounds that structures in the village were built without permits, but the High Court ruled that year that authorities must "find a solution" for the villagers before any eviction. But last year the Zionist organization Regavim, with a base of support among local Israeli settlers, succeeded in reviving the case by filing a new request for demolition. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which represents the Zanuta residents, says that in a High Court hearing last year, "the justices delivered harsh criticism of the State for its intent to demolish the village without suggesting a solution for its residents." But the demolition request was not dismissed, and villagers fear imminent eviction.

200 Palestinians in Malta shipwreck: report

A Palestinian group in Syria said Oct. 13 that over 200 Palestinians were aboard a boat which capsized off Malta's coast two days earlier. The Action Group for Palestinians in Syria said that at least 200 Palestinian refugees fleeing conflict in the country were aboard the boat, which left the Libyan port of Zwara on Oct. 10. Some 70 Palestinian refugees survived the shipwreck and are now in Malta, with the rest unaccounted for, the action group said. The boat was carrying up to 400 migrants, mostly Syrians. At least 33 people perished after the boat sank, a week after another shipwreck off Italy left at least 359 dead, prompting Malta to warn that the Mediterranean is becoming "a cemetery."

Netanyahu to 'strengthen' settlements in Hebron

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sept. 22 ordered the civil administration to allow settlers back into a stolen Palestinian property in Hebron, Israeli media reported. The move was in response to the killing of an Israeli soldier in Hebron earlier in the day, and Netanyahu announced Israel would "continue to fight terrorism…with one hand, while strengthening the settlement with the other," according to Haaretz.

Israeli forces clash with al-Quds student protesters

Israeli forces fired tear-gas cannisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at al-Quds university students in Abu Dis on Sept. 8, witnesses said. An Israeli border police patrol stopped and searched several students at the main gate of the university in Abu Dis, inspecting identity cards and detaining several students for over an hour. Clashes broke out after university staff prevented Israeli forces from entering the campus. Over 30 students suffered from gas inhalation. Eight students were injured by rubber bullets and transferred to Abu Dis emergency center. Two university security guards were also hospitalized.

Lebanon turns back Palestinians fleeing Syria

Palestinian refugees fleeing the violence in Syria have been refused entry into Lebanon for three weeks now. Since Aug. 6, according to Human Rights Watch, the Lebanese government has turned back Palestinians, who had originally sought refuge in Syria when they were forced from their homes in 1948 and 1967, and are now fleeing once more with their descendants, this time from the conflict in Syria. A source at the Lebanese General Security confirmed to IRIN news agency that the government is no longer letting Palestinians from Syria into Lebanon. Makram Malaeb, program manager for the Syrian response at the Ministry of Social Affairs, said exceptions would be made for "humanitarian cases."

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