The following Palestinian organizations have called on the international community to support the Global March to Jerusalem

Al-Rowwad Cultural and Theatre Training Centre

Al-Walaja Popular Resistance Committee

The Alternative Information Center

BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights

Beit Ummar Popular Resistance Committee

Bil'in Popular Resistance Committee

Friends of Freedom and Justice, Bil'in

Gaza Youth Breaks Out

Handala Center

Holy Land Trust

International Solidarity Initiative

International Solidarity Movement

Nebi Saleh Popular Resistance Committee

Ni' lin Popular Resistance Committee

Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between People

Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

Palestine Justice Network

Palestine National Initiative

Palestine Non-Governmental Organizations Network

Palestine Solidarity Project

The Palestinian Cultural Englightenment Center (Tanweer)

Popular Struggle Committee Kufr Qaddoum

Popular Struggle Committee Kufr Al-Deek

Popular Struggle Committee Beit Dajan

Popular Struggle Committee Qaryout

Popular Struggle Committee Burin

Popular Struggle Committee Aqraba

Popular Struggle Committee Iraq Burin

Popular Struggle Committee Bruqin

Popular Struggle Committee Zawarta

Popular Struggle Committee Beit Furik

Popular Struggle Committee Qasareh

Popular Struggle Committee Jama'in

Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee

Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies

Youth Against Settlements

Youth Activity Center – Aida Camp

All people of conscience must support the Global March to Jerusalem, and the bravery of those who undertake it. It appeals to our sense of justice, moral and religious sentiments, and in my case to a personal attachment to the city of my birth. May I and all Jerusalemites who were expelled from it return there.

- Dr. Ghada Karmi, Co-Director, Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter

Palestinians and supporters are encouraged to come and challenge restrictions and occupations. By sea, air and land people of good conscience will come to recognize Land Day and help us emphasize the centrality of Jerusalem and its plight under colonial occupation.

- Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Palestinian Author, Academic and Civil Rights Leader

As world leaders have done nothing over the past six decades to curb Israel's persistent campaign of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian population, civil societies all over the world are taking initiatives to demand an end to the relentless cruelty and mercilessness aimed at a principally unarmed civilian population. The Global March to Jerusalem is another effort by people of conscience to take a stand for justice and for human dignity. The importance of such civil action cannot be overstated.

- Susan Abulhawa, novelist and human rights activist

As an anti-war organizer and activist working for justice for the Palestinian people, I hope to see a sea of people marching in unity towards Jerusalem in March of 2012. The march will be a powerful act of solidarity with Palestinians who are fighting for their basic human rights, particularly the right to free movement which the Israeli government has so severely restricted. It is critical that we support non-violent forms of resistance such as these, which are the only way to attain a peaceful and just solution for everyone in the region.

- Medea Benjamin

Jerusalem is a holy city unto the Children of Abraham. I lament the plight of Palestinian friends living in Bethlehem (and throughout the West Bank and Gaza) who have not been permitted to visit Jerusalem for almost two decades. As a rabbi who believes that my Abrahamic cousins possess an equal right to access Jerusalem, barring entry offends my faithfulness to Judaism. Israel cannot call itself a democracy as long as Palestinian Muslims and Christians are prevented from pilgrimage and prayer in Jerusalem. This is among the many reasons I support the global nonviolent march to Jerusalem. May the Compassionate One who is the Parent of us all, open the gates of compassion and justice for everyone who desires to enter.

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence

We have tried to sail to Gaza with the Gaza Freedom flotillas and we have tried to march to Gaza with the Gaza Freedom March. We have gone to Gaza with Viva Palestina. Over the years, in the West Bank, international solidarity activists helped farmers, merchants and students. Now the Global March to Jerusalem provides an opportunity for international activists to again demonstrate their support the Palestinian quest for justice.Come with us to Jerusalem in March, 2012!

- Ann Wright, former United States Army colonel is important for all those committed to peace and justice to support and applaud an initiative such as Global March to Jerusalem…[which]…poses a vivid challenge to the unlawfulness and cruelty of the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestine.

- Dr. Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University

Israel is currently inflicting outright genocide against the Palestinians in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, particularly article II(a)—killing members of the group; and article II(b) causing serious bodily and mental harm to members of the group; and article II(c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part. Article I of the 1948 Genocide Convention requires everyone in the world “to prevent” the ongoing Israeli genocide against the Palestinians. That is exactly what the Global March to Jerusalem is all about.

- Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law

Join our newsletter

Obama & Congress: Treat Iranian and Israeli nuclear programs the same. The Global March to Jerusalem - North America has started a petition to President Obama and members of Congress: Treat Iranian and Israeli nuclear programs the same. Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:

Here's why it's important:

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), has announced that they "remain strongly committed to the passage of the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act." The proposed act seeks to impose new sanctions on Iran, which would presumably annul the agreement negotiated by Secretary of State Kerry and the Obama administration to restrict Iran's uranium enrichment program far below weapons grade and to eliminate existing stocks of partially enriched uranium. President Obama has said that he will veto the legislation if it passes Congress.

We support President Obama and members of Congress who oppose the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act. Those who support the act should pair it with a Nuclear Weapon Free Israel Act, with the same sanctions to be applied to Israel as to Iran if it does not comply equally with the same constraints on its nuclear program. The US must be consistent in its foreign policy and hold all nations to the same standard.

The best solution is a nuclear weapons free Middle East and a nuclear weapons free world.

You can sign the petition by clicking here


The Global March to Jerusalem - North America

Why is Congress acting aginst the US constitution?

by Dr. Sarah Marusek | reposted from Mid East Monitor

In the days following the official resumption of US-led "peace talks between Israel and Palestine, the Israeli government decided to expand its list of illegal settlements eligible for government subsidies and approved a plan to build more than 1,000 new settler homes in the Occupied Territories. Meanwhile the US Congress was busy introducing a new bill to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital. Although Congress already passed a similar bill called the Jerusalem Embassy Act back in 1995 that required the US to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem, the previous bill allowed the White House to indefinitely delay its implementation. Not so with the proposed "Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel Act."

But as The Christian Science Monitor reports, last month a federal appeals court decided that Congress had overstepped its constitutional powers when it passed a 2002 law requiring US consular officials to list “Israel” as the place of birth of American children born in Jerusalem. In the opinion the presiding judge wrote, “Congress plainly intended to force the State Department to deviate from its decades-long position of neutrality on what nation or government, if any, is sovereign over Jerusalem.” The court’s decision to uphold the exclusive power of the executive branch to conduct diplomacy and recognize foreign nations means that the legality of this latest act is also highly questionable.

So if the 1995, 2002 and 2013 acts are all unconstitutional, why are members of Congress repeatedly acting against a constitution they otherwise profess such sacred allegiance to? Here enters the Israel Lobby. While the Lobby’s best-known organization is the powerful America-Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the real-world reach of the Lobby is far wider, as following one direction of the bill’s money trail shows.

Among the new bill’s bipartisan co-sponsors is Brad Sherman, a US Representative from California and a member of the Democratic Party who received a financial donation from the Irving Moskowitz Foundation during his 2012 re-election campaign.

The Irving Moskowitz Foundation declares that it is "committed to making a difference in people’s life regardless of race, religion, or politics," even though its Jewish American founder Irving Moskowitz once told The Washington Post that his desire is to "do everything I possibly can to help reclaim Jerusalem for the Jewish people." The foundation’s web site details some of the charitable projects that it financially supports, focusing mainly on small community projects in Hawaiian Gardens, a deprived city in the state of California, as well as tornado relief efforts in the state of Oklahoma.

However according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the foundation also mad donations of around $50,000 to political candidates and parties in 2012, and unlike Sherman they are mostly Republican. Indeed between 2006-2012 only seven per cent of the foundation’s political contributions went to Democrats. Furthermore, in 2012 the foundation made a $1 million donation to American Crossroads, a Super Political Action Committee (PAC) co-founded by Karl Rove that raises funds for the Republican Party. By law Super PACs are allowed to receive anonymous donations and spend unlimited funds on political candidates and parties, even during elections.

Still, although his recent political donations are indeed generous, Moskowitz's most favored aid recipients by far are illegal Israeli settlers.

The Huffington Post reports that as far back as 1969, Moscowitz, a retired physician, started buying up hospitals in the US only to sell them for a profit that he then spent on land purchases in Jerusalem as well as donations to settlers in the West Bank and Gaza. But it was not until he launched a bingo operation in 1988 that his “philanthropy” reached new levels. All bingo outfits in the state of California must be operated by charities. Located in the same impoverished Hawaiian Gardens where his charity already had a history of giving, the cash-strapped city allowed him to retain 99 percent of the bingo operation's revenue.

And the revenue has certainly been vast. According to Mother Jones, by 2000 the club was earning up to $50 million a year. After expenses it was donating as much as $17 million per year, with the majority of this money, reportedly around two thirds, being spent on Judaizing Palestine, especially Occupied East Jerusalem. The political blog Think Progress reports that Moskowitz’s foundations have given "huge sums to developments there," including the purchase and demolition of the historic Shepherd Hotel to build housing for settlers. Many millions have also been directed to the group Ateret Cohanim, which focuses mainly on purchasing Arab property in East Jerusalem.

Sherman’s ardent pro-Zionism explains why he, a Democrat, is also receiving funds from Moskowitz’s Republican friendly foundation. Last year Sherman spearheaded an international campaign against the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood recognition by the UN General Assembly, and he even launched a campaign for the US government to prosecute American activists onboard the 2010 Freedom Flotilla as terrorists because they delivered humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, conflating the civilian population with Hamas by citing "The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996."

On the other hand, Moskowitz’s support of extremist settlers is well documented. Think Progress reports that "Moskowitz’s and his wife’s foundations have donated more than $300,000 to the Hebron Fund," a New York based charity that supports Israeli settlements. According to the news website Salon, “tax documents show that the Hebron Fund sends money directly to its Israeli sister organization whose director and founding officers include two men convicted by the Israeli government for their roles in deadly attacks on Palestinians carried out by the Jewish Underground in the 1980s.” This includes Rabbi Dov Lior, who according to author Sefi Rachlevsky was responsible for planning terror attacks during the heyday of the Underground. Rachlevsky argues in Haaretz that Menachem Livni, a convicted killer and former head of the Underground, testified that Lior not only preached and delivered religious rulings about the need to murder Arabs, but was also involved in planning the details of particular terrorist acts, including a failed attempt to blow up six buses with the object of killing hundreds.

Moskowitz has also supported Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, who was arrested in 2010 by Israeli security forces for inciting violence after authoring a book that justifies the killing of non-Jews. Shapira claimed that killing Palestinian babies was necessary because it would be too dangerous “if they are allowed to grow into evil people like their parents.”

So Moskowitz and his foundations are arguably supporting not only the ongoing Judaization of the Occupied Territories, but also violence against Palestinians.

According to a report published by Settlements in Palestine, a research and advocacy group, the Hebron Fund is only one of many US organizations that raised $274 million in tax-exempt donations for Israel's West Bank settlements between 2002-2009. But even though these organizations are violating both international law and US foreign policy by funding illegal settlements, according to Salon the US Treasury actually "gives tax breaks to groups whose sole purpose is to raise funds for the settlements."

And on top of that, all the millions Moskowitz spends from the bingo operation are also tax exempt, which seems even more egregious considering that the co-sponsors of the new bill on Jerusalem are arguing that it should be passed because moving the embassy will save the government money. But when you actually follow the money, it just shows that any real efforts for peace in the Middle East will never be brokered by the US.

Millions mark Quds Day around globe

reposted from:

Millions of people around the world have held demonstrations to mark the International Quds Day to show support for the Palestinian resistance against Israel.

Millions of people in different countries held massive rallies on Friday in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian nation, voicing their anger at the policies of the Israeli regime and its allies and calling for the liberation of Palestine.

Quds Day is held annually on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan during which demonstrators call for the liberation of Palestine and an end to Israeli occupation.

Muslims in more than 80 countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia and Indonesia, attended Quds Day demonstrations to support the Palestinians and condemn the Israeli occupation.

In August 1979, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, declared the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month International Quds Day, a day of global solidarity with Palestine.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip, and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied in a war in 1967.

This year’s Quds Day comes on the heels of fresh US-brokered talks between Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel. The two sides held talks in Washington earlier this week and are reportedly set to resume talks by mid August.

However, many Palestinians believe the talks are doomed to failure because the Israeli regime and Washington are pushing for the Palestinians to unconditionally surrender.

Last Palestinian-Israeli talks broke down in September 2010 after Tel Aviv refused to freeze its settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.

The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.


Israeli law tears Palestinian families apart
by: Miriam Pellicano Last Modified: 19 Jul 2013 10:33 Reposted from Al Jazeera

More than 14,000 Palestinians have had their residency status revoked in East Jerusalem [Reuters]

East Jerusalem - If Tasneem, 14, a Palestinian living in East Jerusalem, could speak to the Israeli Minister of Interior, she would deliver this message: "Give us the right to be a family and give us the freedom to live. Don't imprison us."

Tasneem's family is one of thousands affected by the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which prohibits Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza from obtaining permanent or temporary resident status in East Jerusalem or Israel. The citizenship law applies to married couples even when one spouse holds Israeli residency or citizenship.

A system of "quiet deportation" of East Jerusalem families has developed as a result of the restrictive laws applied to Palestinians in the city. Between 1967 and 2011, more than 14,000 Palestinians have had their residency status revoked.

Since Israel's 1967 annexation of East Jerusalem, a move unrecognised by the international community, Palestinians have rarely been granted citizenship rights, only residency rights. Palestinians live with the threat of having their residency revoked.

As a result, a generation of Palestinian children have grown up living in uncertainty and fear. Children tell Defence for Children International Palestine, a local Palestinian child rights organisation, that they are often afraid, sad, or feel different to peers who are afforded different entitlements.

For Tasneem, the purpose of the law is clear. "It's a demographic law," she explains. "They don't want more Palestinian people in Jerusalem."

While the law was first issued as a temporary order in 2003, its enforcement has been extended several times, despite the Israeli High Court of Justice describing it as "a disproportionate violation" of the rights of Arab citizens and residents of Israel. In April this year, the Knesset approved an extension of the citizenship law bringing the prohibition on family reunification into its 11th year.

Living With Uncertainty

Parents with residency rights in Jerusalem and a Jerusalem identification card cannot automatically transfer their status to their children.

Alaa, an 11-year-old from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan, is currently in the process of applying for residency status, which his mother currently holds. He is in the middle of a lengthy and onerous application process that is required in order to register him with the Interior Ministry. It will be difficult for him to obtain Jerusalem residency status if his family fails to submit the request before his 12th birthday. If they apply after he turns 14, it will be impossible for him to receive any residency status

The convoluted nature of registration has left families with children holding various statuses. Once children turn 18, they are unable to submit an application for child registration or family reunification. This leaves females in particularly vulnerable situations, as it obligates women to live alone or apart from their families, which is contrary to the general customs and traditions of the Palestinian family.

Alaa's mother notices that as he passes through a checkpoint he sinks in his seat and gets tears in his eyes. "I'm afraid that I will be left in the West Bank while the rest of my family stays in East Jerusalem," he says.

Mohammad Shihabi is a lawyer with the Community Action Centre (CAC), which has an office to support families lodging applications for residency status in East Jerusalem.

"If children are not yet on their parent's ID card, and they are waiting on the process to obtain some kind of status, they can be subject to harassment at the checkpoints," Shihabi says.

"Registration processes can take years, and renewal of permits often requires a security check that may take anywhere from two months to one year. During this time children are particularly vulnerable."

Palestinian child prisoners 'abused'

Alaa is on alert when there is trouble in Silwan, which has a growing Jewish settler presence and where arrests of Palestinian children are common.

"I am very afraid when children are arrested," he says. "I stay inside the house when this happens and I don't move." Since he is not registered on his mother's ID, he is worried about what could happen to him.

The citizenship law has deleterious effects on children, including hampering the registration of children of Israeli residents - with a West Bank spouse - the denial of health, education and insurance services, and most importantly, the right to equality and family life.

In June 2007, HaMoked and several other human rights organisations filed a petition before the Israeli High Court of Justice challenging the citizenship law. The organisations highlighted the effect it has on children, and that the law not only separates spouses from each other, but also separates parents from their children. Ultimately, the challenge was rejected and the law was upheld.

'Prisoners in their own city'

The children have not grown used to the idea their father must stay in Eziriya, a suburb separated from Jerusalem due to the annexation. A song played on the children's channel about fathers disturbs them. "They cry when they hear the song," she says. "It is very hard on them."

"The families are under a constant state of pressure," says Rema Rezeq, a coordinator at the CAC's Women's Empowerment Unit. "Spouses don't know if their partner will be granted a permit to enter. Children become upset and distressed that their parent is separated from the family, or are sad when they see how their parents must live. They live with the constant fear that they will never see their parent again."

Since 2008, there has been an absolute prohibition of family reunification for any person from Gaza over the age of 14. This confines children to living in Gaza without one of their parents, or forces the parent to give up their entitlements in Jerusalem and move to Gaza.

There are potentially 10,000 unregistered children in East Jerusalem, which means they are exempt from a variety of social and education benefits. They are not able to obtain a driver's licence or permits, and cannot legally seek employment. They live a life in limbo, without either Jerusalem or West Bank identification. This leaves thousands of Palestinians as stateless persons. Their future and security are precarious in the city.

Sabah, 40, returned to Jerusalem three years ago after separating from her husband in the West Bank. Despite a court order that gives her custody of her children, she can only arrange entrance permits for her children to be with her and not residency status for them.

"I am afraid for their future," says Sabah. "They are high academic achievers, but cannot go to university here. If they go to a University in the West Bank, they will be away from me, and they do not want to live there alone."

Even if families are issued temporary or entrance permits, their renewal is dependent on a security check that can take anywhere from a few months to a year, which delays the reinstatement of an entrance permit. During renewal periods, entitlements are frozen for children and families, which can leave families without health, education and insurance benefits.

"It makes their future education difficult, their movement is restricted, and they cannot marry here," says Sabah. "My children feel like they are prisoners in their own city."

Repeated phone calls and emails for comment on this story to the Interior Ministry went unanswered.

Countering the 'demographic threat'

The revocation of residency rights and the exile and deportation of Palestinians in East Jerusalem is one direct measure the Israeli government implements to counter the "demographic threat" to the state of Israel.

Palestinians are at risk of losing their Jerusalem residency if they chose to go overseas to study, work or live. If residents are overseas for more than three years and are unable to prove that their centre of life is in Jerusalem or Israel, they will lose their right to renew or update their ID. Residency can also be revoked if Palestinians naturalise.

In contrast to the precarious status of Palestinians with Jerusalem residency, the Foundation for Middle East Peace reports "a large number of Israelis have dual nationality, including an estimated 500,000 Israelis holding US passports (with close to a quarter-million pending applications)."

While Palestinians navigate prohibitive and discriminatory legal and administrative systems to remain in Jerusalem, the Israeli government is financially supporting tens of thousands of immigrants to settle in Israel and illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Ministry of Immigration Absorption, through their financial assistance programs, provides generous housing, education and health incentives, as well as generous tax exemptions to assist immigrants in their settlement process.

While immigrants can take advantage of these generous and attractive incentives, Palestinians are subject to exclusion from the National Insurance Institute (NII) if they cannot comply with measures that target their status and residency rights. They can lose their social and health insurance benefits by not complying with various caveats.

"This law exists to insult the people here in Palestine," says Alaa. "Its purpose is to degrade the Palestinians."

When DCI-Palestine fieldworkers asked him about his vision for the future, he tries to remain positive. "I will get the ID," he says. "I want to finish my education and I see beautiful things in my future."

If he could speak to the Minister of Interior, Alaa says he would request one thing: "Bring my father back to my home."

EU orders member states: Exclude West Bank settlements from any future deals with Israel
Jerusalem describes move as an 'earthquake,' says will makes it impossible to sign accords with Brussels. Reposted from Haaretz | By Barak Ravid | Jul.16, 2013 | 6:29 AM

The European Union has published a binding directive to all 28 member states forbidding any funding, cooperation, awarding of scholarships, research funds or prizes to anyone residing in the Jewish settlements in theWest Bank and East Jerusalem. The regulation, which goes into effect on Friday, requires that any contract signed by an EU country with Israel include a clause stating that the settlements are not part of the State of Israel and therefore are not part of the agreement.

A senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the new ruling, which was published on June 30, as an "earthquake."

"This is the first time such an official, explicit directive has been published by the European Union bodies," the senior official said. "Until today there were understandings and quiet agreements that the Union does not work beyond the Green Line [the pre-1967-war border]; now this has become a formal, binding policy."

The official noted that the significance of the regulation is both practical and political: From now on, if the Israeli government wants to sign agreements with the European Union or one of its member states, it will have to recognize in writing that the West Bank settlements are not part of Israel.

In the Prime Minister's Office and Foreign Ministry there is great tension and anxiety over the new regulation and its implications for Israeli-EU relations. The efforts of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin to stop the move have all failed. Senior EU officials say they would like to hold talks with Israel concerning the new directive, but since it will go into effect by the end of this week, the chance of its being amended is extremely slim.

"We will have to decide what to do from this day forward," a senior Israeli official said. "We are not ready to sign on this clause in our agreements with the European Union. We can say this to the Europeans, but the result could be a halt to all cooperation in economics, science, culture, sports and academia. This would cause severe damage to Israel."

The new directive was published by the European Commission, which is the executive branch of the European Union. The ruling determines the parameters for cooperation between the Union, along with its member states, and Israeli private and governmental entities between 2014 and 2020.

The most significant part of the directive is its "territorial clause," which for the first time will appear as a binding rule on all agreements between the European Union and Israel. The new clause determines the areas in Israel that are entitled to cooperation with the Union, and those that are not. The territorial clause determines that all agreements will be valid only within Israeli borders recognized by the European Union, meaning the borders prior to the 1967 Six-Day War.

The new directive forbids any cooperation by European Union members with private or governmental bodies located beyond the Green Line. It allows cooperation with Israeli government offices in East Jerusalem, such as the Justice Ministry, but only if the activities themselves are carried out within the 1967 borders.

EU: 'Prevents boycott of Israel'

Senior European officials briefed the Israeli delegation to the European Union in Brussels about the new directive immediately after it was published, and offered to discuss how it would be implemented in pending agreements.

Thus, for example, the new regulation is already in force in negotiations between Israel and the European Union over the EuroMed Youth agreement, which deals with joint youth projects, conventions, classes and exchanges of delegations. EU negotiators told Israeli representatives that the EuroMed Youth agreement must include the 'territorial clause' spelling out that the pact can only be implemented within the Green Line.

EU officials said the new rules were drawn up as a result of the decision by European foreign ministers last December, which stated that "all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967."

The EU delegation is Israel further noted: "The guidelines are also in conformity with the EU's longstanding position that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and with the non-recognition by the EU of Israel's sovereignty over the occupied territories, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law."

The new rules are intended to prevent a boycott against Israel, and to enable Israel to cooperate in EU projects and benefit from the funding they bring, the delegation pointed out. The European Union "wants to be sure that Israel's participation is not put in question so that Israel will be in a position to make use of all possibilities offered by the new financial framework," the delegation stated.

Jerusalem protest in solidarity with Jordanian strikers as their condition worsens

July 3, 2013

The Palestine Information Centre reported that Palestinian Jerusalemite youths rallied in Bab El-Amud on July 3, in occupied Jerusalem in solidarity with Jordanian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails.

Local sources said that the young men raised the Palestinian and Jordanian flags and photos of the detained captives in addition to posters in various languages demanding their immediate release.

The committee of relatives of Jerusalemite prisoners said that the rally was in response to calls by Jerusalemite youths to stand alongside Jordanian captives especially those on hunger strike.

It said that the hunger strikers are in difficult health conditions and are subjected to Israeli occupation pressures. They have been on hunger strike for 63 days as of July 3.

Shaheen Mir'i, the brother of Jordanian hunger striker Munir Mir'i, said that the conditions of the five Jordanian hunger strikers are very serious, saying their voices have become almost inaudible.

Occupation forces Jerusalem resident to demolish his home

Sunday, 23 June 2013 / Palestine News & Info Agency - One resident of Jerusalem Saturday demolished his house with his own hands after Israel issued a demolishing order of his home which houses 8 members of his family.

Munther Hijazi, a 57 year old Jerusalemite living in al-Sa’diya neighborhood in the old city said that he demolished his 55-meter-square house after he received a demolishing order last year.

Hijazi said that he has been fighting in court for the last few years and paid fines that amount to 36,000 shekels.

Hijazi, one of the many Jerusalemites and Palestinians who are forced to demolish their homes, chose to demolish his house with his own hands to save the large sum of money he will have to pay to the Israeli Municipality to demolish his house.

He said that the cost of using a bulldozer to demolish a house is over 100,000 shekels. If he uses a bulldozer, he will have to pay in order to demolish his house.

Hijazi said that Israel has appointed a hearing in September to make sure he demolished his house. He will have to pay yet another fine if he doesn’t remove the rubble of his house.

'It’s not only a financial loss, but a psychological one,' He said.

Umm Muhammad, Hijazi's wife expressed sorrow for the demolishing of her house.

She said, "I have lived in the house for over 14 years and now we are forced to demolish it under the pretext of not having a permit. As if Israel ever agreed to issue us permits to build homes and live with dignity."

Hijazi’s child, Nadia, while crying for the loss of her home, said "Here I used to sleep with my friends. Now I don’t have a bedroom or a home."

Advisor on Jerusalem affairs to the Palestinian President’s Office, Ahmed Al-Ruweidi, said that Israel threatens to demolish about 20,000 homes in Jerusalem; 450 of which to be demolished in 2013.

He pointed out that 11 homes were demolished in the last three weeks, which sets off alarm bells.

An Insight Into Palestinian Resilience in Gaza

by SARAH MARUSEK, June 17, 2013

In the eyes of many Westerners, Gaza is a dangerous and war torn place. Even activists, including myself, often imagine Gaza primarily as a place of suffering, and one that has unfairly come to eclipse the affliction of all of Palestine. But while Israel’s wars of aggression against the people of Gaza, as well as its brutal siege, have cost many lives and inflicted countless casualties, Gaza today is a remarkably calm, protected and beautiful place where everyday lives go on, despite the continued suffering of its people. Indeed, Gaza is a place where the heart and soul flourish even if the body is ailing; where people and community are so alive and resilient that it rekindles one’s hope in humanity.

I only know this now because I traveled to Gaza earlier this month to participate in the second annual Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) on Friday, 7th June 2013, when thousands of Palestinians and international activists mobilized in peaceful demonstrations around the world to draw attention to Israel’s continued violations against Jerusalem and its people. Although Israeli police violently suppressed GMJ demonstrations in Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank, peaceful mass demonstrations did successfully take place in Gaza and the neighboring countries of Jordan and Egypt, as well as in Tunisia, Mauritania, Morocco, Yemen, Malaysia, and Turkey. In addition, there were demonstrations in solidarity with the GMJ all around the world, including several major cities across Europe and North America.

On Friday, 7th June I was fortunate enough to join Palestinians and a group of international activists in a peaceful mass rally in Beit Hanoun, the nearest point possible to Jerusalem in Gaza. Many thousands attended the rally, and during my address I promised to carry their voices back home with me to the US in order to communicate their struggle to live under the footprint of a racist occupying power that my government funds and arms. Of course, the few days I spent in Gaza are hardly enough to fulfill this promise. There are too many voices that I was not able to hear, both because there was not enough time and because of my identity as an American woman. But I am hoping that what I can offer begins to communicate the complex life stories of a people resisting against horrific injustices, while at the same time encouraging other Westerners to travel to Gaza in order to do the same.

My entry into Gaza was made possible by the Miles of Smiles convoy organized by the International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza (ICBSG). While there have been many international convoys entering Gaza in recent years, all of which bring much needed aid to the besieged people of Gaza, the Miles of Smiles convoy offers something unique by focusing on development aid. The first Miles of Smiles convoy reached Gaza in November 2009, and since then the ICBSG has successfully organized twenty additional convoys into Gaza. Our convoy included activists from Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Malaysia, South Africa, the UK, and the USA.

Miles of Smiles works closely with Partners for Peace and Development for Palestinians (PPDP) to sponsor projects that empower Palestinians to develop the means to live dignified lives on their own terms. The PPDP is a UK-based organization that works with a dedicated team of Palestinian employees and volunteers in Gaza to offer interest-free loans and small grants to Palestinians, helping them to establish family businesses and development projects. One example of this is a small bakery that we visited during the first night we spent in Gaza, which thanks to a PPDP loan generates employment for an entire family.

PPDP’s Palestinian employees and volunteers in Gaza coordinated our program, which included many different activities that allowed us access to a diverse array of Palestinian voices and experiences. For example, our second day in Gaza we met with the children and spouses of Palestinians who are currently imprisoned by the occupation authorities, often without any formal charges ever being brought against them. And even when Palestinians are tried, it is in military courts – an apartheid system of justice that separates Palestinian children from their fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters.

Earlier that day we also visited a government hospital that specializes in caring for children. We asked one of the doctors there what the needs of the hospital are, and his answer was a lack of resources – a problem that more international activists could easily help alleviate if the US and Europe did not impose such draconian penalties for working with Hamas, the ruling party of the government in Gaza that Israel and its Western allies label as a terrorist organization because of its resistance activities against the occupation. The doctor explained to us that they have many doctors, in fact too many to employ. Even during Israel’s recent war against Gaza in November of last year they had a sea of volunteers to help. However the hospital still needed equipment and medication to meet the needs of their patients. Indeed according to the human rights organization B’Tselem, Israeli forces killed 167 Palestinians during last November’s military operation, at least 87 of them civilians and more than one third under the age of 18. As we visited some of the sick children I felt so helpless and angry because as an American I am unable to contribute anything to the important work of this hospital, which saves innocent children’s lives. Fortunately, those in Arab countries are able to donate without fear of prosecution, and their contributions help keep the hospital running.

On our fourth day we visited Islamic University, the best university in Gaza (there are seven in total) and ranked among the top 250 universities around the world. Founded in 1978, the university’s campus is modern and beautiful, servicing around 20,000 students each year. The university offers many degrees across the arts and sciences, with Islamic values guiding the behavior of the students as well as the curriculum, which is in line with international scientific standards. But even this university has suffered unjustly under the occupation. During Israel’s December 2008 war against Gaza, occupation forces destroyed 74 of the university’s laboratories, as well as a library, a collective punishment against the entire population. Lest anybody think that this was collateral damage, Israel deliberately bombed the university in six separate air strikes. When I think of violent acts that would terrorize me as a teacher and a scholar, this ranks among the worst. And yet this terrorism is exactly what my government is uncritically supporting.

During our time in Gaza, we also met with Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh, and distributed aid to orphans as well as to needy families thanks to the generosity of our Libyan delegation (as well as my own friends and colleagues who kindly donated money so that I could distribute toys to children). But most of us will never really know what it is like to live under a violent occupation. What it is like to be cruelly besieged by your neighbor and demonized by Western countries for fighting back. We spoke to some graduates of Islamic University who are involved in the Gaza student community, to try and learn more about their own experiences.

One member of the convoy, an American filmmaker of Pakistani origin, remarked how surprising it was that the Palestinians working with us were not more angry. One young man responded that, in fact, they are very angry, but that they still have to live. He explained that he holds his pain and suffering deep inside himself, as do other Palestinians in Gaza. It has to be contained for fear that if expressed it could destroy their lives. And even though he spoke these words calmly and quietly, the inner anguish distorted his face and the grief filled his wide eyes. He told us that he lost seven friends in the last war against his people. On his way to sit his university exams he also saw bombs destroy the buildings around him. His exams were postponed. But what really made the suffering intolerable was getting through the cold nights during that war.

I can only conclude that this coldness is symbolic of a world where an occupying power can terrorize and ethnically cleanse a native population with impunity. Because if there were any warmth left in our hearts, then we would all be doing everything that we possibly could do to stop Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. Convoys like Miles of Smiles help, as do solidarity activities like the GMJ, but considering the extent of their suffering, the Palestinians deserve more from all of us.

Sarah Marusek earned her PhD in social science from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and is currently a traveling faculty member with SIT Study Abroad. She is also a member of the International Executive Committee of the Global March to Jerusalem.

Marching for dignity: Thousands take action against the occupation of Palestine

by SARAH MARUSEK, June 12, 2013

Gaza – 46 years ago this month, Israel seized East Jerusalem, the home of many significant holy sites for Muslims, Christians and Jews, as well as the proposed capital for any future Palestinian state. Since then, Israel has increasingly undertaken measures – the placing of restrictions on Palestinian movement, the construction of a separation wall, the confiscation of Palestinian land, and the building of Jewish-only settlements – that are threatening to push out the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem entirely.

Indeed, according to a report issued last December by the International Crisis Group, Jerusalem "no longer is the city it was" even "in 2000, when Israelis and Palestinians first negotiated its fate." And this was the case despite the fact that many countries and international institutions have frequently criticized the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, and the UN has deemed some of the above measures against international law.

In the absence of any international effort to really try to stop Israel's attempt to "change facts on the ground" in the holy city, many thousands of Palestinians mobilized on Friday, June 7 in a Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) to draw attention to the continued violations against East Jerusalem and its people. This action is part of a process of Palestinians once again increasingly mobilizing through non-violent political actions, such as the recent mass prisoner hunger strikes, weekly demonstrations against the separation wall, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

Palestinians held a peaceful mass rally in Beit Hanoun, the location closest to Jerusalem in Gaza, however Israeli police violently suppressed demonstrations in Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank. Peaceful mass demonstrations also took place in the neighboring countries of Jordan and Egypt, as well as in Tunis, Mauritania, Morocco, Yemen, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.

While the Arab media covered these events in great detail, unfortunately many Europeans and Americans will not learn about the GMJ, even though some solidarity demonstrations also took place across Europe and North America. And even if they did learn about these peaceful protests, it would probably take more – like a documentary film (and possibly even an academy award nomination) – to begin to communicate to many Europeans and most Americans the context for why these protests are happening at all, about what the Israeli occupation really means for Palestinians living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Back in 2011, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) at the UN issued a worrying report that Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem were becoming increasingly vulnerable. And two years later, the situation has deteriorated even more.

Palestinians cannot move freely in Jerusalem, or between the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Numerous checkpoints either deny them entry or delay their passage from one place to another, limiting their access to health and educational services, separating their families, and threatening their livelihoods. Indeed Palestinians from the West Bank, both Christian and Muslim alike, must have permits to even access places of worship. And Israel grants few permits, often completely denying them to men under the age of 40, as was the case during Ramadan last year, preventing many Palestinian males the freedom to pray at one of Islam's holiest sites, the Al-Aqsa Mosque. And earlier this year the PLO accused Israel of only issuing 30 to 40 per cent of the permits requested by West Bank-based Palestinian Christians hoping to spend Easter in Jerusalem. Israel's continued construction of the separation wall further limits Palestinian mobility, as well as isolates the East Jerusalem economy. A recent report by the UN blamed Israeli "segregation policies" for causing deep economic isolation, leaving more than 80 per cent of Palestinian children living in poverty.

According to the human rights organization B'Tselem, 8.5 per cent of the West Bank area (including Jerusalem) was seized during the construction of the separation wall, which began in 2002. Although the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the UN, declared in 2004 that construction of the wall must cease, and demanded that those sections located in the occupied territories be dismantled, construction of the wall continues to this day.

The Israeli authorities also regularly demolish Palestinian homes and businesses on the pretext of rules and regulations, but in reality it is extremely difficult for Palestinians to get permission to build or register anything, even when existing homes have been lived in for many years. Despite the massive need to build new homes for Palestinians, only 13 per cent of East Jerusalem is zoned for Palestinian construction, and much of this area is already built-up. Furthermore, the number of permits that Israel grants each year is well below Palestinians' extraordinarily high demand for housing.


These kinds of bureaucratic measures often reify the physical structures of occupation that isolate East Jerusalem, making life for Palestinians in the city unbearable. For example, Palestinians in East Jerusalem are defined as permanent residents, but only if they can prove that their "centre of life" lies within either West Jerusalem or Israel. And according to the OCHA report, the application process for those Palestinians who seek to unify their families is now almost impossible to successfully complete.

And then, of course, there are the illegal settlements. Over one third of the area within the extended boundary of East Jerusalem has been appropriated for settlements (remember this is in comparison to the 13 per cent approved for Palestinians). Approximately 180,000 Jewish settlers are living in settlements today, and Israel has plans to continue building settlements in East Jerusalem, despite international condemnation.

On top of all this oppression, extremist settlers regularly carry out "price tag" attacks against Palestinians, including their Christian and Islamic holy sites, supposedly in retaliation for Israeli government policies that are unpopular with the settler population. Only last Friday, settlers attacked the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem by spraying graffiti on its walls with anti-Christian slogans like "Christians are monkeys" and "Christians are slaves." Israeli police forces also continue arresting politically active Palestinians in East Jerusalem, including women and children, many of who are being held in indefinite detention without charge. Dozens have been arrested in the last month alone.

These are just some of the characteristics of occupation that Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have to endure, and help to explain why so many Palestinians symbolically marched to Jerusalem on Friday. Similar to the recent wave of Arab uprisings, this is as much about politics as about human dignity. But in this case, if change is ever to be realized, then the world has to do more than just issue statements and reports about ending the occupation of a city that is so important to our shared history that we should all be doing everything that we possibly can to ensure that Jerusalem belongs to us all.

Sarah Marusek earned her PhD in social science from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and is currently a traveling faculty member with SIT Study Abroad. She is also a member of the International Executive Committee of the Global March to Jerusalem.

Mass protest aims to focus attention on Jerusalem
Reposted from Electronic Intifada By: Joe Catron and Patrick Strickland
Global March to Jerusalem participants called for solidarity with political prisoners, an end to the occupation and for national unity. (Dylan Collins)

Activists demonstrated internationally on Friday as part of efforts to focus attention on Israel's aggression against Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Known as the Global March to Jerusalem, the protests marked the 46th anniversary of the Naksa (setback) - Israel's 1967 occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, Syria's Golan Heights, and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Whereas the Sinai was returned to Egypt in 1982, the other territories remain under Israeli occupation.

The international mobilization followed the first Global March to Jerusalem on 30 March - the date marking Land Day, commemorating Israel's killing of six Palestinian citizens in 1976 - last year.

"Clear vision"

"Gaza deserves all the support we can give," said Zaher Birawi, Global March to Jerusalem's international committee member and spokesperson. Birawi arrived in Gaza last week with the aid convoy Miles of Smiles 21's international delegation for the event. "But it should be in the context of fighting the occupation, with a clear vision toward Jerusalem."

Birawi, who is a London-based television producer from Asira al-Shamaliya in the West Bank, added, "Gaza alone is not the issue ... Jerusalem, and the whole occupation, is the issue."

While associated with Islamic movements, primarily in Palestine and other Arab countries, the event does not restrict its appeal or participation, Birawi said. Jerusalem, he said, "is not a Palestinian duty only. It is for Palestinians in a political context, maybe. But in a cultural and religious context, Palestinians are not the owners of the city. It is for all people and all religions, and should be protected by the whole world."

This year's march came amid rising tensions between Jerusalem Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces. Israeli soldiers and settlers have repeatedly invaded the al-Haram al-Sharif complex, which contains the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.

And a 4 May attack by Israeli police on worshipers celebrating Holy Saturday outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre prompted a rare public rebuke by the heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem ("A statement regarding police measures on Holy Saturday," Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, 13 May 2013).

Israel's repressive measures don't only affect Palestinians' freedom to worship in Jerusalem. Israeli evictions of Palestinians and construction of new settlements and their infrastructure, as well as economic measures targeting Palestinians, continue. "The main reason for these projects is to actually cut off Jerusalem from the West Bank and make a connection between the Maale Adumim settlement and Jerusalem," The Electronic Intifada contributor Maath Musleh said in March.

The movement urging boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel has targeted many of the companies that support Israel's occupation and settlement of Palestinian land in Jerusalem. Some, like the French corporation Veolia, have suffered painful losses as a result. Others, such as the British-Danish security company G4S, face growing campaigns.

In Jerusalem, nearly a hundred Palestinians, accompanied by a handful of international activists, assembled at the Damascus Gate in the Old City following Friday prayers last week.

"One homeland"

Although the demonstration was peaceful, a larget contingent of Israeli police quickly moved to block exits in the Damascus Gate area.

Demonstrators of all ages were draped in Palestinian flags, and chants were led by a group of older women. They called for solidarity with political prisoners, an end to the occupation and for national unity. "One homeland from Gaza to the West Bank," several chanted.

As the march began, Israeli officers on horseback cut the line in half. Dozens of police in riot gear immediately poured into the area.

Before the march could reach some 50 meters, the police officers attacked several protesters and bystanders alike. A female foreign national was snatched up, handcuffed and stuffed in the back of a police car, though it was not clear if she was part of the demonstration.

In one instance, an Israeli officer pushed a Palestinian photojournalist to the ground. Once he hit the pavement, he was kicked several times by officers until fellow journalists and demonstrators helped lift him up and drag him to safety.

Making no distinctions, officers on horses repeatedly charged in the direction of civilian bystanders, press and Palestinian medical services.

Seventeen-year-old Muath Abu Irshaid was arrested for "taking part in an unlicensed demonstration," according to Raja Eghbariya of the secular Palestinian nationalist movement Abna al-Balad, which sent a bus of participants to Jerusalem.

In the northern Gaza Strip, a large demonstration was held at the Erez checkpoint in Beit Hanoun at the boundary with Israel. Buses from as far south as Rafah - on Gaza's border with Egypt - streamed into the protest site after Friday prayers as protestors mingled on a road stretching from a stage near the closed crossing.

"The whole world must learn about the settlements in Jerusalem," said government worker Mahmoud Kamel, who attended the march with his eight-year-old son Obeida. "This is the first thing. There are no reasons for the policies against civilians in Jerusalem. And they are taking place on land that has been ours since before our grandfathers and grandmothers."

In Beit Hanoun, members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad held the majority of partisan flags and signs. Members of other factions also participated, albeit in smaller numbers.

"We want peace, freedom and security," said Mahmoud Rouka, a Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA) activist. "We want to be able to travel across our own country. The Global March to Jerusalem is a time for Palestinian people here, in the West Bank, in '48 [present-day Israel], and in other countries around Palestine to look toward Jerusalem."

Palestine Liberation Organization member parties, including Fatah, endorsed the Beit Hanoun gathering but their members kept a low profile during it. In the West Bank, Fatah-affiliated media announced and reported local events.


Organizers suggested that Fatah's increased participation this year may have stemmed from the success of last year's march, as well as expectations of large protests in Alexandria and Cairo, where Egypt's governing Muslim Brotherhood mobilized alongside the al-Asala, al-Nour, and al-Wasat political parties.

Compared to last year, the turnout was notably smaller in Jerusalem. Eghbariya said that "some activists, political parties, and even the Islamic movement [in Israel] declined to participate because of a rumor that the event was organized by Hamas and the fear that Israel would respond harshly."

Dr. Sarah Marusek, a Global March to Jerusalem international committee member and spokesperson from Brooklyn, New York, who also arrived in Gaza with Miles of Smiles 21, confirmed these concerns. "There was a lot of fear to organize in Jerusalem - it's very difficult right now, because there have been so many arrests in Jerusalem," she said. "Many of the student leaders who were working with us before are now in Israeli prison. This political situation has made it hard to mobilize."

One of the organizers of the West Bank events last year, according to Marusek, was Hassan Karajah, the 28-year-old youth coordinator of the Stop the Wall campaign who was arrested by Israel in January.

Marusek added that smaller numbers across the region stemmed from organizers' late start planning this year's events, due to the conflict in Syria.

"Daily aggression"

Tamer Khalefa, a local organizer of the Global March to Jerusalem, said the march would be staged again next year. "It's important to mark the anniversary not just because of daily aggression at al-Aqsa [mosque] but also because of the general situation in Jerusalem," he said. "This includes home demolitions, anti-Arab discrimination, land theft and all human rights violations."

Clashes between protesters and the Israeli military also occurred across the West Bank, particularly in areas near Bethlehem and Ramallah.

In Bilin, a village featured in the acclaimed 5 Broken Cameras documentary film, Palestinian, Israeli and international activists were attacked by Israeli forces who fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades near Israel’s wall in the West Bank.

In Kafr Qaddoum, situated between Nablus and Qalqilya, dozens reportedly suffered tear gas inhalation ("Clashes across West Bank as Palestinians mark war anniversary," Maan News, 7 June 2013).

Other Global March to Jerusalem events occurred in Argentina, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mauritania, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yemen, according to the march's organizers.

"Coordinating a global movement is really difficult," Marusek said. "But it's really inspiring."

Contacts established during the 2012 Global March to Jerusalem made it easier to mobilize quickly this year, she said. "This is our second GMJ, so we had already created a structure of networks and relationships. We already had key contacts in place. We have national committees in Palestine, in Gaza and the West Bank."

"We try to choose people who can work with all the parties" as local coordinators in the Middle East, she said. "It's an international movement, but it’s also very much Palestinian-led. It can be a struggle working with Europeans and North Americans who are used to working on projects that are more activist-led."

"We are a peaceful movement, and we expect Israel's response to be violent," Marusek said. "But nonviolence is the path we chose."

Joe Catron is a US activist in Gaza, Palestine. He works with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and other Palestinian groups and international solidarity networks, particularly in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions and prisoners' movements. He blogs at and can be followed on Twitter @jncatron.

Patrick O. Strickland is a freelance journalist whose writing has appeared in Al Jazeera English, Al Akhbar English, The Electronic Intifada, Middle East Monitor, Palestine Monitor, and others. Follow him on Twitter @pstrickland.

The people of the world demand the liberation of Jerusalem on Friday, 7th June 2013

Tuesday, 4 June 2013 / GMJ – The Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) is proud to announce our preliminary program for marches around the world on Friday, 7th June 2013, to mark the forty-sixth anniversary of the occupation of the eastern part of the holy city of Jerusalem, which includes the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and other sacred sites. The aim of this year’s GMJ is to raise global awareness about the continuing crimes against Palestinians in Jerusalem and the increasing violations against the holy city’s religious sites, both Christian and Muslim. This Friday, the GMJ will hold peaceful mass demonstrations in Palestine and the neighboring countries, heading towards Jerusalem or the nearest possible point, as well as in major cities around the world.

The first question we wish to address is, “why do we march?”

Over the last year in Jerusalem, we have witnessed the Occupation authorities:

  • Announcing and constructing more illegal settlements
  • Issuing and executing more demolitions of Palestinian homes and buildings
  • Carrying out more mass arrests of Palestinians, including women and children, many of whom are being held in indefinite detention without charge
  • Inciting more religious conflict by conducting regular raids of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, as well as the Haram Al-Sharif Compound
  • Issuing provocative statements threatening the sovereignty of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, as well as the Haram Sharif Compound
  • Continuing the construction of a separation wall that annexes Palestinian land, divides Palestinian communities and disrupts Jerusalem’s economy
  • We have also witnessed extremist Zionist settlers committing more hate crimes against Palestinians, including the horrific “price tag” attacks that deface Muslim and Christian religious sites, destroy Palestinian property, and raze the livelihoods of Palestinians.
  • At the same time, we have also witnessed Palestinians’ continued nonviolent resistance, including: a mass prisoner hunger strike; the erection of tent villages to protest against the building of more settlements; weekly demonstrations against the separation wall; and public campaigns demanding the right of return, an end to occupation, the boycott, divestment and sanction of apartheid institutions, and the liberation of Palestine.

    Building on this Palestinian movement of nonviolent resistance, our peaceful march will send a strong message to the Zionist Occupation to confirm the following: that we have not, and nor will we ever, forget Jerusalem and its holy sites; that we will not be silent witnesses to the brutal crimes perpetuated by the Zionist Occupation against Jerusalem and its people, which threaten the holy city’s Arab identity and its Muslim and Christian holy sites; that we are coming; and that the free people of the world are with us.

    On Friday, 7th June, the Global March to Jerusalem will hold peaceful demonstrations in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem. Tens of thousands will mobilize in the Gaza Strip, heading towards the northern border near Beit Hanoun. Mass rallies will assemble in Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania and Malaysia. Large protests will be held in Istanbul, Ankara and London, and people will gather in New York City and Vancouver.

    More demonstrations in support of the GMJ will be announced in the coming days, and we urge all freedom loving people of the world to join us to demand an end to the Zionist occupation of Jerusalem and Palestine, to protest against the apartheid policies of the Zionist state, and to call for the liberation of Jerusalem and all of Palestine.

    The International Media Committee for the Global March to Jerusalem

    Our Call to action:
    Official web site (Arabic and English):
    Main Facebook page (Arabic):
    Main Facebook page (English):
    Abbas Warns Israel Over Al-Aqsa Mosque
    By Elad Benari Reposted from Arutz Sheva 5/13/2013

    The Palestinian Authority on Sunday sent a warning to Israel, over what it calls its attempts to harm the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

    Speaking during a meeting of the PLO's Executive Committee, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that it is impossible to hold back in the wake of what he called the attacks by Israel on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and PA Arabs in Judea and Samaria, in particular by local Jewish residents.

    "We cannot remain silent over such actions, nor can we accept their recurrence," Abbas said. "If Israel is dreaming about establishing facts on the ground through its daily attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, then it is deluded."

    He added, "Eastern Jerusalem is our capital city, Al-Aqsa belongs to us, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre belongs to us, and we will not accept [the Israelis’] harassment.”

    Arabs continuously accuse Israel of "Judaizing" the Temple Mount, sometimes resorting to ridiculous propaganda such as accusing Israel of using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse.

    At the same time the Waqf, which was left in charge of the Temple Mount after Israel liberated it during the 1967 Six Day War, consistently destroys Jewish antiquities on the compound in a direct violation of a ruling by the Supreme Court.

    The Waqf has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the site. At the entrance to the Temple Mount, a Waqf sign says, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard and everything in it is Islamic property.”

    Israeli Police, in an attempt to appease the Waqf, discriminate against Jews. They limit the number of Jewish worshippers allowed on the Temple Mount at one time in order to prevent conflict with Muslim worshippers. They often close the Mount to Jews in response to Muslim riots – despite evidence that Muslim riots have been planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.

    Last week, Israeli police questioned and released Jerusalem's most senior Muslim cleric, Mufti Mohammed Hossein, for suspected involvement in throwing chairs at a group of Jews on the Temple Mount.

    The United States subsequently called for both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to exercise restraint over the tensions at the compound.

    Israel detains Grand Mufti of Jerusalem
    Reposted from Al Jazeera 08 May 2013

    Israeli police have detained the top Muslim cleric in the Palestinian territories and are questioning him over the latest disturbances at a Jerusalem shrine.

    Mohammed Ahmad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, was taken from his home by detectives and was being questioned at a police station "on suspicion of involvement in a disturbance that took place yesterday [Tuesday] on Temple Mount," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

    "Some chairs were thrown at a group of Jews on the Temple Mount," which Muslims refer to as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, Rosenfeld said of the previous day's incident.

    On Tuesday, approximately 40 Israeli settlers who were on a tour and were being escorted by Israeli police entered the al-Aqsa Mosque area, according to local media reports.

    Israeli police had set up checkpoints and prevented Palestinians from entering to pray.


    Jordan's parliament voted unanimously on a memorandum to expel the Israeli ambassador from Amman, while also demanding the Jordanian ambassador in Tel Aviv be recalled, in response to the detention of the mufti, according to Jordan's Petra News Agency.

    The House of Representatives voted to "demand the government request the Israeli ambassador in Amman to leave the Kingdom in response to the actions of the Israeli occupation against the al-Aqsa Mosque."

    Jordan is also the Arab patron of Occupied Jerusalem.

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "condemned the occupying Israeli authorities' detention of Jerusalem mufti Mohammed Hussein," his office said in a statement.

    Abbas "demanded the Israeli government release the mufti immediately, and said the arrest represents an audacious challenge to freedom of worship".

    Rosenfeld would not elaborate on what the mufti's alleged involvement in the incident was, saying the cleric could be released later. Senior clerics are rarely detained in Jerusalem.

    Hussein's detention comes on Jerusalem Day, when Israel marks the "reunification" of the city after it captured the Arab eastern sector from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War.

    The contested site, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is built above the ruins of the biblical Jewish Temples, is one of the region's most sensitive and its fate is at the heart of the conflict.

    Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad was transported from the sacred mosque in Mecca to Al-Aqsa during his Night Journey.

    Israeli steps to quell Palestinian disturbances there have led to riots in the past.

    Mayor wants 'sole Jewish rule' in Jerusalem
    JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's mayor of Jerusalem said Tuesday that Palestinians will never have sovereignty in the Holy City, suggesting that they rename Ramallah as "northern Jerusalem" instead.

    Speaking to The Times of Israel news site, Nir Barkat said it was in Jerusalem's DNA to be under "sole Jewish rule" and pressure from the international community to stop building on occupied territory was "illegal." "The answer is no separation of the city … If the world pushes us there, it’s just a matter of time before things will fall apart," Barkat told the Times on the eve of Jerusalem Day, a controversial national holiday celebrating what Israelis call the "reunification" of the city. The international community views Palestinian East Jerusalem to be under occupation.

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat arrive at a special cabinet meeting marking Jerusalem Day at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem May 20, 2012. (Reuters/Abir Sultan/Pool)

    Barkat said it was "ridiculous" that Jews were not allowed to pray in the highly sensitive Al-Aqsa compound and added that he was uncomfortable with the status quo on the issue. There are around 360,882 Palestinians in Jerusalem, or 38 percent of the city's population, and East Jerusalem is widely viewed as the future capital of a Palestinian state. Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 and formally annexed the area in 1980 after passing the 'Jerusalem Law' in a move never recognized by the international community. Finding themselves involuntarily under Israeli control, Israeli rights group ACRI says Palestinians in Jerusalem do not play any part in policy-making in the city, even though Israeli authorities have an obligation to uphold their rights. Once a center for Palestinian political, economic, religious and cultural life, the "effects of annexation, neglect, rights violations, and the completion of the Separation Barrier have led to an unprecedented deterioration in the conditions" of East Jerusalem, ACRI says.

    Israeli court orders demolition of part of mosque in Jerusalem
    RAMALLAH (Ma'an) May 5th, 2013 -- An Israeli court has rejected an appeal to stop the demolition of part of a mosque in Ras al-Amoud in East Jersualem, the mosque's imam says. The court in Jerusalem ruled that a section of Muhammad Al-Fatih Mosque was built without a license and must be demolished, Sheikh Sabri Abu Diab told Ma'an. The imam said the section under threat is used by female worshipers. The 70-square-meter section was built in 2009 to increase the mosque's capacity, particularly on Fridays, the Muslim day of worship, as thousands of people who are denied access to Al-Aqsa Mosque pray in Ras al-Amoud instead, Abu Diab said. Engineers and lawyers tried to get a license for the additional section but Israeli authorities refused, he added. A Jerusalem court first ordered the demolition of the section in 2012, but the decision was appealed. The latest decision cannot be appealed, but Palestinian members of Israel's Knesset Ibrahim Sarsour, Masoud Ghanayim and Talab Abu Arar have said they will try to stop the demolition. The rest of the mosque was built in 1964 on land owned by the endowment foundation. "It was built before the annexation of Jerusalem," the sheikh said.
    Israel bulldozes 4 apartments in East Jerusalem

    JERUSALEM (Ma'an) 29/04/2013 -- Israel razed four apartments on Monday in the al-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem, in spite of several attempts to revoke the demolition order, owners said.

    Israeli authorities evicted 24 Gaith family members -- including five children and an elderly woman -- from the apartments ahead of the demolition, Rushi Ghaith, one of the owners, told Ma'an.

    The apartments were scheduled for demolition in December but the family secured a court-ordered injunction to stop it from going ahead until September, Ghaith said.

    The Ghaith family lawyer said they had successfully stalled attempts to raze the apartments since September 2004, when Israeli authorities handed down the demolition notice because the home was built without a licensing permit. The family's case to reverse the demolition order is ongoing.

    Ghaith said the family has been fined 88,000 Israeli shekels since the case began.

    Two of the family members have been diagnosed with cancer, including one of the owners, he added.

    Local field researcher Ahmad Sub Laban said Israel has earmarked the area for the construction of an illegal outpost called National Park 11092 A.

    "This project confiscates 740 dunams of Issawiyah lands and al-Tur lands. According to Israeli law, no construction is permitted on these lands," he said.

    The plan was frozen after international condemnation, he said, and is awaiting re-approval from the Israeli government.

    According to the UN, 33 percent of all Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem lack Israeli-issued building permits, which are difficult to obtain, potentially placing at least 93,100 residents at risk of displacement. Since 1967, the Israeli authorities have demolished some 2,000 houses in East Jerusalem.

    Settlers Burn Cars, Home, Trees In Jerusalem
    Sunday April 28, 2013 by IMEMC & Agencies

    A group of extremist settlers torched, late on Saturday at night April 27, nine cars that belong to the United Nations in its headquarters in Jabal Al-Mokabbir, south of occupied East Jerusalem. The settlers also burnt a Palestinian car, a home and trees in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the city, several injuries have been reported.

    Maale Adumim Settlement - IMEMC

    Maale Adumim Settlement - IMEMC

    Resident Mahmoud Al-Maghrebi, told the Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) that armed extremist settlers burnt his car in Sheikh Jarrah, and also burnt a home that belongs to one of his relatives leading to excessive damage, and three injuries.

    He added that a 65-year-old woman and two young men suffocated after inhaling smoke resulting from the fires, and were moved to a local hospital.

    Al-Maghrebi further stated that the settlers torched gardens that belong to the Al- Maghrebi, Ja’ouni and Al-Khatib families, and that the police did not open an investigation after claiming that they have to wait for the report of the Israeli Civil Defense teams “to determine the causes of the fires”, WAFA reported.

    Maisa Abu Ghazala of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center quoted UN sources in Jerusalem stating nine of the UN cars have been burnt, and that the UN refrained from revealing any further information.

    Extremist Israeli settlers in occupied Palestine are responsible for hundreds of similar attacks, in addition to other attacks targeting Muslim and Christian holy sites, graveyards, and Palestinian orchards.

    Palestinian prisoner in deal with Israel to end fast
    Originally posted by Reuters Palestinian protesters hold placards during a demonstration in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Samer al-Issawi, outside Kaplan hospital in Rehovot near Tel Aviv April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - A Palestinian prisoner held by Israel has agreed to end an on-off hunger strike on Monday which lasted for more than eight months in exchange for an early release, Palestinian officials told Reuters.

    The fast by Samer al-Issawi, 32, from a suburb of Jerusalem, had stoked weeks of street protests and concerns by Israel that his death might lead to mass unrest.

    Issawi agreed on a deal brokered by Israeli and Palestinian officials to serve eight months for allegedly violating bail conditions for an earlier release, after which he will be freed to his Jerusalem home, Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian prisoner organization, told Reuters.

    Issawi's lawyer and sister conveyed the offer just before midnight to his bedside in Israel's Kaplan hospital, where he had been under Israeli guard and receiving intravenous vitamins but was refusing food.

    Israel convicted Issawi of opening fire on an Israeli bus in 2002, but released him in 2011 along with more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier held hostage by the Hamas Islamist group in Gaza.

    He was re-arrested last July after Israel said he violated the terms of his release by crossing from his native East Jerusalem to the West Bank, both majority-Palestinian areas, and ordered him to stay in jail until 2029 - his original sentence.

    An Israeli official told Reuters last week that Issawi had crossed into the West Bank as part of "continued involvement in attempting to establish terror cells."

    Monday's deal dispenses with conspiracy charges and will see Issawi serve eight months for leaving Jerusalem - a decision Palestinian officials say will likely be endorsed by an Israeli military court on Tuesday.

    Both Palestinian and Israeli officials have visited Issawi frequently in recent weeks to reach a compromise and pre-empt the violence his death could provoke.

    The Palestinian Authority, based in Ramallah, has said it will try to prevent any mass uprising against Israel and has renounced violence in its quest for statehood.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is keen to give U.S. President Barack Obama a chance to renew stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks after his visit to the region last month.

    Israel holds some 4,800 Palestinians it accuses of committing or planning violence against it. 207 Palestinian security prisoners have died in Israeli jails since 1948, Palestinian officials say.

    (Reporting By Ali Sawafta; Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Michael Roddy)

    Occupation forces suppress peaceful march commemorating the Nakba in Jerusalem
    Wednesday, 17 April 2013 / Occupied Palestine

    Israeli occupation forces (IOF) suppressed on Tuesday a Palestinian peaceful march in the occupied city of Jerusalem to commemorate the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Nakba.

    Jerusalemite sources reported that Israeli soldiers and policemen attacked a peaceful march launched on Tuesday from the Salah al-Din Street, east of Jerusalem, to commemorate the Nakba anniversary with the participation of dozens of Jerusalemite youths who chanted slogans against the occupation.

    The occupation military forces dispersed the masses of marchers and arrested five of them. Three of the detainees were subsequently released, while the Israeli forces extended the detention of two others pending further investigation.

    The occupied city of Jerusalem has been witnessing security tension that has recently increased after large groups of Jewish settlers announced that they will organize a series of raids into Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Talmudic prayers in its courtyards.

    Zionists tour al-Aqsa Mosque compound
    Wednesday, 17 April 2013 / Ma’an News Agency

    Around 60 right-wing Israelis raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Moroccan Gate early Tuesday, witnesses said.

    Israeli security officers escorted groups of Israeli extremists who toured the compound before leaving through the Chain Gate.

    Worshipers who were performing prayers at the time chanted Allah Akbar in protest at the visit.

    Meanwhile, Israeli police detained five Palestinians putting up Palestinian flags on Salah Addin street, a Ma’an reporter said.

    The flag-raising was in response to Israelis putting up Israeli flags across Jerusalem for Israeli Independence Day.

    Settlers carry out provocative acts in Occupied Jerusalem
    Tuesday, 16 April 2013 / Kuwait News Agency

    Israeli settlers carried out a series of provocative acts in occupied Jerusalem late last night, local media reported Tuesday.

    Local radio stations reported early this morning that large numbers of Israeli settlers arrived in Occupied Jerusalem, as part of Israeli celebrations of “Liberation day”, and carried out provocative acts against Palestinians in the area, in addition to destroying a Palestinian store in the old town.

    Eyewitnesses stated that the Israeli police in Jerusalem did not arrest the settlers and troublemakers.

    Jewish extremist groups are scheduled to walk in a demonstration starting in front of the Israeli Prime Minister’s home in Jerusalem reaching the Al-Aqsa Mosque later today. This coincides with Palestinian marches, marking the 65th anniversary of “Al-Nakba”.

    The Jewish extremists are demanding full Israeli sovereignty on Al-Aqsa Mosque and permission for Jews to carry out their religious rituals within its grounds.

    The Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) to take place on 7th June 2013
    Press Statement

    The International Executive Committee of the Global March to Jerusalem announces this year’s March to take place across the globe on Friday 7th June 2013. This date coincides with the 46th anniversary of the occupation of the eastern part of the Holy City, which is home to the al-Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and other sacred sites.

    The GMJ international leadership has confirmed that it is being organised in response to the continued Zionist occupation of the Holy City, its persistent violations against the city and its indigenous Arab inhabitants – both Christian and Muslim, and its continued racist practices which are incompatible with UN resolutions, international law and international humanitarian law. This requires the initiative of all popular forces across the globe in organising anti-occupation activities, and also requires that all lovers of peace and freedom stand against the policies of the systematic and racist Judaisation of the Holy City.

    Popular organisations, supporters of the Palestine Cause and lovers of world peace across the globe must not stand silently and idly by and watch as the city of peace is transformed into a den of Zionist racism. They must not stand by as the worst Zionist crimes are committed against it, its people and the holy sites within it in full sight and hearing of the world community, as well as international organisations, which fail to lift a finger when it comes to the occupying state – a country which enjoys the absolute support of the world’s colonial powers, particularly the United States.

    As such, organisers of the GMJ intend to make it an annual occasion to mobilise popular efforts and energies toward exposing the racist character of the occupying state of Israel, and to demand the liberation of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine from occupation. They derive their motto “the peoples of the world demand the liberation of Jerusalem” from the spirit of the Arab Spring revolutions, which confirm that the will of the people is invincible.

    This peaceful world march and the activities that accompany it will clearly emphasise that the peoples of the world, and all those who love peace, freedom and justice stand as a single unit in opposition to apartheid policies: the expulsion of the Jerusalemite population; the construction of the Wall and settlements; the Judaisation of the Holy City and the transformation of its identity; and the threat of demolishing or expropriating its sanctuaries.

    Massive marches will be organized in Palestine and surrounding countries towards Jerusalem or the nearest point possible to it according to the circumstances of each country, and through coordination between all groups and institutions of civil society taking part in the march.

    Mass demonstrations and large rallies will be organised in the main public squares in the big cities of the world. Protests also will be organised in front of Israeli embassies in the capitals of different countries across the world to demand an end to the occupation of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestinian land.

    The International Executive Committee for the March London-April 13th 2013

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ For further information, please call the spokesman for the GMJ, Mr. Zaher Birawi on mobile number 00447850896057 or via e-mail:

    IJC warns the Occupation plans to build Talmudic garden near Al-Aqsa

    Monday, 8 April 2013 / Occupied Palestine – The International Jerusalem Center warned of Israeli intentions to establish a Talmudic garden on confiscated Jerusalemite lands near Al-Aqsa Mosque from the eastern side.

    The Center said that the occupation authorities decided to build a Talmudic garden, a garbage dump and an infrastructure network over an area of more than 1,232 dunums of confiscated Jerusalemite land, owned by citizens in the towns of Issawiya, Tur and Anata.

    It stressed in a press statement on Sunday that in case of the implementation of such a serious settlement plan, these Jerusalemite towns will be deprived of urban expansion, isolated from their Arab surrounding, and exposed to more restrictions.

    The IJC warned that the plan comes within the framework of a larger settlement scheme that aim to connect Maale Adumim – one of the largest settlements in the West Bank – with a number of smaller settlements in the vicinity of the Old City.

    It also asserted that the occupation wants to isolate and besiege the Jerusalemite towns of Issawiya, Tur and Anata, in preparation to displace the population, and besiege the rest of the eastern side of Jerusalem.

    The IJC urged the Palestinian leadership to move in order to stop these Israeli schemes, based on the international resolutions that consider Jerusalem an occupied land, especially after Palestine obtained the status of non-member observer state at the United Nations.

    It also called for resorting to the International Criminal Court to stop the Israeli occupation authorities’ schemes against Jerusalem and its residents.
    Abbas suspends ICC Jerusalem complaint

    Sunday, April 7 2013 / By Anne Gearan, The Washington Post – Beginning a tentative round of Middle East shuttle diplomacy, Secretary of State John F. Kerry is asking for small concessions from both Israel and the Palestinians to smooth the way for new talks, U.S. and other officials said Sunday.
    Kerry first visited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has resisted new talks for most of the past four years. His government had sought to file a complaint with the International Criminal Court against Israel over home building in Jerusalem but put the plan on hold shortly before Kerry arrived.
    Kerry was expected to ask Abbas to drop or suspend the complaint as a way to build confidence among Israeli leaders that talks can be fruitful, Arab officials said.


    Palestinian prisoners go on hunger strike en masse to protest inmate’s death

    Thursday, 4 April 2013 / By Arthur Bright, The Christian Science Monitor – Thousands of Palestinian prisoners began a planned three-day hunger strike this morning in protest of the death of a Palestinian inmate who died of cancer yesterday, while in Israeli custody.

    The Palestine News Network writes that some 4,500 Palestinian prisoners sent back their food this morning as part of a protest over the death of Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh, a 64-year-old Hamas member who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in February. The Palestinian establishment widely blames his death, the cause of which has not yet been conclusively determined, on Israel for failing to provide him with adequate care, reports Haaretz.

    “The Israeli refusal to address our appeals to release [Abu Hamdiyeh] led to a deterioration in his condition,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said. “We turned to many countries and to the international community to act on behalf of the Palestinian prisoners but Israel did not sway from its position.”

    The Palestinian Prisoners’ Committee also accused Israeli authorities of intentionally and negligently delaying treatment for Abu Hamdiyeh.

    But Israel’s Prison Service said that it had done all it could for Abu Hamdiyeh since he was diagnosed in February, including transferring him to the Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba and beginning the process to grant him an early release, the Jerusalem Post reports.

    “The [release] board held one discussion on the matter and was supposed to hold another one this week,” said Gondar Nasim Sabiti, a Prisons Service district commander.

    The Christian Science Monitor reports from Gaza that Abu Hamdiyeh’s death also spurred a rare public protest in Gaza by Hamas’s armed wing, which has been keeping a low profile.

    Supporters gathered at a local mosque at dusk, armed gunmen from the Qassam Brigades spilling out of at least five pick-up trucks to kick off the march in a rare public appearance since the November cease-fire.

    They were followed by several thousand supporters on foot, from elderly men limping along to bands of rowdy children. With the death of Hamdiyeh and [Arafat Jaradat, a prisoner who died last month – allegedly due to Israeli torture, according to Palestinians] and several prominent Palestinian prisoners on very prolonged hunger strikes, the prisoner issue has garnered the attention of both Fatah and Hamas officials in recent months.

    Supporters of both factions are particularly irritated that Israel has rearrested prisoners like Jaradat who were released as part of the prisoner swap to secure the release in 2011 of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped and held in Gaza for several years.

    The Ma’an News Agency adds that Hebron and East Jerusalem “shut down” as part of a general strike in mourning of his death.

    Abu Hamdiyeh had been serving a life sentence after being convicted of several crimes, including attempted murder in connection with a 2002 bombing plot. An autopsy is scheduled for today, and his funeral is set to take place tomorrow. The prison protests come amid signs that the November ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is weakening. Yesterday and today, there was an exchange of fire between Israel and Gaza, as Israeli warplanes carried out an airstrike in northern Gaza and several Palestinian rockets were fired, hitting near Sderot, in response. No injuries were reported from either attack, reports CBS News.

    The Proliferation of Stealth Settlements in Jerusalem

    By Jodi Rudoren, The New York Times – The Muslim call to prayer resounds through the traffic circle in the Palestinian enclave of Ras al-Amud, through the taxi stand where waiting drivers sip sweet coffee and the vegetable market where boys help their fathers after school. It can also be heard down the street in Maalot David, where a few Jewish families have quietly taken up residence in newly renovated apartments with prime views of Jerusalem’s Old City.

    Maalot David is not a typical Israeli settlement, a planned community in the hills, surrounded by gates and guards, where Jews live separate and apart from nearby Palestinian villages. It is a new apartment block sandwiched into the very fabric of Arab East Jerusalem, a construction many say fundamentally undermines the idea that the area could ever serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.



    Palestinians Blocked from al-Aqsa for Friday Prayers

    Ahram Online – Israeli police forces announced restrictions on Muslim Palestinians who seek to enter Al-Aqsa mosque for Friday prayers, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper reported Friday.

    The newspaper stated that intelligence information, which reveals that Palestinians might seek to commit “riot acts”, came behind such decision.

    The order allows only Palestinians carrying Israeli identity cards and above 50 years old to enter the mosque. Palestinians who cannot meet these criteria are banned to pray in the mosque, with an exception granted to women.



    Occupation Forces Arresting Children to Prevent Third Intifada

    By Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse – Most are ripped from their beds in the middle of the night. Others are taken while playing in the street, or leaving school. Many are blindfolded and shackled on their way to interrogation, which lasts for several hours at a time, all without a lawyer or family member present. Many are beaten, verbally abused, and pressured to sign confessions for crimes they didn’t commit.

    The experience of Israeli arrest, interrogation and detention causes severe psychological damage, and leaves lasting scars on Palestinian detainees, their families and communities. It is especially traumatic, however, for the over 7,500 Palestinian children under the age of 18 that have been arrested by the Israeli authorities since 2000.



    Al Aqsa Mosque's Displaced Worshippers

    by Anna Lekas, Daily Beast – Monday night, a march of extremist Israeli settlers took over the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, filling the streets with Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers enforcing a strictly “Jews only” policy on the streets of the Muslim Quarter that put the nearly 30,000 Palestinian residents of the Muslim Quarter under curfew until the march was over.

    This follows a week of attacks of this nature on Al-Aqsa Mosque—the third most holy site in Islam just a few meters away from the Dome of the Rock, the iconic golden crowning glory of Jerusalem.



    News Black-Out and Political Farce Over Jerusalem Clashes

    By Dr. Daud Abdullah, Middle East Monitor –  Despite their ferocity, last Friday’s clashes in the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa failed to make international headlines. The virtual news black-out was indicative of prevailing attitudes towards Jerusalem as a whole. Palestinian officials argue, and rightly so, that even the Arab media is complicit in this neglect. With every outrage committed in Al-Aqsa Mosque tensions rise to boiling point, evoking memories of September 2000 when Ariel Sharon ignited the second intifada with his provocative incursion into the Mosque compound.



    Palestinians in Gaza March to Denounce Attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque

    Aletejah TV – Massive crowds of Palestinians held a rally in Gaza City on Friday to denounce Israeli settler attacks against holy sites in Jerusalem and to call for a serious mobilization to save the Holy City.



    Video of IOF Storming al-Aqsa Mosque

    GMJ – On Friday, International Women’s Day, Israeli Occupation Forces stormed al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, attacking both male and female worshippers.



    Police Enter Jerusalem Holy Site and Disperse Palestinian Protesters

    Reuters – Israeli police fired stun grenades to disperse Palestinian worshippers who had thrown rocks and firebombs at them after Friday prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, police said.

    Dozens of officers entered the politically sensitive area, one of Islam’s holiest sites to break up several hundred protesters.



    Occupation Army Attacks Student Solidarity Vigil in Jerusalem

    By Saed Bannoura, IMEMC & Agencies – Dozens of Israeli soldiers and police officers, attacked on Wednesday evening, Palestinian students at the Hebrew University, near Al-Esawiyya town, in occupied East Jerusalem, as they were holding a vigil in support of Palestinian detainees holding hunger strike in Israeli prisons. Three students have been kidnapped.



    Occupation Forces Palestinian to Demolish His Own Home

    Middle East Monitor – Israel’s Municipality of Jerusalem has forced a Palestinian citizen to demolish his own home which was located in the Occupied Old City of Jerusalem.

    The demolition order against the home was issued by an Israeli court on the grounds that that building had been constructed without a permit.



    Two Women Assaulted in Jerusalem Hate Crime

    Two female teachers on their way to a shiva in Jerusalem were assaulted by haredi youths who pelted their car with stones and shattered one of its windows.One assailant was identified by one of the teachers and was promptly arrested. Later, the two were attacked again when the tires on their car had been punctured.



    "Youth Against Settlements" Launch Campaign in Jerusalem

    By Badia Dwaik – The group “Youth Against Settlements,” which protests against the situation in Hebron including the closure, destruction and curfew in Shuhada Street, has started a campaign to hang up hundreds of posters with the Open Shuhada Street logo all around Jerusalem, including the Western Wall and Israeli Government offices.



    Soldiers Assault Palestinians, Remove Woman's Veil at al-Aqsa Mosque

    PNN – On Wednesday 6th March, Al-Aqsa Association for Waqf and Heritage said in a press statement that Israeli settlers and soldiers stormed al-Aqsa mosque and assaulted several Palestinian worshipers in clashes erupted at the mosque’s courtyards.



    Raed Salah to Obama: Don't Visit al-Aqsa Mosque

    By Hassan Shaalan, Yediot Ahronot – Two weeks before Barack Obama’s expected arrival in Israel, Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch, warned of the possible implications of the president’s visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

    Dozens of the movement’s supporters demonstrated outside the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and called on Obama to avoid entering the Temple Mount with an Israeli escort.



    MK Attempts to Enter Dome of the Rock

    By Patrick O. Strickland, Bikya News – Israeli MK Moshe Feiglin was removed from the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem, reports Israeli daily Jerusalem Post. Following his attempt to enter the Dome of the Rock, Israeli police had to remove him from the site and it was closed off to visitors.

    Feiglin is a member of the right-wing Likud-Beitenu party. In the past, he has supported a call for the expulsion of the Palestinian citizens of Israel who do not sufficiently prove their loyalty to Israel. In November 2012, he authored a political platform that called for Israel to “restore…complete sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount,” where the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located.



    Soldier Desecrates Quran in al-Aqsa Mosque

    Ahram Online – An Israeli officer attacked Palestinian female students inside Al-Aqsa Mosque and desecrated a copy of the Holy Quran, according to Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage.

    “One of the Israeli officers located inside the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque attacked two students from a girls’ school near Buraq Mosque next to the Mughrabi Gate,” the media department chief at the Foundation Mahmoud Abu Atta said.



    Jerusalem 'Price Tag' Cases Doubled in 2012

    By Adiv Sterman, The Times of Israel – Fifty-six “price tag” attacks against Palestinians occurred in Jerusalem and the surrounding area over the past year, police reported Sunday, but charges have yet to be filed against a single suspect in any of the incidents.

    According to the report, in only 12 of the incidents were suspects detained.

    The number of incidents marks a 100 percent rise since 2011, when 28 cases were recorded, police said.



    Palestinians Protest Against Apartheid Marathon in Jerusalem

    Press TV – Palestinians held a bike-racing event in the West Bank in protest against an Israeli marathon being held in Jerusalem-al Quds.

    The planning committee organized the event to ride from al Azarya to Jericho. The ride was planned along the Israeli settler route from coupsa to Ma’ale Adumim, which has been closed off to Palestinians.

    A further action was held in Jerusalem al Quds to counter the Israeli marathon. The youth in the demonstration handed out papers to participants in the marathon to portray Tel Aviv’s human rights abuses and Israeli policies such as settlement expansion in the West Bank.



    Extremists Attack Palestinian Woman And Rip Off Her Hijab

    Al-Akhbar – A Palestinian woman waiting at a light rail station in Jerusalem on Monday was attacked and stripped of her headscarf by religious Jewish women, Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv reported Tuesday.

    According to bystanders, a young Jewish woman punched the Palestinian suddenly as she was passing by the station. A friend of the assailant began aiding her in beating the Palestinian, pushing her against the wall, and ultimately ripping off her headscarf.



    EU Report Slams Settlements, Calls For Economic Sanctions

    RT – An internal report by the European Union has come down hard on Israel’s decision to continue settlement construction in occupied East Jerusalem, threatening to end economic projects that involve the Jewish settlements.

    The harshly worded 15-page report provides recommendations to the 27 member-states for responding to Israel’s activities in the occupied territories – which the document described as “systematic, deliberate and provocative” – and endorses a strategy that aims at “making it impossible for Jerusalem to become the capital of two states.”



    New Protest Tent Challenging Evictions in East Jerusalem

    By Andrew Beale, The Electronic Intifada – On 8 February, a tent was set up in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem to protest against the evictions being undertaken by Israel.

    Erecting such tents is a currently popular tactic in the Palestinians’ struggle against occupation and apartheid. In the last six weeks, at least five “tent cities” have gone up in the West Bank, including Bab al-Shams, erected in opposition to plans to develop Israeli settlements in the “E-1” area between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Maale Adumim.



    Occupation Attacks and Kidnaps Palestinians in Jerusalem

    By Saed Bannoura, IMEMC News – The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf (Endowment) and Heritage, reported that dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded the yards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem, violently attacked several Palestinian youths, and kidnapped four.



    Occupation Announces Confiscating Lands in Jerusalem

    (PIC)-- Civic Coalition for Defending the Palestinians' Rights in Jerusalem warned of the occupation authorities' intention to confiscate lands and expand settlements, within the policies of judaizing Jerusalem.

    According to a statement issued by the coalition on Saturday, Israel Land Administration (ILA) announced its intention to confiscate lands for settlement expansion, including the land on which the Cliff hotel is build; an area of ​​2975 square meters.



    Video Captures IOF Storming Al-Aqsa Mosque

    GMJ – On Friday, Israeli Occupation Forces attacked Palestinians rallying in support of hunger striking prisoners at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.



    Palestinians Protest as Hunger Strikers in Hospital

    Palestinians demanding the release of hunger-striking prisoners clashed with Israelis in the West Bank and east Jerusalem on Friday, as three fasting inmates were taken to hospitals.

    Around 2,000 Palestinians marched in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, while protesting worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem threw stones at police, a police spokesman told AFP.



    Occupation Court Defers Release of Hunger Striker

    Al Jazeera – Palestinian hunger striker Samer Issawi has appeared in an Israeli court, where his lawyers attempted to get him released on bail, as hundreds protest across the West Bank.

    Gaunt and wheelchair-bound, Issawi appeared on Tuesday before a Jerusalem civil court, which deferred releasing him for at least another month.



    House Demolition in Jerusalem Neighbourhood

    Palestine News Network – On Monday 18th February, the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem demolished a house belonging to the Palestinian family, Abu Safa, in Beit Hanina, a neighborhood north of Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without an authorization.



    Message from Samer el Issawi, Day 209 Hunger Strike

    "I turn with admiration to the masses of our heroic Palestinian people, to our Palestinian leadership, to all forces, parties and national institutions. I salute them for standing by our fight to defend our right to freedom and dignity.

    I draw my strength from my people, from all the free people in the world, from friends and the families of the prisoners who continue day and night chanting for freedom and an end to the occupation.

    My health has deteriorated dramatically and I’m hung between life and death. My weak body is collapsing but still able to be patient and continue the confrontation. My message is that I will continue until the end, until the last drop of water in my body, until martyrdom. Martyrdom is an honor for me in this battle. My martyrdom is my remaining bomb in the confrontation with the tyrants and the jailers, in the face of the racist policy of the occupation that humiliates our people and exercises against us all means of oppression and repression.


    Seven Palestinians Kidnapped in Jerusalem

    IMEMC & Agencies – Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Friday evening, seven Palestinians during clashes that took place after the army invaded Be’er Ayyoub neighborhood, in Silwan, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

    Local sources reported that the army broke into and searched several homes that belong to the Al-Rweidy, Al-Rajaby, and Shweiky families, and attacked three women of Al-Rweidy family causing minor injuries and panic among the children.

    The sources said that the kidnapped residents have been identified as Ahmad Rweidy, 19, his brothers Khader, 28, and Kanaan, 26, their relative Haider Rweidy, 35, Younis Shweiky, Ziad Al-Rajaby, and Mohammad Al-Rajaby.



    Oscar Nominated Film Exposes the 1980 Plot to Destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque

    CNN – Six former heads of Israel’s internal security service speak out about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.



    Extremists Vandalise Muslim Cemetery in Jerusalem

    Agence France Presse – Suspected Jewish extremists scrawled anti-Arab graffiti on the headstones in an ancient Muslim cemetery in west Jerusalem, police and witnesses told AFP on Thursday.

    “The words ‘price tag’ and Stars of David were scrawled on around a dozen tombs in the Muslim cemetery in Mamilla in central Jerusalem,” a police spokeswoman told AFP, saying an inquiry had been opened.
    An AFP correspondent at the scene said the vandals had also written “Mohammed is dead” and “Maale Rehavam” on the tombs some of which date back to the 12th century.



    Palestinians Protest New Apartheid Road Dividing East Jerusalem Village

    By Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, Al-Monitor – Shouting “No, no, no to Road 4” and walking hand in hand, hundreds of Palestinian children, men and women poured into a fenced-in Israeli construction site in Beit Safafa Sunday, Feb. 10 in protest of an Israeli roadway residents say will destroy their village.

    “Everything is going to be changed. It’s not going to be the same Beit Safafa I know, so of course I’m going to be against it because it’s not logical,” said 25-year-old resident and protest organizer Duaa Subhi. “It will be like the separation wall in the West Bank, but inside the village.”



    Israel Begins Work on Magharba Gate Bridge in Jerusalem

    (WAFA) – Work began Tuesday on a section of the controversial Magharba Gate wooden bridge that leads to al-Haram al-Sharif, one of Islam’s most sacred sites, in Jerusalem’s Old City, according to witnesses.

    The work is believed to be a prelude to the construction of a more permanent steel bridge that is supposed to eventually replace the wooden bridge.



    Dozens of Israeli Soldiers Break Into the Aqsa Mosque

    (PIC)-- Dozens of Israeli army soldiers stormed the Aqsa mosque on Tuesday morning as the Aqsa Foundation warned of the escalation in such acts.

    Israeli intelligence agents accompanied 51 soldiers who entered the Aqsa in two batches and toured its Qibli mosque, Marwani mosque, and the Dome of the Rock. Eight Jewish settlers also broke into the Aqsa plazas.



    IOA Plans Confiscation of More Jerusalem Land

    (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) are planning the confiscation of more Jerusalemite land to build a new road serving Jewish settlers.

    The local committee for construction and planning announced on Tuesday that a meeting would be held on Wednesday to discuss the expropriation of land in Beit Hanina suburb, north of occupied Jerusalem.



    MK Tibi Joins Protest Against East Jerusalem Highway

    (Ma'an) -- Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi joined hundreds of protestors on Sunday to demonstrate against the construction of a highway in an East Jerusalem neighborhood.

    Protestors in Beit Safafa formed a human chain and set up tents to protest the construction of Road 4, which would confiscate part of the neighborhood's land and divide the area in two.



    IOF demolishes Palestinian Family's Protest Tent

    (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) demolished in the late hours of Friday evening a protest tent in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood set up by Shamasneh family in protest against the decision to evict them from their home early next month.

    The IOF has demolished and confiscated at 11pm the protest tent in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, before withdrawing, Shamasneh family explained to Wadi al-Hilweh Information Center.

    Shamasneh family has set up a protest tent outside their house in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood against the decision to evacuate the family's home for the benefit of settlers.



    Historic Buildings Around Al-Aqsa Continue to be Demolished

    *Israeli bulldozers are demolishing historic arches and facades of Islamic buildings dating back to the Mamluk and Ottoman eras.

    (MEMO)--For the third day in a row, Israeli bulldozers are demolishing historic arches and facades of Islamic buildings dating back to the Mamluk and Ottoman eras on the north side of Buraq Square. The site lies just 50 metres from the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa.



    Protest Tent in Threatened Sheik Jarrah

    *photo by Andy Beale

    By Adam Whittock - February 09, 2013

    150 activists turned out in solidarity on February 8 to erect a protest tent outside a Palestinian house in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem.

    All ten members of the Shamasna family living inside the house have been told by Israeli authorities to leave by March 1 or face forced eviction. They are the fifth family to face expulsion in the neighbourhood during the current eviction phase that the Israeli authorities have initiated.



    Palestinian Home Demolished in East Jerusalem

    Reuters – Israeli border police demolished on Tuesday (February 5) a two-floor building in East Jerusalem housing 24 members of an extended Palestinian family.

    “They are demolishing because they say there is no permit to build, and here live around 45, old and young people, and they didn’t even give us a chance to move the clothes from the house,” said Saleh Abu Castairo, resident of the house that was demolished.



    Occupation Bulldozers Demolish Ancient Islamic Structures in Jerusalem

    Palestine News Network – Heritage said that the Occupation bulldozers continue, for the second day, their demolition of the facades and arches of a historic building on the North side of Buraq Square, about 50 meters from al-Aqsa Mosque by the Western Wall. The Foundation reported that most of the demolition is now complete.



    Occupation MK Storms al-Aqsa Mosque

    (PIC)-- MK Moshe Feiglin, from the Likud Beiteinu party, stormed Al Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday at 1:30 pm, guarded by the occupation forces, Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage reported.

    Al-Aqsa mosque witnessed a state of alert by the occupation forces, while hundreds of Muslim worshipers, Jerusalemites, residents of 1948-occupied territories and students gathered in al-Aqsa mosque Squares expressing their anger and rejection of such raids.


    20,000 Children Separated From Families in Occupied Jerusalem


    By Nasouh Nazzal, Gulf News – The Islamic Christian Commission for the Support of occupied Jerusalem has accused Israel of separating 20,000 Palestinian children from their families by denying them permission to live with their families in occupied East Jerusalem.

    Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Hanna Eisa, who heads the commission, said that in denying the Palestinian children the right to live with their families, Israel is engaged in a clear act of ethnic cleansing of the holy city. “Those kids have also been denied the right to obtain permanent residency to unite with their families in the holy city,” he said.



    Occupation Cracks Down on Palestinians in Jerusalem

    By Nir Hasson, Haaretz – Changes at the top of the Jerusalem District police are being felt in the eastern part of the capital. Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem have complained that the police, under New district commander Maj. Gen. Yossi Prienti, have been implementing an almost declared policy of collective punishment against neighborhoods considered too disruptive.

    Two weeks ago such an enforcement/punishment operation ended in Isawiya in north Jerusalem, and a week ago a new operation started in Silwan. The operations included numerous arrests, roadblocks to inspect vehicles, tax collection, house demolitions, shutting off water, various fines, searches and random checks of identification, and more.



    Increasing Threats Against al-Aqsa Mosque

    Quds Media Center – Researcher Amr Jamal said that the movie, published by Israeli Foreign Ministry and which shows the demolition of the Dome of the Rock and the establishment of the alleged Temple on its ruins, reflects the practical steps applied on the ground to achieve this purpose.

    The Palestinian researcher specialized in Jerusalem affairs told Quds Press that the occupation authorities had completed the preparation of all architectural plans for the construction of the alleged Temple.



    Occupation Continues Demolitions in Jerusalem

    Agence France Presse – Nine people were injured and seven arrested in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan on Monday after clashes broke out as Israeli forces demolished several structures, local activists told AFP.

    “Bulldozers demolished two structures and some parts of a house and they also uprooted trees,” activist Fakri Abu Diab said. “Clashes erupted and nine people were injured, including a woman who was shot by a rubber bullet inside her house and taken to Makassed hospital for treatment,” he said, adding that seven people were arrested.



    Racism Exposed in Jerusalem Football Club

    By Ori Lewis, Reuters – An Israeli soccer club notorious for the anti-Arab chants of its fans plans to recruit two Muslim players, fuelling protests in the stands that a senior cabinet minister condemned as shocking and racist.

    At a Premier League game on Saturday, Beitar Jerusalem supporters held a banner reading “Beitar will always remain pure”. Other signs hoisted by fans also protested against its owner’s intention to have two Muslim Chechen players join.


    Extremists' Attack on Palestinian Children on Jerusalem Bus

    By Nir Hasson, Haaretz – At least three passengers on a public bus in Jerusalem harassed a group of Arab sixth-graders on their way home from school this week, with one woman calling them monkeys, issuing death threats, and hitting one of the girls and pulling her hair, according to the girl’s father.

    Ayub, the father, said his daughter has grown accustomed to verbal abuse while passing through Jewish neighborhoods, but that this was the first time she was physically assaulted. He said only one passenger came to the children’s defense and asked the woman to desist.



    Aqsa foundation: The IOA stepped up its diggings in Maghariba area

    (PIC)-- Al-Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) intensified its excavations at Al-Maghariba Gate ramp to the west of the Aqsa Mosque.

    In a report, the foundation stated that the IOF raised the number of diggers and their working hours, and expanded the area of its excavations.



    More Occupation Desecration of Historical Islamic Cemetery in Jerusalem

    (MEMO) Israel is continuing to desecrate the Ma'man Allah Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem, with a new wave of construction on the historic site. Details were revealed by Al-Aqsa Foundation for Religious Endowment and Heritage on Monday.

    The foundation reported that Israeli bulldozers are digging to a depth of 15 metres at the cemetery to build what they call a "Museum of Tolerance". The project covers around 6 acres of the site and is being sponsored by the US based Simon Wiesenthal Centre. Other parts of the cemetery have been destroyed to build a coffee shop and storage rooms for the construction workers. Many headstones have been destroyed, some dating back almost 1,400 years.



    Occupation Plans to Cage E1 Area With Separation Wall

    By Patrick O. Strickland, Bikya News – On Monday it was announced that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to alter the route of Israel’s separation wall to cut Palestinians off from the E1 Area of the West Bank, Ha’aretz reports. The fence will run between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adomim, the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, and will block villagers from the neighboring Al-Za’im from the E1 Area.



    Palestinian Fury at Call to Destroy Islamic Site

    By Nasouh Nazzal, Gulf News – The Palestinian Higher Sharia Judicial Council has demanded that candidates running for the Israeli general elections should remove Al Aqsa Compound (Al Haram Al Sharif) in the occupied East Jerusalem from their election campaigns as the holy site should not be used to make electoral gains.

    According to the council’s chairman and head of the Palestinian Sharia Higher Court, Shaikh Yousuf Dowais, the use of Al Aqsa Compound (Al Haram Al Sharif) in electoral campaigns constitutes a violation of international law.

    Shaikh Dowais has strongly denounced the call of Jeremy Gimpel, one of Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home), an Israeli hard line party running in the Israeli elections, for the total destruction of the Dome of the Rock, a central part of Al Aqsa Compound (Al Haram Al Sharif) and one of the holiest sites for Muslims, and its replacement with a rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon, which Jews believe lies beneath the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa.



    How 20 Tents Rocked Israel

    Bab al-Shams at night, January 12, 2013. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

    By Jonathan Cook

    When the Palestinian leadership won their upgrade to non-member observer status at the United Nations in November, plenty of sceptics on both sides of the divide questioned what practical benefits would accrue to the Palestinians. The doubters have not been silenced yet.

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has done little to capitalise on his diplomatic success. There have been vague threats to "isolate" Israel, hesitant talk of "not ruling out" a referral to the International Criminal Court, and a low-key declaration by the Palestinian Authority of the new "state of Palestine".

    At a time when Palestinians hoped for a watershed moment in their struggle for national liberation, the Fatah and Hamas leaderships look as mutually self-absorbed as ever. Last week they were again directing their energies into a new round of reconciliation talks, this time in Cairo, rather than keeping the spotlight on Israeli intransigence.

    So instead, it was left to a group of 250 ordinary Palestinians to show how the idea of a "state of Palestine" might be given practical meaning. On Friday, they set up a tent encampment that they intended to convert into a new Palestinian village called Bab al-Shams, or Gate of the Sun.



    Eviction of Bab al Shams Exposes Israel as a Lawless State

    The Bab Al Shams protest village before it was forcibly evacuated by Israeli forces. (Issam Rimawi / APA images)

    Max Blumenthal –Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was clearly troubled by the establishment of Bab Al Shams, a Palestinian protest village erected on privately-owned Palestinian land, the planned route of what Israel calls the “E-1” corridor in the occupied West Bank.

    The E-1 area was to be capstone of Israel’s settler-colonial enterprise, a long segment of housing units expanding east from the Jews-only mega-settlement of Maale Adumim, permanently severing East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and virtually slicing the West Bank in half. And now, 400 Palestinians and their supporters stood directly in the way of the plan.



    Netanyahu defiant over E1 settlement that will sever the West Bank

    By Hugh Naylor

    E1, WEST BANK // Israel's prime minister yesterday shrugged off weekend Palestinian protests over the construction of a Jewish settlement that would sever the West Bank in half and prevent the creation a continguous Palestinian state, vowing to press on building new settler homes in a critical area.

    Speaking to Israel's army radio, Benjamin Netanyahu insisted "there will be construction" of a new settlement in an empty stretch of land, known as E1, which could cut off Palestinians in the West Bank from their desired capital in East Jerusalem. His government expedited plans for 3,000 homes in the area last month, seen as punishment for the Palestinian upgrade in the United Nations as a non-member-observer state.



    Occupation Forces Evict Palestinian Peace Camp Protesters

    By Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian – The Israeli state has swung into action against a group of Palestinian activists who established a tent village on a rocky hillside east of Jerusalem, with hundreds of security officials carrying out an eviction under the orders of the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

    According to activists, a large military force surrounded the encampment at around 3am. All protesters were arrested and six were injured, said Abir Kopty.

    On Saturday evening, Netanyahu demanded the Israeli supreme court overturn an injunction preventing the removal of the protesters, and ordered the area to be declared a closed military zone.



    Palestinians Reclaim Land Slated for Zionist Settlement, Create New Village

    Al-Akhbar – Palestinians Friday morning inaugurated a tent village named Bab al-Shams in an area near Jerusalem referred to by Israelis as E1, defying an immediate eviction notice from the Israeli civil administration and military.

    The group is entitled to a six day grace period before they are required to apply for a permit, according to a High Court ruling. Lawyers had been awarded an injunction earlier in the day to preempt the eviction.

    “We won’t budge. We will remain steadfast with the will of God,” one of the village coordinators, Abdullah Abu Rahmeh told Al-Akhbar.



    Solidarity Sit-In for Palestinian Prisoners at al-Aqsa Mosque

    By Occupied Palestine – Jerusalemite citizens participated on Thursday in a sit-in in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, after the Asr prayer inside the al-Aqsa Mosque, despite the cold and snow waves in all Palestinian towns and villages.

    The participants held pictures of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails as well as the prisoners on hunger strike, and banners reading slogans in solidarity with the prisoners, stressing on the prisoners’ right to achieve all their demands.



    Building Approval Binge in Jerusalem

     The Jerusalem-area settlement of Ma'ale Adumim (Photo: Ammar Awad/Reuters)

    (by Alex Kane)  The contentious plan to build in the E1 corridor has been put on hold for now. The reason? Forging ahead with the plan would do irrevocable damage to Israel’s worldwide image and spark international consternation at a time when Israel needs Western support. But at the same time, a building approval binge has taken place in other areas in Jerusalem.



    Settlers attack on the Mosque of the Prophet Daud in Jerusalem

    (PIC)-- For the second time in two weeks, Israeli settlers stormed the historical Mosque of the Prophet Daud in Jerusalem, and they broke the ceramic and marble tiles covering three walls. The tiles date back to the 17th century.

    The incident sparked widespread anger and condemnation amongst those concerned with holy places in Jerusalem, especially that it is not the first time the mosque is attacked. The occupation authorities have already seized the mosque and turned its first floor into a Jewish synagogue.



    Ethnic cleansing is the only way for Israel to have a "united" Jerusalem

    (Middle East Monitor)
    When Benjamin Netanyahu launched his election campaign this week he taunted the world community and cocked a snook at international law with a defiant pledge to build more settlements in occupied Jerusalem. The move was universally condemned. Recognising that this was more than electoral demagogy, though, no one was prepared to risk the consequences of any response more substantial. For better or worse, Jerusalem's future is now set to determine the course of international relations.

    Israel's surge of settlement activity in Jerusalem seeks, above all, to perpetuate its self-proclaimed "basic law" on Jerusalem. Passed in July 1980, this legal construct envisaged an "integral and united Jerusalem" as the capital of Israel.



    The Second Half of 2012: More Demolitions, Arrests, and Attacks Against the Citizens of Jerusalem

    SILWANIC – The city of Jerusalem witnessed yet another year of the occupation and is greeting new year empty of hope. This hopelessness is a result of the ongoing oppression, settlements and projects to make Jerusalem a Jewish-only city, and of the ongoing arrests, attacks, house demolitions and financial fines against the Palestinian citizens in Jerusalem.

    In the report issued by The Information Center of Wadi Hilweh about the last 6 months of 2012, most of the attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem were highlighted, as well attacks on their property and holy places. The report included information about the arrests, the demolitions, the attacks, the settlements, the expulsion from the Aqsa Mosque and the forcible shutting down of Palestinian organizations.



    Jerusalem's "Extreme Makeover" and "Perilous Decline"

    By Scott Lucas, Enduring America – The announcement of significant new Israeli settlement construction in East Jerusalem has put the spotlight on the city, but the changes it has undergone since 2000, when the parties first negotiated its fate, are far broader and have far deeper roots. Israelis, Palestinians and the international community must adjust their strategies accordingly, or Arab East Jerusalem will continue its perilous decline, with catastrophic consequences for all…

    A pair of companion reports from the International Crisis Group describes how East Jerusalem has been altered in recent years, physically, but also socially, politically and emotionally.



    Occupation Approves Another 1,200 Settlement Units Around Jerusalem

    By Peter Beaumont, The Guardian – Israel has given the green light for the fast-track development of a further 1,200 settlement units around Jerusalem. It brings the total number of new approvals to 5,500 in just over a week, the largest wave of proposed expansion in recent memory.

    The latest plan, which would see almost 1,000 new apartments built over Jerusalem’s green line in Gilo, comes as the Israeli media is reporting mounting pressure on the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to drop his commitment to a two-state solution from his platform for re-election in January.



    Israel to Demolish Palestinian Homes in Jerusalem

    by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

    Israeli soldiers, and personnel of the Jerusalem City Council, distributed Sunday new orders against a number of Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem.

    Local sources reported that the army invaded As-Sowwana neighborhood, near the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, and imposed a tight siege on the area before posting the warrants on the doors of several homes under the pretext that they were built without construction permits.



    Netanyahu Vows to Build in Jerusalem

    Associated Press – Israel’s prime minister has vowed to build in Jerusalem despite criticism from the United Nations, dismissing the international body in particularly strong terms.



    Four EU Nations to Condemn Occupation's Settlement Plans

    Reuters – European nations in the 15-member United Nations Security Council are set to jointly condemn Israel over its plans for Jewish settler homes in east Jerusalem, a European diplomatic source said on Tuesday.

    Israel approved plans for a further 1,500 homes on Monday after provoking international protests earlier this month against a project for another 3,000 such homes in a sensitive area known as E1.



    15 Injured by IOF Fire in Jerusalem, Five Kidnapped

    By Saed Bannoura, IMEMC & Agencies – Palestinian medical sources reported, on Friday evening, that 15 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli military fire in Al-Esawiyya town, in occupied East Jerusalem, and five residents have been kidnapped after the army invaded the area and conducted provocative acts against the residents.

    Local sources reported that hundreds of residents were holding a nonviolent procession in solidarity with Palestinian detainees on hunger strike in Israeli prisons.

    The sources added that the soldiers violently assaulted the nonviolent protesters after the army invaded the area, and issue that led to clashes with the soldiers.



    Extremist Settlers Write Racist Graffiti on Christian Monastery

    by Saed Bannoura, IMEMC & Agencies – A number of extremist Israeli settlers wrote, on Wednesday at dawn, racist graffiti attacking Christianity and Jesus Christ on the walls of a monastery in occupied Jerusalem, the WAFA News Agency reported.

    The graffiti written on the walls of the monastery included “Price Tag”, and several insults against Jesus Christ. The settlers also punctured the tires of three vehicles parked near the monastery.

    The attack is part of numerous attacks targeting churches, mosques and even graveyards in different parts of occupied Palestine, including occupied Jerusalem.



    Occupation Escalates its Excavations Around al-Aqsa

    (PIC)-- Zaki Igbaria, head of "Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and heritage" in 1948-occupied Palestine, warned of the expansion of occupation's excavations down and around the vicinity of Al Aqsa Mosque, and specifically in the region of the Umayyad palaces located in the southern side of Al-Aqsa.



    Tension Mounts in East Jerusalem as the Occupation Prepares Settlement Construction 

    Haaretz – Israel is continuing to take apparent retaliatory measures in wake of the United Nations decision last week to accept Palestine as a non-member observer state.

    In the Palestinian Jerusalem neighborhood A-Tur, tensions escalated on Tuesday after bulldozers arrived to demolish a home located in the premises of a designated national park. The local families’ lawyer has won a delay in the slated demolition.

    In two weeks, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee will discuss a controversial plan to build 1,700 homes in the East Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo, in the north of the capital. The committee will reconvene the following day in an emergency session to approve another project, this one for hundreds of homes in Givat Hamatos, a Jewish neighborhood in the south of the city. It too is located on the other side of the Green Line. In addition, after a two-year hiatus during which the Interior Ministry demolished no homes, this week supervisors from the ministry began patrols in Arab East Jerusalem in preparation for resuming the destruction of illegally built homes.



    For First Time Britain, France May Recall Ambassadors in Protest at Occupation's Settlement  Construction

    By By Barak Ravid, Haaretz – Moves against Israel will be made in next the few days following Netanyahu’s decision to move ahead on construction in E1 and build 3,000 housing units in settlement blocs east of Jerusalem, say senior European diplomats.

    Britain and France are poised to take action − possibly including the unprecedented step of recalling their ambassadors, according to senior European diplomats − in protest at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to move settlement construction ahead in the area known as E1, between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.

    “This time it won’t just be a condemnation, there will be real action taken against Israel,” a senior European diplomat said.



    After UN Vote, Netanyahu Authorizes New Building in Settlements

    By Joel Greenberg, The Washington Post – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has authorized construction of 3,000 new homes and planning for thousands more in West Bank settlements and in East Jerusalem, a senior government official said Friday, a day after the United Nations voted to upgrade the Palestinians’ status there to an observer state.

    The move, a first Israeli response to the decision by the international body, drew sharp denunciations from Palestinian officials and a rebuke from Washington, which had backed Israel at the United Nations. Critics said planned building near Jerusalem would cut links between the northern and southern West Bank, seriously damaging prospects for a viable Palestinian state.



    Vatican Hails UN Palestinian State Vote, Calls for Special Status for Jerusalem

    Reuters – The Vatican hailed the United Nations’ implicit recognition of a Palestinian state on Thursday and called for an internationally guaranteed special status for Jerusalem, something bound to irritate Israel.

    The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s observer status at the United Nations from “entity” to “non-member state,” the same status as the Vatican.



    Occupation Arrests Palestinians and Further Limits Access to Holy Site

    Al-Jazeera – Israel has restricted Palestinian access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and arrested six Hamas members, a day after one Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire along the Gaza-Israel border.

    The shooting tested a tenious ceasefire agreement signed by Hamas-led Gaza and Israel on Wednesday night.

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party are preparing for a primary on Sunday amid signs its popularity is slipping among Israelis who would have preferred a ground invasion of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.



    Occupation to Evict Bedouin in Jerusalem to Make Room for a Waste Landfill

    By Nir Hasson, Haaretz – The Jerusalem municipality plans to evict some 120 Bedouin from the eastern part of the city to make room for a landfill.

    The city says the 500-dunam dump, which will be located in a wadi below a road leading east from the city to the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, will handle construction waste from the entire Jerusalem area.

    The landfill is expected to completely fill the wadi in about 20 years, after which the plan calls for building a public park atop it.



    Zionist Mayor Wants IOF Headquarters Moved to Jerusalem

    *photo: Rick Sterling

    Israel HaYom – Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is promoting a plan to transfer the Israel Defense Forces General Staff headquarters from the Kirya complex in Tel Aviv to a location just outside the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot. According to the proposed plan, an upscale neighborhood encompassing 734 housing units and a country club will be constructed near the base to accommodate soldiers and officers stationed there.



    European Nations Slam Occupation's Plan to  Building New Housing in Palestine

    By Anshel Pfeffer, The Associated Press and Haaretz – Governments of a number of European states came out on Wednesday against the tenders recently issued by Israel’s Housing Ministry for the construction of new housing units across the Green Line in Jerusalem and in West Bank settlements.

    Criticizing Israel’s decision to go ahead with the construction of more than 1,200 new homes, Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement that Germany expects all sides in the Middle East conflict “to refrain from anything that will make the resumption of negotiations more difficult.”



    Occupation Pushes Forward With 1,200 Homes in East Jerusalem Settlements

    Associated Press in Jerusalem – Israel says it is pushing forward with the construction of more than 1,200 new homes in Jewish settlements, in an apparent warning to the Palestinians to rethink their plan to ask the United Nations to recognise an independent state of Palestine.

    The Israeli government announced late on Monday that it was accepting bids from contractors to build the homes in two Jewish enclaves in East Jerusalem, Ramot and Pisgat Zeev. The homes are among 1,200 whose construction Israel ordered to be fast-tracked in November 2011 after a key UN body granted full membership to Palestine.



    Family Leaves East Jerusalem Home After Settler Attack

    Ma’an – Jewish settlers on Monday attacked a Palestinian family in East Jerusalem, forcing them from their homes, the family said.

    Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa told Ma’an the settlers smashed the windows of his home in al-Tur and ransacked his elderly mother’s room, causing her to pass out, he said.



    Jerusalem Patriarchate Threatens to Close Holy Sepulchre

    Al-Akhbar – Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox patriarch Theophilis III has threatened to close the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to protest Israel’s freezing of the patriarchate’s bank accounts.

    The patriarchate has owed the city’s municipality $2.3 million shekels since it sidestepped a centuries’ old payment exemption on places of worship and started billing the church for water.



    India-Palestine Solidarity Forum:
    International Conference for Justice and Peace in Palestine



    Eid al-Adha Prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque

    By Mahmoud Illean – Eid al-Adha prayers in al-Aqsa Mosque the first day of Eid al-Adha in Mdjana, Jerusalem. Photos courtesy of Demotix.



    Netanyahu Says No Curb On Jerusalem Building

    Agence France Presse – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday pledged to continue unhindered construction in Jerusalem, including in its annexed eastern sector, despite criticism from the European Union.

    “We are not putting any limitations on building in Jerusalem, it is our capital,” he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

    “The same way that (states) build in every capital—London, Paris, Washington, Moscow—Israel builds in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “Our bond to our capital is no less ancient and powerful.”

    The interior ministry on Thursday gave final approval for plans to build 797 homes in Gilo, a settlement neighbourhood in the southern flanks of East Jerusalem on land seized during the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed in a move not recognised by the international community.



    Occupation Approves Expansion of Settlement Near Jerusalem

    Reuters – Israel on Thursday issued a detailed plan for the building of some 800 new homes on annexed land in the West Bank that is certain to attract further international condemnation of its settlement policies.

    A planning committee issued a call for bids from contractors to start building 797 housing units on the western slopes of the urban settlement of Gilo, an area that Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war and later declared part of Jerusalem.

    The annexation has never been recognized internationally.



    Zionist Attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque Increase

    Middle East Monitor – On the 43rd anniversary of the arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque by an Israeli extremist, Al-Quds International Institution has issued a report detailing the increasing number of Israeli assaults against the Noble Sanctuary. Observers believe that are all part of Israel’s “Judaisation” programme for the Holy City and Islamic religious sites.

    The report, which covers the year to 21 August 2012, shows a clear increase in the scale of Judaisation activities. So much so that the Institution says that the situation needs national, regional and international action to stop Israeli aggression against Al-Aqsa and the city of Jerusalem.



    Child violently attacked by Zionist forces

    By Saed Bannoura, IMEMC News – Last Friday, several Israeli policemen, in full riot gear, violently attacked and punched a Palestinian child from Jerusalem and kidnapped him. The child was released Tuesday and was placed under house arrest.

    A video captured by Palestinian cameraman, Amjad Arafa, shows several Israeli policemen forcing the child, Hasan Al-Afeefy, onto the ground, face down, while one policeman was punching him to the head and another policeman holding the child’s hand behind his back to cuff him.



    Occupation Forces 'Deploy at Al-Aqsa After Clashes'

    Ma’an – Hundreds of Israeli forces deployed around the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday morning, a local foundation said, as tensions continued at the Jerusalem religious site amid Jewish holidays.

    Israeli troops confiscated the identity documents of worshipers in al-Aqsa and ordered a large number of youth to leave the compound, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Heritage and Islamic Endowments said.



    Occupation Forces Fire Stun Grenades at Stone Throwing Worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque

    RT – Israeli police have stormed the world’s third-holiest Islamic site and fired stun grenades at worshipers in response to being pelted with stones. Two people have been injured and one arrested as a result of the scuffle.



    Zionist Tour of Al-Aqsa Compound Sparks Clashes

    Ma’an – Worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Jerusalem’s Old City clashed with a Jewish group touring the holy site on Thursday, officials said.

    The Al-Aqsa Foundation for the Islamic Waqf and Heritage said around 140 Israelis toured the mosque, sparking physical and verbal scuffles with Muslims praying at the compound.



    Jewish Settlers, Rabbis Break into Al-Aqsa Mosque

    By Khalid Amayreh 

    With the so-called "peace process" going nowhere, mainly due to Israeli refusal to give up territories it illegally occupies, and also to US unwillingness and/or inability to pressure Israel do so, the Israeli government continues to make provocations and "create facts" aimed at destroying all remaining chances for peace.

    This week, Israeli authorities allowed a large number of fanatical Jewish settlers to enter and tour Al-Aqsa Mosque's esplanade. The settlers, dressed in religious attire and wearing kippa head-caps, were protected by a heavy police presence.



    Jerusalem Monastery Vandalised in Hate Crime

    By Adrian Blomfield, The Telegraph – Suspected Jewish extremists stepped up a campaign against Christian sites in Israel yesterday by vandalising a monastery in Jerusalem close to some of the faith’s most revered places of pilgrimage.

    Vandals scrawled the words “Jesus, son of a whore” on the gates of the Monastery of St Francis, part of a complex on Mt Zion held by tradition to mark the spot of the Last Supper and the death of the Virgin Mary.

    The attack was at least the fourth on a Christian place of worship this year and the second in under a month.



    Settlers, Rabbis Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound

    Jordan News Agency – About 130 Jewish settlers accompanied by rabbis and escorted by Israeli police on Sunday stormed Al Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem in the latest provocation against local Arabs and Muslim worshippers, Al Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said.

    In a statement, the Jerusalem-based foundation said the extremist settlers forced their way into the compound, known as Haram El Sharif (noble sanctuary) and tried to perform prayers as Israeli police stood guard.



    Occupation Forces Further Restrict Palestinian Mobility in Jerusalem

    By Oz Rosenberg, Haaretz – The Defense Ministry sealed off on Wednesday morning the Ras Khamis checkpoint, one of the only two exits of the Shoafat refugee camp, which serves 65,000 people. The move contravenes a 2008 High Court ruling.

    Replacing the checkpoint, another portion of the separation barrier will be constructed. The barrier already seals the camp off from three directions. This is despite the fact that the refugee camp is part of the Jerusalem Municipality.



    GMJ-NA Condemns the DNC's Violation of Protocol on Jerusalem Vote and Applauds Delegates who Voted Against Amendment Regarding the Status of Jerusalem

    The Global March to Jerusalem-North America condemns the recent events leading up to and culminating in the Democratic National Convention's botched vote to amend the party's platform to declare Jerusalem as the “capital of Israel”. DNC rules stipulate that any amendment must receive a two-thirds majority at the convention in order to be passed; despite that it was clear to everyone watching, that the vote was evenly divided. Nevertheless, the DNC leadership ignored the voices within their own convention and passed the amendment regardless of not having a majority. This decision is a clear example of how under extreme pressure from President Obama, the Republican Party and AIPAC, DNC leaders were forced to amend their 2012 party platform to include text stating that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel even if it means acting against democracy and international law.



    Colonists, Members of Occupation's Intelligence, Break Into Al-Aqsa Mosque

    PNN- 30 members of Israel's intelligence community headed by Likud member Moshe Feiglin, and groups of settlers, broke into al-Aqsa mosque since early hours of Thursday morning.

    Al Aqsa institute said in a press release that Moshe Feiglin, escorted by settlers, broke  into the mosque to perform Talmudic rituals, under the protection of Israeli forces.



    Catholic Church Condemns "Price-Tag" Attack on Monastery

    By Nir Hasson, Haaretz – The Catholic Church condemned the so-called “price-tag” attack against a Christian monastery on Tuesday, with high-ranking church offices denouncing the “teaching of contempt” against Christians prevalent in Israeli society.

    Earlier Tuesday, the door of a Christian monastery in Latrun, the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Sept-Douleurs, near Jerusalem, was set on fire in the morning and anti-Christian slogans were found spray-painted on the monastery’s walls.

    The arson and graffiti are suspected to be a “price tag” attack, following the recent evacuation of Migron, a settlement outpost in the West Bank.



    Al Quds Monastery Torched, Racist Graffiti Sprayed on Walls

    JERUSALEM  (Reuters/Ma'an) -- Vandals torched the wooden door of a monastery near Jerusalem on Tuesday and pro-settler graffiti daubed in Hebrew was discovered on the building's stone walls, Israeli police said.

    "Police have opened a special investigation into the incident," Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said of the arson that occurred at the Latrun Monastery.



    "43 Years Later, Al-Aqsa Mosque Still Targeted"

    By International Middle East Media Center & Agencies – The Higher Islamic Committee and the Islamic Waqf Department in occupied Jerusalem, issued a statement commemorating the 43rd anniversary of burning the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by an Australian fundamentalist, and said that the Mosque and all holy sites in Palestine are still facing ongoing and escalating threats by Israeli extremists and fundamentalists.



    Mufti of Jerusalem: "We Need the Backing of Muslims Around the World"

    By Khaled Amayreh, Al-Ahram Weekly – Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Muslims have been converging on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israeli occupied East Jerusalem in what is seen by many as a psychological challenge to Israeli claims that the town is an integral part of Israel’s “eternal and undivided capital”.On Friday, 10 August, an estimated half a million worshipers were able to make it to the Haram Al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) esplanade. The sea of humanity came from all over the West Bank as well as Arab towns and villages across Israel. Strongly discriminated-against Palestinian Arabs make nearly one fourth of Israel’s total population. No Gazans were allowed to reach the Muslim sanctuary.



    Zionist Lawmaker Submits Bill to Divide Al-Aqsa Mosque

    WAFA – Israeli right-wing lawmaker Aryeh Eldad Thursday submitted to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, a draft bill calling to allow Jews freedom to worship in al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites, according to Israeli sources.

    The bill calls for allowing Jews to hold prayer at the mosque, located in Jerusalem’s Old City, on specific days while Muslims will be allowed to use it on other days, a situation similar to what is happening at the Ibrahimi mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron.



    The Global March to Jerusalem Calls for a Global Movement to Save Jerusalem

    GMJ – The Global March to Jerusalem joins the voices of concern in Jerusalem, Palestine and, indeed, the world over, about the latest as well as consequent threats to the al-Aqsa Masjid and the Dome of the Rock, as well as the Haram Sharif in Jerusalem and the policy of “Judaisation” that the Zionist leadership is pursuing with the explicit intent of removing Muslim, Christian, Arab and all other traces of non-Jewish history, culture, religion, archaeology and demography from the city of Jerusalem and all other areas under Zionist control.



    Occupation Court Rules Muslims in Gaza Cannot Pray at Holy Sites

    Agence France Presse – An Israeli court on Tuesday backed an Israeli government policy of allowing Christians from the Gaza Strip to pray at Israeli and West Bank holy sites, and denying the enclave’s Muslims the same right.

    The Supreme Court rejected an appeal lodged by six Gaza Muslims and Israeli non-governmental organisation Gisha to challenge a ruling of the Beersheba District Court, which refused to intervene against the policy.



    Israeli Occupation intensifies efforts to impede al-Aqsa Ramadan pilgrimage

    The Guardian – Under tight Israeli security, thousands of Palestinians make their way to Jerusalem through checkpoints in Bethlehem and Qalandiya. Access to the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, has been denied for men aged between 12 and 40 on the third Friday of Ramadan. Israeli police say the restrictions are imposed for security reasons.



    Third Friday of Ramadan, Occupation stops Worshippers From Going to Al-Aqsa Mosque


    On Friday, 3rd August, Israeli occupation intensified its procedures at the checkpoints that were placed at the entrances of the occupied Jerusalem and hindered the arrival of more than 320,000 worshipers from the West Bank to al-Aqsa mosque to pray in the third Friday of the holy Ramadan.



    Government in Gaza Warns Against Attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque

    Palestinian Information Centre – The Palestinian government in Gaza has called on all Arab, Islamic, and international organizations to check the Israeli occupation authority’s tampering with the holy Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

    The foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the Israeli decision declaring all Aqsa courtyards as public parks aimed to allow Jews free access into the holy compound at any time.



    Al-Aqsa to be Converted into a Park by Israelis

    by Kelly Joiner - IMEMC & Agencies

    The Jerusalem municipality has issued a decision to convert al-Aqsa mosque’s yards into public parks and gardens that would be open to the general public, according to Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib, deputy head of the Islamic Movement in occupied lands.

    On Tuesday, the Palestine News Network reported on a press release issued by al-Khatib stating that this was part of an effort by the Israeli authorities to erase the history of Palestinians in Jerusalem and end Muslim control of their own holy sites.



    Muslim Groups Denounce  Attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque

    GMJ – Muslim groups throughout the Middle East have denounced the recent Zionist attacks against al-Aqsa Mosque and urged immediate action to protect the holy site.

    The Jordanian Islamic party asked Arab and Muslim governments to “condemn the recent attacks and to act to stop them,” pointing out that “the attacks violate the international laws and conventions.” It also called on the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and human rights organizations “to intervene to stop the recent serious assaults.” Read more

    Hezbollah denounced the storming of al-Aqsa and released a statement that warned “this is not the first crime that targets the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, and won’t be the last if the Muslims will go on with their silence and ignoring to the dangers the holy mosque has been facing,” adding that the holy mosque has been under the danger of judaization or collapse.



    Israelis Resume Demolition of Historic Bridge to Al-Aqsa Mosque

    Middle East Monitor – The Israeli occupation authorities are resuming their demolition of the historic Al-Magharibah Bridge to Al-Aqsa Mosque. Details of the Israeli project were disclosed during a press conference arranged by Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage. The work, it is alleged, will also undermine the foundations of Islam’s third holiest mosque.

    The Foundation used still and video images to support its claims. Dozens of workers can be seen clearly using pick-axes and shovels to destroy the bridge. Others are seen taking away the debris. Israel has made it clear that a synagogue is to be built in place of the bridge. Al-Aqsa Foundation has maps of the area showing this to be the case.

    According to the Israeli plan, Al-Magharibah Bridge and Gate will be replaced by a more modern bridge capable of allowing heavy military vehicles to have access to the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa. This will, claims the Foundation, enable the Israelis to move large numbers of security forces into the compound with relative ease. “That is one of the purposes of the current work,” said a representative of the Foundation.



    MK calls for moving Aqsa Mosque to build the alleged Temple in its place

    NAZARETH, (PIC)--The rightist Knesset member Aryeh Eldad of the "National Union" bloc has proposed to his government to “cut up and move” the Aqsa Mosque in order to build the alleged Temple in its place.

    Eldad said, during a march around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem: “when the time comes to build the holy Temple and that will be soon, we will then cut up the structure which is there now”. “We will cut it up, and they can take it wherever they want”.



    Romney Jerusalem remarks “harm US interests”

    Agence France Presse – US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s endorsement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is “harmful” to US interests in the Middle East, a senior Palestinian official said on Sunday.

    “Romney’s declarations are harmful to American interests in our region, and they harm peace, security and stability,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.

    “Even if this statement is within the US election campaign, it is unacceptable and we completely reject it. The US election campaign should never be at the expense of the Palestinians,” he said.

    “Romney is rewarding occupation, settlement and extremism in the region with such declarations.”

    At a speech in Jerusalem, Romney on Sunday hailed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in an apparent endorsement of a position held by the Jewish state but never accepted by the international community.



     Israeli Occupation Forces Kill Palestinian at Checkpoint

    Al-Jazeera – Israeli soldiers have shot dead one Palestinian and wounded two others after opening fire on a car at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.

    Palestinian medical and security sources said Akram Dair, 40-years-old, was driving in a car before dawn on Monday when border guards near Ramallah opened fire on him and the two other Palestinian passengers in the car.

    The three Palestinians, said to be heading to Occupied Jerusalem for prayers, were taken to a hospital in Ramallah.



    They Demolish and We Rebuilt. This is Our Life

    PNN/ Exclusive

    The Palestininan community of Silwan in East Jerusalem sits at a geographically important location for the Israeli regime as it is located right below the Old City. The regime has, for decades, expanded its domain by expropriating the land of Palestinian families who have live there for generations.

    In Silwan live about 18% of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem; it is home to 55,000 residents. Silwan was at one point recognized as "the center of the intifada" in the 1980s, due to its politically active and organized society.

    Israeli forces have for decades expropriated the land of Silwanian families in order to accommodate Jewish settlers and to expand the Jewish touristic and religious enterprise. The Elad Association, the richest and most powerful Jewish settlement association, has enforced its occupying power to slowly turn Silwan into a Jewish region by monopolizing on the history of the region while dismissing the historical importance it has for Palestinian families.

    The settler association continues to appropriate Palestinian land on the grounds that it is a territory of 'archeological, historical, and religious importance' as well as making use of its monopoly of the law, by expropriating homes under the 'absentee property law.' In addition, 11 touristic parks have replaced hundreds of Palestinian homes.

    Today, close to 65% of Silwanians face house demolition orders



    Israel Breaks up Ramadan Meal in Jerusalem

    Al Akhbar -- July 29, 2012

    Israeli police barred a traditional iftar meal for breaking the Ramadan fast which was to take place at an East Jerusalem hotel on grounds it had been organized by Hamas, a Palestinian activist said on Sunday.

    During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began last weekend, Muslims are expected to abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn until sunset, when they break their fast with a meal known as iftar.

    According to Fakhri Abu Diab, a group called the Silwan Charity Foundation was preparing for a mass iftar meal at the Panorama Hotel in Ras al-Amud on the Mount of Olives.

    However, two hours before the meal was to begin "Israeli police came and prevented it from taking place on the grounds that the foundation is financed by Islamic movements, including Hamas," said Abu Diab, an activist in the flashpoint neighborhood of Silwan.



    Army Invades Al-Aqsa Mosque, Attacks Worshippers

    By Saed Bannoura, IMEMC & Agencies – Israeli soldiers and policemen invaded, on Saturday night after midnight, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem, and attacked several worshipers while trying to forcefully remove them out of the mosque; clashes were reported and two worshipers were kidnapped.

    The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage reported that the two kidnapped worshipers are young men from Jerusalem.

    The Foundation added that hundreds of worshipers remained in the Al-Aqsa Mosque for the third night in a row, and that their stay was facilitated by the Islamic Waqf Department while the Israeli military and police are trying to prevent any worshiper from staying overnight at the mosque or its yards.



    IOA forces Jerusalemite to demolish part of his home, arrests another

    OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) forced a Palestinian Jerusalemite, Yacob Rasheq, to demolish an annex in his house in the town of Silwan in Jerusalem.

    Eyewitnesses confirmed that the IOA obliged Rasheq to demolish a part of his house in Al-Bustan neighborhood under the pretext that he did not obtain a construction license from the municipality.

    The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem forced the Palestinian civilian to demolish his house giving him seven days to demolish it by himself or the municipality would do it and he would pay a fine of at least 17 thousand dollars.



    Israel – Temple Mount War Moves Begin as Iran Back Up

    …by  Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

    On July 23, 2012, in a scathing attack against the Wagf (literally translated to endowment), the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) opinion piece’s opening paragraph stated:

    “This year, as Israel observes the traditional period of national mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple on Tisha b’Av (which starts at sundown on Saturday), it has again been revealed that the Islamic Wakf is carrying out unsupervised work at the Temple Mount, potentially causing irrevocable damage to Judaism’s holiest site”.

    A December 2011 al-Akhbar article fully elaborates on the Israeli attacks against the Islamic Waqf  for the purpose of land grab which includes homes, shops, and even Moslem cemeteries.
    But there is another dimension to these attacks – a messianic aspect which is far more alarming than just stealing land from their rightful owners. The inherent danger from the Israeli obsession over the Temple Mount was first elaborated in an article dated June 2010 called “Nukes And Temples” – highlights of which is as follows.

    Evidently, American presidents wish to continue to guard Israel’s nuclear “secret”. Today, the secrecy continues, as does the aid — perhaps towards a messianic return – the building of the Third Temple.



    Israel Continues Demolition of Mughrabi Gate

    JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities are continuing to demolish the Mughrabi gate of the compound housing the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage said Thursday.

    The foundation said in a statement that Israel's excavations at the site had been conducted secretly but were now being carried out publicly.

    The group has been monitoring the gate, and says dozens of workers have been demolishing earth and stones at the site.

    Workers are also digging up earth around the gate where the foundation says Israeli authorities plan to build a synagogue for women. Under the Mughrabi gate there is another passage, the Prophet gate, which leads to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the foundation added.



    Jewish Settlers Enter Al-Aqsa Mosque Under Protection of Security Forces

    Middle East Monitor – More than 120 Jewish settlers entered Al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday morning. Al-Aqsa Foundation for Islamic Endowments and Heritage said that several groups of illegal settlers entered the Noble Sanctuary from Al-Magharebeh Gate and spread around the compound in several places. There, it is reported, they established religious study circles and performed a number of prayers.



    IOF Arrest Imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque

    ( On Thursday, 26th July, Israeli occupation forces arrested at dawn, Imam of al-Aqsa mosque after they broke into the mosque, closed its gates and forced the worshipers to leave.

    Sources in Jerusalem said that worshipers were at the mosque for al-Fajer prayer and suddenly the Israeli police broke into the mosque, arrested the mosque's Imam and took him to an unknown location.



    Israeli Police Intensify Raids of East Jerusalem's Issawiya Neighbourhood During Ramadan

    (Alternative Information Centre)

    Israeli police and border police have escalated raids of the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya since the beginning of Ramadan last Friday. Village residents report that police officers raid the village each day after midnight, conducting searches of homes and detaining young men.


    Israel to Annex More of East Jerusalem

    by Craig Harrington - IMEMC & Agencies

    On Tuesday Israel announced plans to take full municipal control of a section of East Jerusalem that lies on the other side of its separation wall.

    Israeli officials in Tel Aviv have been discussing taking full municipal control of the rest of East Jerusalem for several years. Their latest plan will bring portions of the city suburbs that lie east of the separation wall under Israeli jurisdiction, reports Ma’an News.



    Israel Destroying Umayyad Palaces Next to Al-Aqsa Mosque

    (Middle East Monitor)

    Israel has stepped-up its plans to destroy the Umayyad Caliphate palaces south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage has revealed that Israel has stepped-up its plans to destroy the Umayyad Caliphate palaces south of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israelis have also extended a network of bridges and stairs around the archaeological area adjacent to Al-Aqsa, aiming at the transformation of the entire area to provide service facilities for the so-called Third Temple.

    The foundation asserted that "if and when Israel's works in the Umayyad palaces are completed, this will result in the Judaisation of the entire region south of Al-Aqsa mosque under the pretext of the "Torah Park". This is linked by an underground tunnel with the entrance of the Wadi Hilweh neighbourhood in Silwan.



    Israelis, soldiers tour Al-Aqsa mosque

    JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Dozens of Jewish worshipers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque guarded by Israeli soldiers on Monday, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said.

    Around 58 Jewish worshipers and 28 Israeli soldiers toured the mosque, the foundation said in a statement. Such visits are provocative, particularly in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the group added.



    Palestinian wedding: 3 countries, 2 ceremonies, 1 couple

    (Ma'an) By Daoud Kuttab

    This week, family and friends crossed international borders, military checkpoints and overcame the usual political bureaucracies to attend my daughter’s two weddings. Why two weddings? Let me explain.

    Like me, my daughter Tamara is a Jerusalemite. The bridegroom, Alaa, lives in the Bethlehem area town of Beit Jala. It takes minutes to move between these adjacent towns, but they are kilometers away because of the 45-year-old political and military situation caused by Israel’s occupation of Arab lands.

    The situation is further complicated by the unilateral Israeli decision to annex Jerusalem. So, according to Israeli law (which not a single country, including the US, recognizes), Jerusalem is part of Israel and therefore under civilian Israeli rule, Beit Jala is occupied territory and the two are separated by walls and checkpoints.



    Israeli Attorney General Claims: Al-Aqsa is Part of Israel's Lands


    Israeli Army broadcast published that Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Vainshtein, claimed that al-Aqsa mosque and its surrounding is an integral part of Israel's lands, so the Israeli laws must be implemented, especially the two laws issued by the Temple Mount Antiquities Rescue Committee; the Law of Planning and Construction, 1965, and the Antiquities Law of 1978.

    The Army radio also said "Because of the special nature of the site, laws should be applied with the utmost sensitivity, taking into account the pragmatic considerations."



    Uniting the Global Movement for Palestine

    Determination of Palestinians to stand up for their rights endures. (Activestills)

    By Paul Larudee, published at Palestine Chronicle

    'The old will die and the young will forget.' - David Ben Gurion, 1948 (1)

    When I first went to Palestine in 1965, Ben Gurion's prediction seemed plausible.  Palestinians and the Palestine solidarity movement were nearly invisible outside the Middle East.  The Palestinian narrative was not commonly heard, except among academics and specialists who rarely had the opportunity to address the public.  Building an international movement was an unlikely dream and dependent mainly upon the good graces of sympathetic governments and NGOs, which proved elusive.

    Today, the prediction seems more like wishful thinking, bordering on delusion.  Both Palestinians and their allies throughout the world are more numerous and better organized than ever.  They are mounting increasingly sophisticated movements to challenge the Zionist project of expelling the indigenous population from Palestine and replacing it with racially and ethnically selected immigrants.

    The reasons for this are many.  Foremost is the enduring determination of Palestinians to stand up for their rights and to correct the wrongs done to them, even when the likelihood of prevailing appeared dim.  This determination spawned Palestinian champions that included resistance fighters, writers, academics, artists and politicians who have carried the cause into new dimensions and to new audiences.



    Israeli Eradication of History: Disappearing Mosques

    by Jonathan Cook, Al-Akhbar English – The discovery of a rare aerial photo of Jerusalem in the 1930s, taken by a Zeppelin, has provided the long-sought after proof that when Israel occupied the Old City in 1967 it secretly destroyed an important mosque that dated from the time of Saladin close to the al-Aqsa mosque.

    The destruction of the Sheikh Eid mosque – in an area widely considered to be the most sensitive site in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – revives questions about Israel’s continuing abuse of Islamic holy places under its control.



    Foundation: Israel dug under Al-Aqsa compound gate

    JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli workers have dug a patch of earth from the bottom of the Mughrabi gate of the compound housing Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage said Monday.

    The foundation said trucks transported the dirt from the base of the holy site after it was dug up manually overnight to avoid notice.

    It warned that Israel is conducting secret excavations at night which will obliterate Palestinian heritage.

    The compound, the Haram al-Sharif, is in the old walled city of Jerusalem, which Israel captured along with the West Bank in a 1967 war and annexed in a step not recognized by the international community.



    Israel Plans to Resume Construction of Annexation Wall in Jerusalem

    by Kelly Joiner, IMEMC & Agencies  – An Israeli army officer revealed plans to resume construction of the annexation wall in Jerusalem in the coming weeks.

    Israeli army colonel Ofir Hindi, head of the administration responsible for construction of the annexation wall, revealed plans to continue construction on the wall in Jerusalem in the upcoming weeks.

    Israeli news agency Yediot Ahranot reported on discussions during an Israeli Supreme Court hearing regarding an appeal Palestinians have submitted to stop construction. 



    Construction of Wall around Jerusalem 'Dangerous'

    GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel's plans to resume building its separation wall around Jerusalem signal plans to complete the "judaization" of the holy city, a Fatah central committee member warned Thursday.

    Amal Hamad said the move was Israel's "most dangerous action" since it occupied the West Bank and Gaza in 1967.

    "The role of the apartheid wall around Jerusalem is to facilitate the annexation of settlement blocs" Hamad said in a statement.



    Israel Plans Military College in East Jerusalem

    Agence France Presse – Israel’s interior ministry has approved the construction of a military academy on land in the Mount of Olives in Arab east Jerusalem, Israeli activists and officials told AFP on Wednesday.

    The plan is likely to spark controversy and has already been dubbed a “provocation.”

    “This project to construct a national defence college in Jerusalem was voted on a month ago by the Jerusalem municipality planning committee and another interior ministry committee confirmed it on Monday,” Pepe Alalu, a council member in the Holy City, told AFP.

    The public has 60 days to appeal the plan before it can be formally approved.

    “There’s little chance that an appeal will be accepted by the interior ministry given that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports this project,” said Daniel Seidemann, director of the NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem.



    Israel Demolishes Historic Islamic Sites in Jerusalem   

    Tuesday, June 26 2012 / By Saed Bannoura, IMEMC News – The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage issued a press release, on Monday, revealing that Israeli bulldozers destroyed and demolished historic Islamic sites dating back to the Umayyad and Abbasid eras, in addition to the Ottoman era in occupied Jerusalem. Some of the demolished sites are a mosque and a school building dating back to the Umayyad era.
    The Foundation said that the so-called Israel’s Archeological Authority has been destroying and burying ancient Islamic sites over the last five years during excavations in Al-Boraq area, 100 meters west of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.


    West must recognize peaceful Palestinian resistance movement

    The West has been largely silent on Palestinian nonviolent resistance, which is unifying groups like Fatah and Hamas. Unless the West recognizes these peaceful initiatives, some Palestinians may question whether civil protest is any better than its violent alternative.

    By Sarah Marusek / June 7, 2012 , the Christian Science Monitor

     Israeli border police detain a Palestinian demonstrator during a protest June 5 in the West Bank city of Hebron, marking the anniversary of the 1967 Middle East War. Op-ed contributor Sarah Marusek observes: 'While in the past many Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon have supported the path of armed resistance to fight for their rights, today they are peacefully taking to the streets.' --Darren Whiteside/Reuters

    Beirut, Lebanon

    Some ask why the Palestinians seem to have been left behind in the so-called Arab Spring. In fact, they have not.

    Palestinians in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, and throughout the Middle East region have been engaging in nonviolent resistance over the past year. But the Western media have been largely silent in their coverage of this remarkable movement, which is unifying groups as disparate as Fatah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

    Unless the West recognizes these peaceful initiatives, some Palestinians may question whether nonviolent civil resistance will be any better than its violent alternative.



    Celebrating Palestinian Resistance and Resilience

    (1st published at Global Research; re-published at In Gaza)

    by Eva Bartlett and Ali Mallah

    With the passing of the 64th anniversary of the Nakba, (the establishment of the illegal Zionist state on the land and homes of Palestinians), should we mourn or celebrate? Professor Nurit Peled–Elhanan wrote of her mourning:

        “I will mourn on Nakba Day. I will mourn for vanished Palestine most of which I never knew. I will mourn for the holy land that is losing its humanity, its landscape, its beauty and its children on the altar of racism and evil. I will mourn for the Jewish youngsters who invade and desecrate the homes of families in Sheikh Jarrah, throw the inhabitants into the street, and then sing and dance in memory of Baruch Goldstein, the infamous murderer of Palestinian children, while the owners of the desecrated houses with their children and old people are sleeping in the rain, on the street, opposite their own homes. ...All these things I will mourn on Nakba Day. I will join the millions of dispossessed, downtrodden and humiliated who have not given up on the future and who still believe there is a chance, who stand as witnesses and as firebrands of the true human spirit.…”

    For the last 64 years, Palestinian women, men, elderly, and youth have steadfastly and spiritedly resisted the occupation and the Zionist state. It is a resistance that continues flourishing among Palestinians from all walks of life both inside and outside Palestine, be they farmers, workers, students, poets, or intellectuals.



    :الشعب يريد  The People United:
    A Presentation and Discussion about the Global March to Jerusalem

    The Gaza contingent of the Global March to Jerusalem, March 30, 2012

    WHERE:   Strawberry Creek Lodge, 1320 Addison St., Berkeley
    WHEN:     7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 31, 2012
    WHO:       Paul Larudee, possibly with other Bay Area GMJ organizers

    Free will donations gratefully accepted

    Possible GMJ 2013 Proposal: A Human Chain Around Palestine???

    The 2008 Gaza human chain, organized by the Popular Committee Against the Siege


     “Land Day” demonstrations saw tens of thousands in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the occupied West Bank and Gaza

    The Real News – March 30th marks the Palestinian annual “Land Day”. This year protests were organized under the banner of a “Global March to Jerusalem”, to mark the point that millions of Palestinians are prevented from reaching the holy city from Arab countries, Gaza, and the West Bank. In solidarity, tens of thousands protested in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky reports from East Jerusalem where Israeli forces met protesters with policemen on horses. At least one demonstrator died in Gaza and dozens were injured in the various demonstrations.



    Organizers say Jerusalem march achieved goals
    GMJ demonstrators gather in Galilee on March 30, 2012

    Dr. Ribhi Halloum talks with Ma'an News

    Ma' an News Agency – (Bethlehem) Organizers of the Global March to Jerusalem commemorating Land Day say the march on Friday made big strides as most of its goals were realized.



    Purchase Album Here!

    Independent Jewish Voices Canada endorsed the GMJ

    Germany, Austria, Switzerland to participate in GMJ

    Formation of the GMJ national committee in Gaza

    The Global March to Jerusalem, the 36th Land Day and IMAGINE Revolution

    Colbrone: Stand in support of Jerusalem

    Palestinians urge international community to join Global March to Jerusalem

    A call from Palestinians in Palestine to join the Global March to Jerusalem

    Global March to Jerusalem on March 30

    Barghouti participates in a meeting in Beirut to prepare for the march on Jerusalem

    Preparatory conference for global march on Jerusalem

    World Civilian Coalition Gathers for Global March to Jerusalem

    Commemorating Palestinian
    Land Day in Jordan

    by Tighe Barry

    On March 30, 2012, hundreds of demonstrations took place across the globe in commemoration of Palestinian Land Day. This important day in the history of the Palestinian people is a sorrowful reminder of the six Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces in 1976 while protesting the continued confiscation of their land.

    Generation after generation, Palestinians continue to call for an end to the brutal Israeli military occupation and the right to return to their lands. The continued ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Jerusalem has resulted in a massive outcry and demonstrations worldwide.

    Today people from around the world came together in a massive orchestrated effort known as the Global March to Jerusalem (GM2J), timed to coincide with Land Day. Marches took place in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Italy, Korea, all over the United States, and in many more locations. A peaceful movement, the Global March to Jerusalem is a people-powered action designed to assert the importance of Jerusalem politically, culturally, and religiously to the Palestinian people and humanity as a whole.

    I had the privilege of participating in one of those protests in Amman, Jordan.




    Does the Global March to Jerusalem Delegitimize Israel? Not at All.
    By Paul Larudee, Feroze Mithiborwala, and Ali Mallah

    Israel is justifiably concerned about being treated as an international pariah. Although its ability to advocate for its perceived interests through the American electoral system -- and thereby bond with the power structure of the United States -- appears stronger than ever, Israel's main strategic think-tank, the Reut Institute, considers Israel's reputation to be its Achilles heel, and the greatest threat to its very existence.

    This is because Israel has, in effect, put all its eggs in the American basket. American power is what allows Israel to receive deferential treatment in most European countries, and even allows some Arab countries like Jordan and Egypt to promote Israeli interests in defiance of the wishes of their own people. Without U.S. diplomatic intervention, advocacy and arm-twisting, it is doubtful that any country in the world would defend Israel's policies. Indeed, the handful of tiny dollar economy Pacific island nations that consistently side with Israel in the United Nations are the absurd exceptions that prove the rule. 



    Popular Committees prepare
    for the Global March to Jerusalem

    PNN - The High Follow-Up Popular Resistance Commission during a regular meeting held this afternoon at the Office of mobilization and organization in Ramallah in the presence of the Popular Resistance coordinators from different sites called to broader popular participation in the activities of "Land Day" which falls on the thirtieth of this month. 


    GMJ Asian caravan entered Turkey

    Almost 130 members of Asian caravan to Jerusalem crossed Bazargan border between Iran and Turkey meanwhile rest of 22 Pakistani and 4 Afghan failed crossing the border.

    The caravan was welcomed by Turkish people and NGOs at the border and a welcome ceremony was held in Ighdir city close to the borders. The Asian wing of GMJ will proceed to Istanbul and according to time table they will leave Istanbul on 25th March toward Kilis port in southern Turkey from where the caravan will board a passenger ship which will dock in Lebanon by 28th March to join the global march to Jerusalem.

    Some European activists have announced their accompany with Asian caravan from Istanbul meanwhile remaining 26 members of Asian delegation who failed crossing the border intend to fly towards Beirut as soon as possible to joing the march on land day.

    In spite of several contacts and negotiations with the Turkish embassy in Tehran they refused issuing VISA for the Pakistani and Afghan members of caravan. Although Turkish embassy was aware that the caravan is not a tourist one, Indian delegation consisting of 32 people was asked for paying almost 2000 USD as VISA fee.


    GMJ Asian caravan to Jerusalem crossed Iranian border

    After 6 days since beginning of GMJ Asian caravan to Jerusalem, the caravan crossed Iranian border. Passing through Zahidan, Kerman and Qom the caravan reached Tehran last night at 9 pm. 120 delegates of the caravan are preparing themselves to proceed towards Turkish border and then via Mediterranean sea dock at Beirut port on 27th March where the number will be increased to 250 delegates. 


    World Leaders unite for GMJ

    We, the Advisory Board of the Global March to Jerusalem, are alarmed and deeply troubled by the continuing repression of Palestinians in Jerusalem and by the deliberate and systematic attempts to expel and reduce the Christian and Muslim Palestinian population of the city as part of the policy called “Judaisation,” which is being applied to every part of historic Palestine.

    This policy is inconsistent with all relevant United Nations resolutions on Jerusalem and contrary to the most basic principles of international law. Its purpose is plainly to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem of its non-Jewish population and transform a once proud symbol of international tolerance and religious and cultural diversity into an exclusionary and racist enclave.

    Jerusalem is our common universal heritage. It is the centre of spirituality and ideological significance for all of the monotheistic religions, and a beacon of emancipation and hope for the downtrodden. This historic city is venerated across the world for enhancing the spiritual heritage of all humanity; it has been a symbol of unity and equality, with a message of love, mercy and compassion.

    However the entire world is now witnessing a threat to the sovereignty, sanctity and inviolability of Jerusalem. The plan is not only to destroy the Muslim and Christian presence, but also to change and dismantle the social structure of Jerusalem, obliterating its indigenous Arab identity and changing the character of the city. 




    Following is a partial list of organizations that have endorsed the Global March to Jerusalem. It includes those that are based or have a significant presence in North America, and are either participating in the organizing of the North American contingent of the GMJ or have been invited to do so. If your organization wishes to endorse and/or participate in the organizing, please contact For organizations outside North America, see

    • A.N.S.W.E.R-Act Now to Stop War & End Racism - Coalition

    • Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

    • American Indian Movement - West

    • Bay Area Women in Black

    • Birthright Unplugged

    • Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign

    • Canada Palestine Association

    • Canada-Palestine Support Network

    • Canadian Arab Federation

    • Canadian Boat to Gaza

    • Canadian Muslim Union

    • Canadian Peace Alliance

    • Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

    • Centre for Research on Globalization

    • Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid

    • CNY Working for a Just Peace in Palestine & Israel

    • CODEPINK Women for Peace

    • Existence is Resistance

    • Faculty for Palestine

    • Freedom Socialist Party

    • Free Palestine Committee, National Lawyers Guild

    • Free Palestine Movement

    • Friends of Sabeel - Hawaii

    • Friends of Sabeel - North America

    • Friends of Sabeel - Northern California

    • General Union of Palestinian Students - San Francisco State University

    • Global Exchange

    • Hamilton Coalition to stop the War

    • Hilton Head for Peace

    • Independent Jewish Voices

    • International Committee, National Lawyers Guild

    • International Socialist Organization

    • International Solidarity Movement Bard College

    • International Solidarity Movement Northern California

    • International Solidarity Movement Vancouver

    • Intifada Tent - Occupy Oakland


    • Leadership Team of Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, MN

    • Middle East Childres's Alliance

    • Middle East Crisis Response

    • Middle East Study Group

    • Middle Eastern Student Association (MESA) York University

    • Muslim American Society Immigrant Justice Center

    • North Coast Coalition for Palestine

    • Not In Our Name (NION): Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism

    • Our Neighbors in Palestine

    • Palestine House

    • Palestinian American Congress

    • Palestinian Association of Brantford

    • Palestinian Association of Hamilton

    • Resource Center for Nonviolence

    • San Jose Peace & Justice Center

    • Siraat

    • Science for Peace

    • September15

    • South Alameda County Peace & Justice Committee

    • Students for Justice in Palestine - UC Berkeley

    • United Progressives

    • U.S. Dominican Palestine Coordinating Committee

    • Unitarian Universalists For Justice In the Middle East

    • Voice of Palestine

    • Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

    • Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club


    Following is a list of indivduals who endorse the Global March to Jerusalem. Additional endorsements are welcome and may be sent to

    • Dr. Amir M. Maasoumi

    • Ann Wright, United States Army colonel, ret.

    • Benjamin Monnet, World Assembly Member, USA/Korea

    • Clayborne Carson, Professor & Director, Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University

    • Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist; mother of US soldier killed in Iraq; author

    • Cornell West, Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University; Philosopher, writer and Civil Rights Activist

    • David Hartsough, Director, Peaceworkers, San Francisco

    • Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    • Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake, Presiding Minister, Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, San Francisco

    • Edward Peck, Retired US Ambassador and career US Diplomat

    • Professor Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law

    • George Galloway, British Member of Parliament

    • Dr. Ghada Karmi, Co-Director, Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter

    • Dr. Hatem Bazian, Senior Lecturer in Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley

    • Izzet Sahin, International Affairs Secretary, IHH

    • Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Pastor Emeritus, Trinity Church of Christ, Chicago

    • Joe Meadors, Veteran and Survivor of the 1967 Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty

    • Dr. Judith Butler, American philosopher and Professor, University of California, Berkeley

    • Lauren Booth, broadcaster, journalist and activist

    • Fr. Louis Vitale, Order of Franciscan Monks; Pace e Bene; nonviolent resistor

    • Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence

    • Mairead Maguire, , Nobel Peace Laureate

    • Marcy Winograd, Los Angeles teacher, peace activist and former candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives

    • Medea Benjamin, Co-founder Code Pink and Global Exchange

    • Michel Warschawski, anti-Zionist activist and journalist; co-founder, Alternative Information Center

    • Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian democracy activist and former presidential candidate

    • Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor and Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT

    • Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University

    • Roger Leisner, Radio Free Maine

    • Ronnie Kasrils, South African ANC leader and cabinet minister

    • Samuel F. Hart, U.S. Ambassador, ret.

    • Susan Abulhawa, Palestinian-American author and Founder of Playgrounds for Palestine

    • Dr. Tanveer Ahmad Zubairi, President, International Organization of Doctors

    • Tariq Ali, British Pakistani military historian, novelist, journalist, filmmaker, public intellectual, political campaigner, activist, and commentator

    • Uri Davis, author and civil rights activist