Monday, May 6, 2013

A Week in April

You may not have heard about these things that happened in Israel and Palestine during the week of April 21. These are a few of the news items I found:
  • Israel demolished 22 structures in 8 locations across the West Bank including East Jerusalem, displacing 28 people, including 18 children, and affecting 120 others, including 57 children - on April 23 and 24
  • Israeli forces uprooted over 700 olive trees near Arraba village in the northern West Bank on April 25. The trees belonged to Palestinians in Arraba, south of Jenin, close to the Israeli settlement Mevo Dotan
  • Israeli forces destroyed over 1,300 olive trees in the south Hebron hills of the southern West Bank on April 23.
  • The Palestinian Authority secured the release of three children, ages 11-13, who were in Israeli custody, arrested for allegedly throwing stones. Under Israeli military orders, a Palestinian child can be held for up to 188 days before being charged with an offense and for up to two years between being charged and tried. Most Palestinian children are held for throwing stones, which holds a maximum sentence of 20 years.
  • 4,800 Palestinian political prisoners are being held in Israeli jails, including 236 children and 164 “administrative detainees” who are jailed without charge or trial.
  • A bill introduced in the US Senate by Sen.Barbara Boxer would sanction Israel’s discrimination against American citizens traveling through Ben Gurion airport—exempting Israel from reciprocity, allowing Israel to use racial profiling to detain and interrogate Americans with Arab names.
  • A Catholic monastery and convent in a secluded valley outside Bethlehem lost a seven-year legal battle against the building of Israel's separation wall on its land on April 26. The wall will surround the convent on three sides and cut it off from the monastery and from most of its land, the lush vineyards and olive trees on terraced hillsides below the Israeli settlements. A convent school teaches 400 local children
    Bethlehem "Right to Movement" Marathon, 2013

  • The US State Department issued a report that Israel practices “institutional and societal discrimination” against its Palestinian citizens—in education, demolition and confiscation of property, lack of infrastructure (electricity, water, municipal services), use of excessive force against civilians, prohibiting family reunification, severe restriction of movement
  • Bethlehem hosted more than 650 runners in the “Right to Movement” marathon, including runners from the United States, Canada, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The winner of the men's marathon was a Palestinian runner from Jericho, Abdel Nasser Awajna, who was flanked by Palestinian youth as he crossed the finish line with a time of 3:09.

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