1.PROBLEM 2.REACTION 3.SOLUTION.

The Elite Jews create the illness, then sell the Cure. They create Chaos & Terrorism, then sell the solution.

Zionism is just another label that the Jews have invented to hide behind and blame their atrocities on. The Gentiles under Christianity have become servants of the Jews. Acting as physical and spiritual cattle for the Jews to harvest in building their Global Satanic Kingdom.

Wake up and Unite!... two things that we have been kept from doing.. by deception. When we Unite, we become unstoppable against Humanities greatest enemy the Jew.

If I converted to Buddhism, does that make me Chinese? If I converted to Hinduism, does that make me Indian? When Khazarians (Turks) converted to Judaism in 740 BC and stole the true Negro Hebrew identity, and turned them into slaves... did that make the counterfeit Jews Hebrew? Well, the Jew World Order seems to think so. They crucified Jesus Christ for exposing them.

The invention of the Muslim Terrorist by our Jewish Governments... to keep us in fear, and to justify raping the World, and slaughtering billions of innocent families in every country for power and control...for their 2 horned God Moloch.

Khazarian-Babylonian Mafia known as the JEW

Every Religion and Church has been infiltrated by the Jews. How do you know? ... if your Church has not discussed the below phrases by Christ... then it has been compromised.

Heads of trio branches of power meet in Tehran

IRNA – The joint meeting between heads of the three branches of power started in Iran Majlis (Parliament).

President Hassan Rouhani, Majlis speaker Ali Larijani and Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani are the main presenters of the meeting.

Representatives of three factions of Majlis are supposed to deliver speech on challenges and issues of the country.

Cabinet ministers, members of parliament and members of Supreme Judicial Council also participated in the meeting.

Source Article from https://theiranproject.com/blog/2018/04/22/heads-of-trio-branches-of-power-meet-in-tehran/

Iranian foreign minister: US has never abandoned idea of regime change

The Hill– Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in a new interview that the United States has never let go of its push for regime change in his country.

“Well, I think the United States has never abandoned the idea of regime change in Iran. Now they are more explicit about stating it,” Zarif told CBS’s “Face the Nation” when asked about the appointment of National Security Adviser John Bolton and CIA Director Mike Pompeo as President Trump‘s new secretary of State.

Bolton and Pompeo are both known for hawkish positions on Iran, while Bolton ardently opposed the Iran nuclear accord reached under the Obama administration.

Zarif during the interview said the U.S. is accustomed to autocratic rulers in the Middle East who rely on the U.S. for support, arguing America has not been able to “impact” Iran’s people since the 1979 revolution.

“The point is they’re used to dictators in our region who rely on them. As President Trump said, we cannot live without U.S. support for two weeks,” Zarif said. “That’s the type of regime that they’re used to and that is why they so readily talk about regime change.”

Trump, for his part, has also criticized the government in Iran and said earlier this year that the Iranian people would receive “great support” from America “at the appropriate time.”

Source Article from https://theiranproject.com/blog/2018/04/22/iranian-foreign-minister-us-has-never-abandoned-idea-of-regime-change/

Venezuela cultural week kicks off in Tehran

RNA – The Venezuela cultural week started with the attendance of Latin America envoys in Tehran University on Sunday.

Ambassadors of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Chile attended the event.

Deputy head of Tehran University for international affairs Mohammad Baqer Qahramani congratulated over the 208th anniversary of Venezuela independence.

Although Venezuela has experienced many ups and downs through its history, the country has changed into cultural hub in this region, he said.

He also referred to the enhanced relations between Tehran and Caracas, and said fighting colonization and paying attention to domestic powers are among unique characteristics between two countries.

In addition to political and economic fields, both countries had relations in cultural field, Qahramani said.

Iranian official welcomed exchange of students and professors between Iran and Venezuela universities.

Source Article from https://theiranproject.com/blog/2018/04/22/venezuela-cultural-week-kicks-off-in-tehran/

Iran designs system to inspect Airbus A320’s landing gear

IFP- Iranian engineers have managed to design and manufacture a homegrown system to check the landing gear of Airbus A320.

CEO of Iran Air Farzaneh Sharafbafi says “it is an honour we now have the technical know-how of producing the system required for checking the landing gear in the country.”

“This technical knowledge is much more valuable than the production itself,” she added, according to a Farsi report by Young Journalists’ Club (YJC).

The landing gear is the sole direct link between the airframe and tarmac and is vital to the safe conclusion of the flight. Like all other components which make up an aircraft the landing gear – often simply known as the “legs” by aircrew and ground crew – the landing gear is also checked and maintained on a daily basis, repaired as required and fully overhauled at regular intervals.

A full landing gear overhaul is a task for specialists that requires the use of special tools, equipment and technology. For this reason, for some long time many airlines have sub-contracted this work to organizations with commensurate equipment and know-how, but according to Sharafbafi Iran Air is now able to do the job itself.

Under the cruel sanctions, Iran could not import aviation products to the country. The sanctions also preclude non-American manufacturers from exporting plane parts to Iran if the US-made parts exceed 10 percent.

The Islamic Republic’s aviation industry is a sector rapidly drawing increasing attention. As evidenced by the inaugural flight of Iran’s indigenously designed and manufactured Azarakhsh fighter jet to the mass production of small turboprops and passenger planes, this sector was seen to be making rapid strides.

Part of the impetus for the development of this industry lay within domestic demand factors. It was for a time estimated that over 10% of total demand for passenger planes in the Asian-Pacific market was in Iran, as domestic passenger traffic was expected to top eleven million passengers by the year 2000. This massive demand also spurred private sector investment in this sector as evidenced by the establishment of 17 private airlines.

Iran’s aviation industry infrastructure was by and large established in the 1970s. The Iran Helicopter Support and Renewal Company (IHSRC), or Panha Company, was formed in 1969, the Iranian Aircraft Industries (IACI) in 1970, and Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries Corporation (IAMI), also known under its Farsi acronym (HESA), in 1974.

Two other important companies, Iran Aviation Industries Organization of the Armed Forces (IAIO), also known as the Iranian Armed Forces Aviation Industries Organization (IAFAIO), and Quds Research Centre were formed in the early 1980s. These companies progressed from repair and maintenance facilities to larger defence enterprises with several thousand employees.

Joint aircraft technology projects with Russia were supplemented by such projects as the indigenously designed and manufactured Shabaviz helicopter manufactured by the IHSRC and the S-68 turboprop trainer manufactured by Iran Aircraft Industries.

The IHSRC in Tehran is a producer of the helicopter’s body and maintenance of helicopters according to American standards. However, the achievements of Iran’s aviation industry has not only been limited to the manufacture of planes. Iran Air had successfully and completely overhauled a number of planes in its fleet, without any foreign assistance as have other local companies such as Aseman.

According to the data released by the Iranian Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology, Iran plans to design and manufacture 100-150-seat regional aircrafts and general aviation airplanes in accordance with national and global market demands. It also aims to design and manufacture medium and semi-heavy helicopters, and design and manufacture mini turbojet engines, light and heavy turbofan engines and gas turbine engine compressors with a capacity of 1-10 MW.

Source Article from https://theiranproject.com/blog/2018/04/22/iran-designs-system-to-inspect-airbus-a320s-landing-gear/

Photos: Fajr Intl. Film Festival starts work in Tehran

Source Article from https://theiranproject.com/blog/2018/04/22/photos-fajr-intl-film-festival-starts-work-in-tehran/

Venezuela arrests two Chevron executives in ongoing anti-corruption probe

chevron

    

The Public Prosecution’s anti-graft initiative widens its scope to include private sector oil industry employees.

Two Chevron employees were arrested in the Venezuelan city of Puerto La Cruz on Monday, as part of the Bolivarian government’s ongoing anti-corruption drive.

Begun last September, Venezuela’s hardline campaign against corruption and influence peddling has led to legal action against dozens of employees and executives in the state oil sector, but these are the first arrests targeting personnel from a private foreign company.

According to sources interviewed by Reuters, agents of the Bolivarian Intelligence Services (SEBIN) raided PetroPiar’s Puerto la Cruz offices, located in the northeastern Venezuelan state of Anzoategui, to make the arrests.

PetroPiar is a 70/30 joint venture between state oil company PDVSA and Chevron, the largest US oil company operating in Venezuela today. One of the detained men, Carlos Agarra, is a chemical engineer recently relocated to Venezuela from Chevron’s Argentina operations, while the second detainee, Rene Vasquez, is a procurement advisor.

Monday’s arrests were not the first time personnel associated with the Petropiar have been accused of corruption. In January, seven PetroPiar managers were detained on grounds of embezzlement and conspiracy involving manipulation of production figures.

Focused on the oil and foreign currency exchange sectors, the anti-corruption drive has led to the arrests of some 80 PDVSA employees, 20 of whom are high-level executives. Among the top figures facing prosecution are former oil ministers Eulogio del Pino and Nelson Martinez.

The most important figure charged with corruption still remains at large. Rafael Ramirez, who was Chavez’s longest-serving oil minister, is sought by Venezuelan authorities and has a capture order issued by Interpol in January.

Although many have welcomed President Nicolas Maduro and Attorney General Tarek William Saab’s crackdown on corruption, some analysts claim that the campaign reflects factional disputes within Chavismo and has hampered the state oil company’s already flagging production.

Production reached record lows of 1.6 million barrels per day in January and has continued to fall throughout the year, as newly named military personnel were tapped to replace civilian staff members in the state oil company. Among the military officials is the new president of PDVSA, Manuel Quevedo.

On Tuesday, Chevron responded to the arrests stating that “Our legal team is evaluating the situation and working towards the timely release of these employees,” adding,”We have contacted the local authorities to understand the basis of the detention and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of these employees.”

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/383570-Venezuela-arrests-two-Chevron-executives-in-ongoing-anti-corruption-probe

Dave Rubin says YouTube demonetized his interview with Thomas Sowell

Dave Rubin and Thomas Sowell

    

Political commentator and host of “The Rubin Report” Dave Rubin has claimed that YouTube demonetized a segment of his video interview with famed economist Thomas Sowell. The segment reportedly targeted is the first part of the full interview, titled “Thomas Sowell on Facts and Free Speech.”

Rubin is the host of The Rubin Report, an online talk show that covers numerous topics including social issues and politics. Rubin’s videos have also featured discussions with public figures including Philip DeFranco, Bob Saget, Jack Conte, John Kasich, Laci Green, Larry King, Roseanne Barr, Austin Petersen, and Adam Carolla.

Through a series of tweets, Rubin explained that the video was initially monetized before becoming demonetized.

YouTube eventually confirmed that “the automated system recently applied a yellow icon,” and stated that “a video’s classification may change after it’s published as our systems continue to analyze more info from the video.” YouTube added that “this video has yet to be manually reviewed, so please request one!”

Rubin replied that he had already requested a manual review and questioned how the content of the video would warrant demonetization, as well as Youtube’s protocols for reviewing video.

This is not the first incident in which Rubin has claimed that his videos were demonetized. As early as May 2017, Rubin discussed the issue and claimed that demonetization of his videos led to a decrease in revenue of 60 percent.

In January, Rubin stated that YouTube had demonetized an interview with Ben Shapiro, the Editor-in-Chief of Daily Wire. Later in the month, Rubin made another claim regarding demonetization of a video that criticized socialism.

In February, he again publicly called out YouTube for demonetizing a video interview with Shapiro and Jordan Peterson while showing ads on the video in question. In that incident, The Daily Caller reported that when it had asked for an explanation from YouTube, a spokesperson “blamed the original demonetization on the platform’s algorithms.”

In March, Ben Swann published a Reality Check that explored the topic of tech giants censoring certain content, noting that targets are often content creators that are “not part of the establishment structure.”

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/383569-Dave-Rubin-says-YouTube-demonetized-his-interview-with-Thomas-Sowell

Venezuela investigates Colombian largest private bank Banesco in cross-border currency crackdown

bolivar Venezuela currency

    

More than 1,000 bank accounts have been frozen in 19 banks and 105 people arrested for illegal currency trading. 90% of the accounts belong to private bank Banesco.

Venezuelan authorities have launched a probe into Colombian private bank Banesco as part of an operation targeting currency exchange and speculation networks on the border with Colombia.

In recent days, police have arrested 105 suspects and frozen about US$4 million in bank deposits as part of the ongoing investigation.

Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami announced that 1,133 bank accounts had been frozen in 19 banks, belonging to people linked with the illegal trade in bolivares – Venezuela’s national currency – who buy and sell on the border with Colombia.

Banesco, Venezuela’s biggest private bank, held about 90 percent of this money and is now the subject of a formal investigation by authorities into their potential complicity in illicit currency exchange networks.

El Aissami also accused Colombia’s government of protecting the “mafia” organizations trafficking bolivares, which affects the availability of cash within the country, in an attempt to “destabilize and boycott the Venezuelan economy” in order to topple President Nicolas Maduro.

“All these corruption networks linked to the exchange mafias have – and we denounce it as it is – the support and protection of Juan Manuel Santos’ Colombian government,” El Aissami said on state television.

As part of the so-called Paper Hands Operation, the vice president also reported that 595 firms had been investigated, with 22 vehicles and properties seized by anti-corruption police. A further 112 arrest warrants have been issued.

Venezuela has suffered from chronic cash shortages in its banking system in recent months and plans to re-launch its national currency in June, removing three zeros from its denominations.

Venezuela has for years been battling the money mafias which operate along the border in order to circumvent exchange controls established by the Bolivarian government, demanding the Colombian government cooperate in controlling the illegal operations but with little success.

Among those arrested are several Colombian citizens, at least 31 of whom are linked to Carlos Colmenares, who was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of running websites artificially setting the price of the “black dollar”, allegedly causing speculation and financial disruption. According to El Aissami, such websites aim to secure “the imposition of criminal rates of the speculative dollar.”

Authorities claim portals price currencies up to 12 times above Venezuela’s official quota, contributing to the artificial devaluation of the national currency and high inflation levels. El Aissami added that the alleged criminal groups arrested during this operation were centered in the states of Zulia, Tachira, Merida and Apure, all on or close to the Colombia border.

So far, neither Colombian authorities nor Banesco have issued public statements regarding the accusations.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/383568-Venezuela-investigates-Colombian-largest-private-bank-Banesco-in-cross-border-currency-crackdown

Australia’s largest lender charged fees to dead clients

Waverley cemetery in eastern Sydney, Australia

    

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), which is the nation’s largest lender, has collected fees from customers who it knew had died, a major inquiry has heard.

The inquiry was ordered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last year following a series of scandals involving financial misconduct.

CBA told the Banking Royal Commission, which is the country’s top form of public hearing, that fees from customers have been regularly collected for services that had not been delivered. Some of its financial planners had billed services to deceased clients.

The evidence revealed multiple examples of misconduct by the bank’s financial advisers. In one case, an adviser knew that a client had died in 2004 but continued to charge adviser-service fees that continued for a decade. The adviser received around $65 a month in fees in 2014 and 2015.

“When asked, he said he didn’t know what to do and he had tried to contact the public trustee and had not heard back,” the CBA document stated.

Another customer of a different adviser had died in 2007 and contact was made with the client’s wife in 2013, but no action was taken to stop service fees being charged.

Another one of the bank’s advisers was found to have been charging service fees for multiple clients with no evidence of ongoing services being provided. He also charged fees to a dead client.

The financial advisers involved in misconduct have been penalized with warnings by the bank, CBA said.

The bank has previously faced scrutiny for alleged breaches of anti-money-laundering laws, and for providing inappropriate financial advice. Government data prepared for the inquiry showed that over 80,000 consumers have been given bad advice over the past decade, costing them around $4 billion.

The commission is due to provide a final report by February 2019. Australia’s Treasurer Scott Morrison has warned that financial executives could face strong penalties, including jail terms.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/383567-Australias-largest-lender-charged-fees-to-dead-clients

The Rape of Russia: Saker blog interviews geopolitical analyst William Engdahl on Russia in the 90s

manifest destiny

    

Introduction by Pepe Escobar:

William Engdahl is one of the world’s top geopolitical analysts. His books – from Century of War to Full Spectrum Dominance – are absolutely essential to understand how the self-described exceptional nation created and expanded its global hegemony tentacles.

A measure of his influence is that as much as Engdahl may be dismissed or derided across the Beltway, the usual suspects do read him – and are incapable of finding conclusive arguments to prove him wrong.

This extensive interview by financial journalist Lars Schall is largely centered on Chapter 3 – The Rape of Russia – of Engdahl’s new book Manifest Destiny: Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance.

Here you will find all you need to know about the genesis of the 1990s Russian oligarchs; the dirty deals of the Yeltsin mafia; everything from the plunder of Soviet gold to the dodgy operations of the elder Bush’s brother; the incredible Yamashita gold story; the “privatization coupon” scam; the way the Harvard mafia run the Russian economy – all the way to Putin’s uphill battle throughout the 2000s to turn Russia into a functioning economy as NATO kept marching east.

As Engdahl notes, if we don’t understand what happened in Russia in the 1990s it’s absolutely impossible to contextualize the neocons and US Think Tankland’s deep hatred and 24/7 demonization campaign of Putin’s Russia.

So sit back, relax, enjoy the crash course and keep it as an essential reference you will find nowhere else.

The Rape of Russia (full transcript)

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/383566-The-Rape-of-Russia-Saker-blog-interviews-geopolitical-analyst-William-Engdahl-on-Russia-in-the-90s

Three Cops Busted Having Sex With Opioid Thief In City Hall—Not Arrested, Not Even Fired


(Support Free Thought) – Three police officers were suspended without pay after their department learned that they were having sex while on city property—serving as a reminder that if the average citizens were caught having sex in city hall, they would have been arrested for lewd behavior while in public. But because police have one standard for themselves and another for the general public, the officers were given only a few days off without pay.

Investigators in Billings, Montana, were not looking to find their officers engaged in sex on city property, but while investigating the theft of drugs from the department’s evidence storage facility by a former employee, Rawlyn Strizich, the sex acts were discovered, presumably by video camera footage. The three male officers were seen having sex with Strizich who was fired in February for stealing oxycodone from the evidence storage facility.

All three of the veteran male officers admitted to having sex with Strizich. Police chief Rich St. John confirmed with KTVQ the suspensions did, in fact, take place. According to KTVQ:

St. John said two of the officers were suspended for two weeks without pay because they had sex with Strizich while on duty and on city property — in the basement of City Hall, which is used for records storage. The third officer was suspended without pay for one week because he was off duty but on city property at the time. St. John said that officer had sexual relations with Strizich in a police patrol car.

“We’re talking really good officers who made a bad decision — a really, really bad decision,” St. John said. The entire incident has critics scratching their heads and wondering if they too had been caught at city hall having sex, would they have gotten a citation and a court date or such a generous pass like St. John gave the three male officers?

Apparently, the fact that the Billings PD is short-handed was enough of a reason to keep the men on the police force. Surprisingly, the police chief does not even know if they have actually served their suspensions or not, leaving some to wonder if they were even suspended at all.

St. John said, he gave the commanders who supervise the officers discretion on when to allow the suspensions to be served, but the suspensions have to be served all at once, not one or two days at a time. St. John said he ordered the suspensions three weeks ago, adding, “I don’t know if they served their time yet.”

If the media had not been alerted to the incident, it is unclear if anything would have been done to the officers who still remain unidentified. Several news agencies know their identities but refuse to report their names.

“I look at the work that they have done, whether they’re salvageable, the time that’s elapsed with this thing,” St. John told the Billings Gazette. “We have a lot of money invested in these people, and if they’re salvageable, we want to do that. I also want them to learn that this isn’t acceptable behavior and send a message to the rest of the department that this is unacceptable.”

This week KTVQ reported that the City of Billings is planning to release the names of the three officers. The resulting shame will certainly rock the lives of the officers, their families, and the community.

Sadly, this story is not the first story published by The Free Thought Project detailing sexual, possibly criminal, actions by officers while on duty. Most often, the officers are suspended, with or without pay, and allowed to remain on the police force despite being guilty of the very thing for which the average citizen would be arrested.


Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blacklistednews/hKxa/~3/7hdXsvbYbQ4/three-cops-busted-having-sex-with-opioid-thief-in-city-hallnot-arrested-not-even.html

79 graves uncovered at Sugar Land construction site


 – The body count continues to rise in Sugar Land where unidentified human remains have been uncovered at a construction site. Officials now report the discovery of 79 graves at the site at University Boulevard and Chatham Avenue, up from the 30 unmarked graves initially reported.

Now everyone from historians to archaeologists are working to figure out who the deceased people are.

It’s actually right across the field from the Imperial Prison Farm Cemetery, so it will be interesting to see if the two are connected. But it seems the more they dig, the more bodies they find.

“At this point, it’s clear we do have a historic cemetery on our property,” explains Fort Bend ISD spokesperson Veronica Sopher.

Read More…



Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blacklistednews/hKxa/~3/UPbOLt4uFoI/79-graves-uncovered-at-sugar-land-construction.html

Libyan oil pipeline attacked by ‘terrorist group’


A Libyan crude pipeline owned by the al-Waha oil company, feeding the port of Es Sider, was set on fire on Saturday causing the loss of between 70,000 barrels per day and 100,000 bpd, state firm NOC said.

NOC said on its Twitter feed the cause of the fire on the El-Zkout – Es Sider pipeline was unknown but a Waha source said a “terrorist group” was behind it.

The pipeline was attacked in December. Production loss then was also put at between 70,000 barrels a day and 100,000 bpd.

The fire broke out 21km from North West Marada, NOC roughly the same area of the December attack.

The area is frequented by Daesh fighters, Libyan officials have said.

NOC said its fire fighters were at the site.


Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blacklistednews/hKxa/~3/_78CHbLRJ5k/libyan-oil-pipeline-attacked-by-terrorist.html

BILL GATES PLEDGES $1 BILLION TO FIGHT MALARIA AS EXPERTS FEAR RESURGENCE


This week, Microsoft founder Bill Gates announced the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would invest $1 billion in the fight against malaria. Speaking at the London Malaria Summit on Wednesday, he urged global leaders to unite in fighting the ancient and deadly disease.

After more than a decade of dramatic decline drug and insecticide resistance, political apathy and a collapse in donor funding have created a recipe for a resurgence. Government leaders, medical experts and even British Royals joined the chorus. The fight against malaria, they said, has hit a “crossroads.”

Take, for example, the story of 28-year-old Omac Huvo who lives in Manica, Mozambique. Monday to Saturday, she wakes up, dons protective clothes and a tank of insecticide, knocks on doors and persuades families to let her spray the walls of their houses. She has worked as an indoor residual spray operator for seven years—first for the government and now with charity Goodbye Malaria.

Huvo used to face reluctance. Families have to strip their walls of possessions and stay outside for three hours as the spray settles. But now, she told Newsweek, people have started to see results and are happy to hear her knock. They know the inconvenience is worth it. After all, nets only protect your bed. “We can’t take the bed net to the dining room when we’re eating,” she said. “We can’t take the bed net to the sitting room when we’re watching TV.”

Read More…



Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blacklistednews/hKxa/~3/oZvPtVQ2y9c/bill-gates-pledges-1-billion-to-fight-malaria-as-experts-fear.html

Betsy DeVos’ Department of Education Is Saving Itself Work by Dismissing Hundreds of Civil Rights Cases

After her disastrous 60 Minutes interview, where she failed to justify or back up any of her policies or beliefs about education, Betsy DeVos may be eager to prove herself competent and effective again. And in a way, she’s succeeding: her goals even before becoming Secretary of Education was to undermine public schools, belittle teachers, and prop up student debt collectors. Now that she oversees the country’s schools, she can more effectively push for those pet projects while also ripping the teeth out of the agency she runs.

Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blacklistednews/hKxa/~3/hqEphjpc5p8/betsy-devos-department-of-education-is-saving-itself-work-by-dismissing-hundreds-of-civil-rights.html

Come in, Natalie, the water’s fine

Natalie Portman has recently made headlines in her decision not to attend the ceremony for the Israeli Genesis Prize which she was awarded because “[r]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel”, meaning that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony.” 

Portman’s refusal has been predictably met with ire from various Israeli right-wing politicians.

Yesterday Portman clarified her position on her Instagram:

“My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. By the same token, I am not part of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement and do not endorse it. Like many Israelis and Jews around the world, I can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation. I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance. Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power. Please do not take any words that do not come directly from me as my own. This experience has inspired me to support a number of charities in Israel. I will be announcing them soon, and I hope others will join me in supporting the great work they are doing.”

Although Portman seems to be keeping herself within the anti-BDS ‘liberal-Zionist’ position, I would like to expand on where her position may yet lead – although it is a longshot.

 

The Genesis Prize Foundation

The Genesis Prize Foundation considers itself to be the “Jewish Nobel”, which “honors individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement along with their commitment to Jewish values and the Jewish people.” The foundation said it was “very saddened” that the Jewish-Israeli-American actress would not take part in the ceremony. The Genesis Prize Foundation canceled the prize ceremony, saying in a statement that its organizers “fear that Ms. Portman’s decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid”.

Now, is this really just a “philanthropic initiative” that is not “political”? The JTA tells us that “The Genesis Prize was established by Mikhail Fridman and other wealthy Russian-Jewish businessmen and operates in a partnership with Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office and the Jewish Agency for Israel.”

Well now, if you are really that “fearful” that your initiative will be “politicized”, then you just have to sever that relationship with Israeli-Jewish political agencies. Of course, to even suggest that the foundation is not political is just disingenuous. It promotes the Jewish aspect in the Jewish State and is a major Hasbara branding tool for Israel.

 

Using artists as a branding

Recently, I was asked to present a new film about violinist Itzhak Perlman, “Itzhak”, at the Jewish Film Festival in Copenhagen. It is brand new, and I could only see the trailer, which seemed to suggest it was politically benign, so I said yes. I told how Perlman had influenced me in my young years of playing violin, and my great esteem of the virtuoso and the person. Then came the film, and late into it, there is a part where he goes to Israel to get the Genesis Prize. In that conjunction, he’s also invited to the Prime Minister Netanyahu residence for a family dinner. There’s a discussion prior to that, back home in the US, where family members ask him whether he’s excited to meet Netanyahu, with a certain tone of concern. He says that it’s exciting to meet “any head of state”, and that “we don’t have to talk politics”. They don’t seem to talk politics on the documentary, but you see, it’s political. He’s not just pals with Netanyahu – he goes there because Netanyahu is the prime minister of the Jewish State.

After I saw the film, I had the bitter feeling that I had just inadvertently participated in an Israeli propaganda stunt that was inserted as if it was benign into this film. I recall having the fear that there might be something like that in the film, and although I asked to see it in advance, I could only get access to the trailer. I realized that you can’t be too careful when Israel is somehow involved.

So Natalie Portman is realizing that she will be used as a branding of Israel. Israeli “recent events” have been “extremely distressing” – surely a reference to Israel’s killing of nearly 40 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, which have shocked Jews around the world

 

Critique of Portman’s decision   

Portman’s decision not to attend the ceremony was met with predictable fury from Israeli politicians. Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan, who recenly called Palestinians visiting relatives in Israeli prison ‘beasts’ and ‘human scum’ and said he’d put Ahed Tamimi ‘in the hospital’ by kicking her face, suggested that Portman be stripped of her Israeli citizenship.  

Culture Minister Miri Regev, who has called African refugees “cancer”, said that she “was very sorry to hear that Portman fell like a ripe fruit into the hands of BDS supporters. A Jewish actress, who was born in Israel, has joined those who see the miraculous success story of Israel’s creation as a ‘story of darkness’.”

The latter was a reference to the Amos Oz novel “A Tale of Love and Darkness”, which Portman has made her directing debut three years ago. Regev had simply omitted the “love”, to paint Portman as an agent of “darkness”. And it is as if Regev is trying to deliver a ‘Star Wars’ like message – that Portman, who played the good Princess Amidala in Star Wars, has simply fallen into the hands of the ‘dark side’.

Yesterday, Minister of Strategic Affairs and Hasbara, Gilad Erdan, sent Portman a two-page letter which he posted on his twitter. In his ending, he invoked the Star Wars analogy:

“Anakin Skywalker, a character you know well from Star Wars, went through a similar process. He began to believe that the Jedi knights were evil, and that the forces of the Dark Side were the defenders of democracy. I call on you not to let the Dark Side win”, he wrote.

 

Portman takes a position against Netanayhu

 “I’m very much against Netanyahu. Against. I am very, very upset and disappointed that he was re-elected. I find his racist comments horrific”, Portman told the Hollywood Reporter in May 2015.  

It is likely that she was referring to Netanyahu’s 2015 election racist baiting statements of “Arabs are heading to the polling stations in droves”. 

“However”, she added “I don’t — what I want to make sure is, I don’t want to use my platform [the wrong way]. I feel like there’s some people who become prominent, and then it’s out in the foreign press. You know, shit on Israel. I do not. I don’t want to do that.”

In a statement following the Genesis Prize announcement in November, Portman said she is proud of her “Israeli roots and Jewish heritage.”

Portman is thus positioned in what you could call a “liberal-Zionist” ideological position, but something seems to have shifted in her recently further, because she was still poised to receive the prize in June, with distinct pride over her “Israeli roots and Jewish heritage”.

 

Ashamed to be Israeli?

This “pride” seems to be cracking, and we have seen it also inside Israel. Following the recent mass killings of Palestinian protesters in Gaza, prominent Israeli Army Radio host Kobi Meidan said he was “ashamed to be Israeli”. The statement got him into hot water, and he had to publicly apologize in order to keep his job. 

Portman has not taken that step literally. She is very cautious in her formulation. But her dropping of the Genesis Prize seems to be saying something in that direction.

 

Clash with Israel, or with Zionism?

Is it going to go any further? Has Portman noted the racism and propaganda inherent in liberal Zionism? It’s even in Amos Oz, the liberal Zionist ‘hero’. I reported about Oz’s participation in Israeli propaganda towards its 2014 Gaza onslaught, here:

On July 31st, 2014, at the midst of Israel’s unprecedented assault on Gaza, Oz gave an interview to the Deutsche Welle. He opened the interview with two questions of his own, defying world opinion:

“Question 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap and starts shooting machine gun fire into your nursery?

“Question 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?

With these two questions I pass the interview to you”.

Oz was thus, in his eloquent rhetoric capability, voicing two widespread Israeli fictitious myths, disseminated from the PM office itself: That Hamas uses the population (particularly young children) as human shields, and that it has “terror tunnels” that lead to Israeli nurseries.

The first myth hardly deserves mentioning, in that Israel systematically obliterated whole families with over 30 members in Gaza 2014, because a wanted Hamas member was amongst them. To regard those family members, including babies, as human shields, deserves nothing but contempt. As Amira Hass notes in her introduction to the project Obliterated Families: “Behind every erased Gazan family is an Israeli pilot”.

The second myth, of Hamas “terror tunnels” leading to kindergartens in nearby villages, was a deliberate lie disseminated by the Prime Minister’s office and widely circulated in international media, serving as an important hysteria-creator and means of manufacturing consent for the ground invasion, where the actual casus belli (missing before that) became these tunnels. But this myth was debunked shortly after.

No tunnel led into any Israeli village. The sole purpose for which the tunnels were ever used in the handful of cases – was military engagement, legitimate under international law.

Oz was thus serving as an ignorant and zealous propagandist for Israel’s 51 days of death and destruction, and I have not noticed that he has ever corrected himself, for I have not seen him address this myth in the Israeli mainstream.

Has Portman noticed this? Has Portman noticed the left-leader Isaac Herzog saying how the left shouldn’t be perceived as “Arab Lovers”? Has she noticed how the Israeli left has sold out African refugees as “infiltrators”?

These are not accidental expressions. Liberal Zionism is a contradiction in terms. ‘Liberal Zionist’ leaders like ‘leftist’ Prime Minister Levi Eshkol wanted to send Palestinians “to the moon”. “I want them all to go, even if they go to the moon”, he said.

This is not illogical. It is completely logical. Maintaining a Jewish State at the cost of continued expulsion and subjugation of Palestinians, has been the modus operandi of Israel since the start – and it encompasses all of its Zionist political spectrum.

Natalie Portman appears to be breaking with Israel in some way. But she appears to be on the fence in relation to Zionism. She may still believe that there is a Zionism that is not “racist”, one that may be less “distressing” for her.

Her acts seem to be suggesting that she is not quite as proud of her “Israeli roots”, and possibly even ashamed of Israel, although not saying it. Will she manage to extricate the Jewish from the Israeli? This is a very hard task, a painful one. Yet Portman seems to portray a dynamic and fighting character. She may one day break from Zionism.   

Thanks to Ofer Neiman.

Source Article from http://mondoweiss.net/2018/04/come-natalie-waters/

Natalie Portman’s criticism of ‘atrocities’ leaves Israel’s advocates silent

Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman’s refusal to accept an award at a ceremony in Israel because of “extremely distressing” recent events is causing a huge headache for Israel advocates.

Yesterday Portman issued a statement elaborating on her earlier statement. She cited “atrocities” and her discomfort at attending a ceremony alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Although she also said she does not support BDS, boycott, divestment and sanctions.

I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. . .  I treasure my Israeli friends and family, Israeli food, books, art, cinema, and dance. Israel was created exactly 70 years ago as a haven for refugees from the Holocaust. But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.

The chief response of Israel’s defenders has been silence.

Even as Netanyahu’s minister for strategic affairs issued a “Dear Natalie” letter, chiding her, “Sadly, it seems you have been influenced by the campaign of media misinformation and lies concerning Gaza orchestrated by the Hamas terrorist group,” Prime Minister Netanyahu himself studiously avoided the Portman topic in his comments to his cabinet yesterday morning, focusing on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment. Though perhaps Netanyahu’s jabs at Jews in the west were aimed at Portman. “[T]he Jewish People would have shriveled away in exile,” Netanyahu said. And Israel’s establishment “created a national center for our people in which there is no assimilation.” The actress, by the way, is married to a non-Jew who is converting to Judaism.

In today’s New York Times, Bret Stephens echoes Netanyahu’s avoidance with a column about how Jews are now afraid to live in Europe. So in a column about Israel, Stephens does not mention Portman once.

Portman’s defection hurts because she has been an outspoken advocate for Israel over the years. In her early 20s, she was a research assistant on Alan Dershowitz’s 2003 tract, The Case for Israel.  DJ Rothkopf (also a former Israel defender) sees her choice as symptomatic:

Natalie Portman makes the right decision. . .  and sends yet another message that profound changes are afoot among communities Israel could once count upon for support.

No wonder Jennifer Rubin is ignoring the story, as she has ignored Israel’s killings of more than 30 unarmed protesters. Jeffrey Goldberg is ignoring the story.

Bari Weiss of the New York Times only stuck her head up above the ground to ask a pro-Israel tweeter who was drumming her to battle for a link on the story. “is there a link? this is all i’m seeing of it.” Yakov Hirsch’s brilliant comment on Weiss’s flustering:

One must have a heart of stone not to have sympathy for hasbara culture ideological Rottweilers over today’s Natalie Portman news.

Aware of the damage, Avi Mayer, the spokesman for the Jewish Agency, also wants to suspend judgment:

Like many, I was disappointed to hear that the Genesis Prize ceremony has been canceled – it’s always a good time! Like few, I will be reserving both judgment and comment until we hear from Natalie Portman why she pulled out. I would recommend that others do the same.

Not all the guard dogs are choking. Caroline Glick writes:

Natalie Portman is vile. Shame on her.

Such commentary will only create more support for Natalie Portman.

Thanks to Allison Deger.

 

Source Article from http://mondoweiss.net/2018/04/criticism-atrocities-advocates/

Four are killed, as Gaza protesters move tents closer to border

For the fourth week, on a peaceful and unilateral battlefield, thousands of angry young men went close to the border fence separating Gaza and Israel to protest, facing dozens of Israeli soldiers who lay positioned behind sandy hills. But neither side could see the other clearly due to towers of thick black smoke from blazing tires billowing over the isolated Mediterranean enclave for six hours of protests.

This Friday which is part of a planned six-week-long demonstration called the Great Return March, demanding the right of return for refugees, eight tents in “Malaka” area were moved to within 300 meters of the fence, just in range of tear gas canisters and live bullets. Moving closer to the green fields behind the border s more sense to the rally, march’s organizers believe.

Local bulldozers also raised protective sandy hills around the new set camp.

Moving those yards closer left four Palestinians killed and 152 others injured by Israeli soldiers firing live ammunition from across the border, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported.

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Photo by Mohammed Asad

Breaking the barriers of fear, the protesters hurled tear gas canisters back at the soldiers, buried them or even dumped them in buckets filled with water.

In the past three weeks, 37 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by troops firing from across the border fence.

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Photo by Mohammed Asad

Ra’fat Jendiyeh said he was the “only loser” of this week’s protest. Ra’fat, a 41-year-old farmer, owns 25-dunums (about six acres) near the fence, planted with okra, wheat and eggplant. He says his fields have been turned into a “daytime club and open-air restaurant.” His family had 35 dunums on the other side of the Israeli border too.

Ra’fat Jendiyeh at Gaza protests, April 20, 2018. Photo by Mohammed Asad.

“It is impossible to find someone walking between these fields before last March, except masked resistance fighters or farmers with faces well-known to the soldiers,” he told Mondoweiss.

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Photo by Mohammed Asad

“These masses are no longer afraid of anything,” he said. Thousands of casualties, dozens of dead and grisly scenes of wounds on television have not stopped them from joining the march. “So I cannot prevent dozens from running back and crushing the seedlings,” he said. “But it does not matter if they are relieved of their anger.”

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Photo by Mohammed Asad

In one protest camp, organizers placed four life-sized effigies of Israeli soldiers behind iron bars facing the fence. Hamas is believed to hold the remains of two soldiers from the 2014 war between Israel and Gaza.

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Images of Israeli soldiers. Photo by Mohammed Asad

Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of Hamas’s Political Bureau, said in a televised speech to mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day on Tuesday, that his movement is ready for a prisoner swap with Israel through third-party mediation.

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Life size effigies of Israeli soldiers behind bars. Photo by Mohammed Asad

In today’s protests, a large number of women were also seen. Nour Habib, 17, and her mother, Nihad, 35, and her sisters were urging each other to move close to the border “to see the green fields behind the soldiers”.

Women are less likely to be shot at the weekly rally, it is widely understood.

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Nour Habib and her mother. Photo by Mohammed Asad

I asked Nihad Habib if her daughters and she are afraid to be in this precarious area. As she prepared Thai-style fried chicken for lunch, she replied, “I am originally from the Bayt Jirja village (15.5 km northeast of Gaza) and nothing frightens you as long as you… want to go back to your original land”.

Nour, who is preparing for high school exams next month, says she comes here weekly for a walk and to refresh her mind. “I do not think we’ll go this summer to the sewage polluted beach. Here I can breathe fresh oxygen.”

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Photo by Mohammed Asad

“We live in a male-dominated society,” she went on, and girls’ participation in the protests can make for a strange scene. But she said men were more accepting and encouraging the idea to be here, “especially since we came with my uncle, who did not like the idea at first, but he agreed and we got his car.”

Nour said she did not like the 300 meters “only” move of tents. “It should be moved at zero distance next Friday,” she said. Palestinians have no fear because they face a country that was built on their displacement. “They think the young will forget but we will not.”

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Nihad Habib fleeing tear gas. Photo by Mohammed Asad

Then Nour and her family fled due to a tear gas attack during the interview. So, being a female protester wasn’t a guarantee for protection after all.

The participation in the weekly rallies seems to have impressed even the children, some of whom feel lucky to have the demonstration to go to on Friday on their school weekend.

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Photo by Mohammed Asad

I met Basma Abu Hashish (9 years old) who was with her family eating lemon flavored ice.

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Basma abu Hashish, 9, and her family. Photo by Mohammed Asad

“Nothing is scary here,” she said.

“We brought mineral water to rinse our eyes if we have been attacked by gas,” she said. “At least my father will tell us stories about what he did when he was our age and what my granddad was catching in the Jaffa’s sea.”

April 20, 2018 Gaza protest. Photo by Mohammed Asad

Source Article from http://mondoweiss.net/2018/04/killed-protesters-closer/

Israeli gunshots are causing ‘unusually severe damage’ to legs, exit wounds as big as a fist — human rights group

Gaza

Palestine: MSF teams in Gaza observe unusually severe and devastating gunshot injuries
MSF (Doctors without Borders) 19 Apr — Since 1 April, MSF [Medecins Sans Frontieres] teams in Gaza, Palestine, have provided post-operative care to more than 500 people injured by gunshots during the March of Return demonstrations. The number of patients treated in our clinics over the last three weeks is more than the number we treated throughout all of 2014, when Israel’s military Operation Protective Edge was launched over the Gaza strip. MSF medical staff report receiving patients with devastating injuries of an unusual severity, which are extremely complex to treat. The injuries sustained by patients will leave most with serious, long-term physical disabilities. Medical teams in Gaza’s hospitals prepare to face a possible new influx of wounded this Friday in the latest of the March of Return demonstrations. MSF surgeons in Gaza report devastating gunshot wounds among hundreds of people injured during the protests over recent weeks. The huge majority of patients – mainly young men, but also some women and children – have unusually severe wounds to the lower extremities. MSF medical teams note the injuries include an extreme level of destruction to bones and soft tissue, and large exit wounds that can be the size of a fist. “Half of the more than 500 patients we have admitted in our clinics have injuries where the bullet has literally destroyed tissue after having pulverized the bone”, said Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, Head of Mission of MSF in Palestine. “These patients will need to have very complex surgical operations and most of them will have disabilities for life.” Managing these injuries is very difficult. Apart from regular nursing care, patients will often need additional surgery, and undergo a very long process of physiotherapy and rehabilitation. A lot of patients will keep functional deficiencies for the rest of their life. Some patients may yet need amputation if not provided with sufficient care in Gaza and if they don’t manage to get the necessary authorisation to be treated outside of the strip….
http://www.msf.org/en/article/palestine-msf-teams-gaza-observe-unusually-severe-and-devastating-gunshot-injuries

Israeli soldiers killed four Palestinians, including a child, injured 729, in Gaza on Friday
IMEMC 21 Apr — The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that Israeli soldiers shot and killed, Friday, four Palestinians, including one child, and injured more than 729, including 24 children and twelve women, after the army resorted to the excessive use of force against protesters, on their lands, near the border fence, in the besieged Gaza Strip. The Ministry said the soldiers killed a child, identified as Mohammad Ibrahim Ayyoub, 15, from Jabalia in northern Gaza, after shooting him with an expanding bullet in the head. It added that the soldiers also killed Ahmad Rashad al-Athamna, 24, from Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, after shooting him with a live round in his neck, east of nearby Jabalia. The soldiers also killed Ahmad Nabil Aqel, 25, after shooting him with an expanding bullet in the head, east of Jabalia, in northern Gaza. He was first shot in his leg, received the needed treatment, and returned to the protests, before being killed by Israeli army fire. In addition, the soldiers killed Sa‘ad Abdul-Majid Abu Taha, 29, from al-Qarara town, northeast of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, after shooting him with a live round in his neck.
The Health Ministry also stated that the soldiers shot more than 729 Palestinians, including 174 who were rushed to local hospitals, and at least three who suffered life-threatening wounds, and 271 who received treatment in make-shift field clinics. 156 of the wounded were shot with live fire. One of the wounded is a medic, who suffered a very serious injury, in addition to two journalists. Ninety Palestinians suffered moderate wounds. The Ministry stated that eighteen of the wounded Palestinians were shot in the neck and head, 26 in the chest and back, twelve in the pelvis and abdomen, and 154 were shot in their legs. Furthermore, eighty-six Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation; 29 were injured by shrapnel; five were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets and 29 sustained cuts and bruises.
Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Palestinian Observer at the United Nations, sent three identical letters to the United Nations Secretary General, the head of the Security Council and the head of the General Assembly, informing them of the latest Israeli violations and the excessive use of force against unarmed Palestinian civilians….
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-soldiers-killed-four-palestinians-including-a-child-injured-729-in-gaza-on-friday/

VIDEO: Interview with Abderahman Nofal, 12 years old, shot in leg which has now been amputated
from Alray.ps  Interview with Abderahman Nofal and with his mother.
https://www.facebook.com/shyc.palestine/videos/351301648713459/

Ramallah hospital amputates leg of injured Gaza child
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 19 Apr — A Ramallah hospital amputated, on Thursday, the left leg of Gaza child Abdul Rahman Noufal [or Abderahman Nofal], aged 13, from Nuseirat refugee camp, who was shot in the leg with an explosive bullet that ruptured his bones during protests at the Gaza border with Israel, according to family members. Noufal underwent surgery at a Gaza hospital, following his injury, where doctors mulled over the possibility of amputating his leg but decided to wait and see if there were other options. Noufal’s father, Yamen, appealed with PA president Mahmoud Abbas to intervene to get his son to receive medical treatment in Ramallah, to save his leg, because Gaza hospitals were not capable of it. Abbas called on Civil Affairs head Hussein al-Sheikh to immediately get in contact with the Israeli authorities to get a permit for Noufal to leave Gaza and travel to Ramallah for medical treatment. Israel agreed. on Wednesday, to allow Noufal to leave Gaza for medical treatment in Ramallah, according to the Civil Affairs Authority. It said in a statement that, following intervention with the Israeli authorities on behalf of Abdul Rahman Noufal, Israel has agreed to grant the child a permit to leave Gaza, to receive medical treatment at a Ramallah hospital. Noufal arrived at Ramallah’s Istishari Hospital on Wednesday evening. He was accompanied by his grandmother. However, after doctors realized that keeping his leg would endanger his life, they decided to amputate it, according to Noufal’s parents.
http://imemc.org/article/hospital-in-ramallah-amputates-leg-of-injured-gaza-child/

Wounded Gaza cyclist to miss Asian Games after amputation
GAZA (Reuters) 18 April by Nidal al-Mughrabi — A Gaza cyclist’s dream of waving the Palestinian flag at the Asian Games has been shattered by an Israeli bullet that caused him to lose his leg after he joined a Gaza border protest. Alaa Al-Daly, 21, had his right leg amputated after he attended the first day of what has been called “The Great March of Return,” a six-week demonstration at the frontier fence between the Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip and Israel. Daly said that he and three friends cycled towards a border protest area on March 30, then walked to what they expected to be a non-violent demonstration. “I only went because it was a peaceful rally, I did not expect any harm to come to me.” Daly said he was 150-200 metres (500-660 feet) from the fence, and not involved in any belligerent action against Israeli troops, when he was struck by gunfire. He said his family asked that he be evacuated from Gaza to receive better treatment in the West Bank or in Israel, but Palestinian authorities told him that Israeli officials refused to let him exit Gaza. The Israeli military said that senior commanders had ruled that apart from “exceptional humanitarian cases,” medical treatment would not be given to Palestinians who participated in the border protests … Daly, who trained for more than six hours a day for months to compete at the Asian Games in Indonesia, now accepts that his “dream of waving the flag of Palestine in Jakarta” is over. He is learning to walk with the help of crutches, and intends to compete in the future as an amputee.
https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL8N1RV22Z

Palestinian journalist shot in head by Israeli forces transferred to West Bank hospital
IMEMC 18 Apr — A Palestinian journalist from Gaza, one of the over 2,000 Palestinians wounded in the past 18 days by Israeli forces, arrived in a coma at Ramallah General Hospital Monday, after repeated delays of his transfer by Israeli authorities and the denial of treatment by Israeli hospitals. Ahmad Abu Hussein, a photojournalist from Gaza, was shot in the head on Friday April 13th by Israeli snipers stationed at the border between Gaza and Israel. He was hit with an exploding bullet, a banned type of live fire that explodes on impact, causing severe internal injuries. The head of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, Nassar Abu Bakr, criticized the delay in the transfer of the patient, telling reporters from the Ma‘an News Agency, “The Israeli authorities committed two crimes against Abu Hussein, one when injuring him with an explosive bullet in the head and another when delaying his transfer from Gaza hospitals to Ramallah, as if the occupation insists on killing him.” Abu Bakr said that specialized Israeli hospitals were better equipped to treat the severely wounded journalist, but none would accept to have him transferred. So he was sent to Ramallah General Hospital in the West Bank. He added that only through ‘strenuous efforts’ by a number of Palestinian officials was this transfer made possible….
http://imemc.org/article/palestinian-journalist-shot-in-head-by-israeli-forces-transferred-to-west-bank-hospital/

Military fired teargas at family tents far from fence during Gaza protests, injuring hundreds
B’Tselem 20 Apr — Since 30 March 2018, Palestinians in Gaza have protested every Friday along the fence with Israel, with thousands to tens of thousands in attendance. Throughout the rest of the week, smaller protests have been held in the same locations, attended by tens to hundreds of protestors. During the Friday protests, some of the demonstrators who went near the fence threw stones at soldiers stationed on or near dirt mounds on the other side of it. The soldiers fired live rounds, rubber coated metal bullets and teargas canisters at them. According to the military, some demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and explosives and tried to sabotage the fence.
However, most of the demonstrators – including older adults, women and children – congregated in encampments set up specifically for the demonstrations at a distance of 400 to 600 meters from the fence. The encampments had field clinics, food vendors and various activities for children and adults, such as clown shows, poetry readings, live music shows and soccer matches. Many families gathered inside tents where they ate and talked.
An investigation conducted by B’Tselem revealed that over the course of the demonstrations, soldiers on the other side of the fence fired teargas at the encampments, despite the distance from the fence and the peaceful nature of the protest there. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, more than 1,800 Palestinians were hurt by the teargas. The ministry’s statistics do not mention where the persons hurt were at the time the gas was sprayed, but B’Tselem’s investigation found that hundreds were hurt far from the fence. Most were treated in the field clinics, but some were more severely hurt and taken to hospital.
This use of crowd dispersal measures is unlawful and unjustified. Israel has no right to disperse demonstrations inside the Gaza Strip or to direct Gazans as to where they may and may not congregate. It is most certainly prohibited from firing teargas at demonstrators located hundreds of meters away from the border, minding their own business and posing no threat to anyone.
B’Tselem field researchers Khaled al-‘Azayzeh and Olfat al-Kurd collected testimonies from Gaza residents who took part in demonstrations near the town of Khuza‘a, east of Khan Yunis: [testimonies follow]
https://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/20180419_military_fires_tear_gas_at_gaza_protest_tents

PHOTOS: Life inside Gaza’s Return March protest camp
Activestills 11 Apr  Photos by Mohammed Zaanoun (Activestills.org), text by Mohammed Zaanoun and +972 Magazine Staff  — This is what happens at the protest camp when the IDF isn’t shooting — and when the world isn’t looking — On Fridays, the Gaza tent encampment near the Israeli border fence is a deadly zone. Israel snipers have opened fire on Palestinian demonstrators for two consecutive weeks, killing more than 30 people and wounding over 1,000. But during the middle of the week, the protest camp, part of the Great Return March, is something entirely different — a peaceful, colorful staging ground for a range different activities that draws entire families, located a mere 400 meters from the Israeli border. Mohammed Zaanoun, an Activestills photographer, visited the protest camp east of Shujaiya, a neighborhood devastated by Israeli bombing during the 2014 war. Several hundred people were there to participate in the activities, from dancing and children’s games to cooking and even pop-up barbershops. At night, the women go home while some of the men remain in the tents….
https://972mag.com/photos-life-inside-gazas-return-march-protest-camp/134613/

Palestinian activists move tents 50 meters closer to security fence in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 19 Apr — …The committee in charge of the “Great March of Return” announced [Thursday] that they had moved the “tents of return” 50 meters closer towards the border “as a message of persistence from our people to the world that we are moving forwards towards our rightful goals.” The activists added that the tents had been set up between 500-700 meters away from the border line. Thursday marked the 20th day of protests since the “Great March of Return” began in the besieged Gaza Strip, as hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees demanded their collective right of return to their homelands in was is present-day Israel.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780043

Ahead of border protests, IDF drops leaflets warning Gazans: ‘Hamas endangers your lives’
Haaretz 20 Apr by Yaniv Kubovich — The leaflet, signed by the “IDF headquarters,” is addressed to Gaza residents. “You are participating in violent disturbances. Hamas is taking advantage of you to carry out terrorist attacks. The IDF is prepared for any scenario. Stay away from the fence and do not attempt to damage it,” said the leaflets scattered by Israeli aircraft in the early morning in areas along the border … “Avoid using weapons and carrying out violent acts against Israeli security forces and Israeli civilians. Keep away from terrorist elements and groups pushing riots and violence. The IDF will take action against any attempt to damage the barrier and its components and any other military equipment. Hamas is using you to advance the interests of its movement. Don’t follow Hamas orders that endanger your lives. It is possible [to act differently] – your future is in your hands,” state the leaflets….
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/ahead-of-gaza-protests-idf-drops-leaflets-warning-gazans-1.6013092

Israeli military strikes Hamas post in southern Gaza after shots fired at soldiers
Haaretz 17 Apr by Jack Khoury & Yaniv Kubovich — Israeli Defense Forces attacked a Hamas outpost Tuesday in response to shots fired at soldiers near the Gaza border fence. The shots were fired at a force patrolling near the southern part of the Strip from an area near which protests take place every Friday. The Israeli army reported no wounded in the incident. In response, tanks opened fire at a Hamas observation outpost. The Palestinian Healthy Ministry reports no casualties in the strike.
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/idf-attacks-hamas-outpost-in-southern-gaza-after-shots-fired-at-patrol-1.6011482

Israeli forces shell southern Gaza, injuring 5 Palestinians
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 18 Apr — Five Palestinians were injured after Israeli forces shelled areas in the eastern Khan Younis district in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday around dawn. The Gaza Ministry of Health said in a statement that several shells were fired towards a site belonging to the al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement. The ministry added that shots were fired from the site towards the border with Israel. Three Palestinians were injured with live ammunition while two others were injured by the shelling, the ministry said. The statement added that Israeli forces opened fire at an ambulance attempting to transfer the injured to the hospital. Several Israeli military vehicles raided the area following the shelling, leveling lands along the border as Israeli drones flew over head. An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma‘an that “overnight IDF troops identified five suspects, at least one of which was armed, approaching the security fence in the southern Gaza strip and in response, troops fired towards the suspects.” The spokesperson did not comment on the allegations that Israeli forces opened fire on ambulances evacuating the injured.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780037

Israeli criticism of journalists on Gaza border conflicts with video
JERUSALEM (AFP) 20 Apr by Mike Smith — Israel’s military has suggested that a photo it has distributed shows journalists are willingly being used as human shields by Palestinian militants during recent protests, but video and a witness account of the incident tell a different story. The military has made a photo from April 13 protests and clashes on the Gaza Strip border part of its public relations effort, with one army spokesman using it in a tweet to suggest bias and recklessness by journalists covering recent demonstrations. Those suggestions conflict with video footage of the incident shown in the photograph filmed by an AFP journalist and the reporter’s description of what happened. The distribution of the photo comes as Israel comes under scrutiny over its use of live fire during protests and clashes on the Gaza border. Thirty-four Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded by Israeli forces since the protests began on March 30, according to Gaza’s health ministry. The dead include a Palestinian journalist who witnesses said was wearing a press vest when he was shot. Israel accuses Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip and with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, of using the protests as cover to carry out violence and says it has only opened fire when necessary. There have been no Israeli casualties, and Palestinians say protesters are being shot while posing no threat to troops.
‘Terror purposes’? – When first distributing the photo on April 13, Israel’s military said the main person in it was “a terrorist wielding an item suspected of being an explosive device used for terror purposes while journalists and a handicapped person stand closely behind him.” … The AFP journalist recorded video of the incident shown in the photograph during protests east of Gaza City. Footage shows a man wearing a keffiyeh scarf attempting and failing to light what seems to be a standard firework while lying on the ground amid black smoke from burning tyres. He was at least 100 metres from Israeli forces at the time, the journalist said, and later gave up and left the area. The journalist, who has extensive experience in conflict zones, had positioned himself and his camera there in part because he believed he was far enough from the border fence to avoid unnecessary risk….
https://www.yahoo.com/news/israeli-criticism-journalists-gaza-border-conflicts-video-041131368.html

Fiery kites adopted as new tactic by Gaza protesters
AFP 20 Apr — Palestinians protesting along the Gaza border have begun attaching Molotov cocktails to kites to fly over the fence into Israel in a new tactic as demonstrations enter their fourth week. For protests set for Friday, Gazans were hoping to send dozens of kites over the fence, including some carrying notes telling Israelis “there is no place for you in Palestine.” On the eve of Friday’s protests, a group of young people worked with coloured paper and empty coke bottles under a tree in an olive orchard hundreds of metres from the Israeli border east of Gaza City. Some carefully created 60-centimetre-long kites in the colours of the Palestinian flag. When completed, a metal wire was attached at the bottom linked to a liquid-filled bottle. As AFP watched, three young men carried one kite dozens of metres towards the border before stopping to set the bottle alight. With the flame lit, they sent it into the air and cut the thread — watching as it floated over the border and crashed, causing a small fire. “We use the kites to send a message that we are capable of bothering the occupation,” said 16-year-old Abdullah … There have been no Israeli casualties, and Palestinians say protesters are being shot while posing no threat to soldiers on the other side of the heavily guarded fence. Israel has pledged to stop damage to the fence, infiltrations and attacks, and alleges there have been attempts at all three….
https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/fiery-kites-adopted-new-tactic-gaza-protesters-doc-14651j1

An IDF general in the crosshairs: Islamic Jihad releases menacing video ahead of Friday’s Gaza protest
Haaretz 19 Apr by Jack Khoury — Islamic Jihad published a video Thursday threatening Israeli soldiers ahead of the weekly demonstration along the Israel-Gaza border this Friday. The clip shows the group’s operatives looking through the scope of a rifle at Israeli military figures, including Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories. The video ends with a slide reading, “You’re killing our people in cold blood and think that you’re protected, but our snipers’ sights are on your top commanders.”  See video here
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-islamic-jihad-clip-shows-idf-commanders-in-crosshairs-before-protest-1.6012808

Palestinians are reminding us that they exist
+972 blog 17 Apr by Hagai El-Ad — Reality is stronger than any propaganda campaign. It will ultimately break through and penetrate public awareness — …Here’s a question for Israelis: What would you do after living for more than a decade under blockade, on a small strip of land roughly half the size of New York City, in conditions of severe overcrowding with no seaport, airport or any other avenue by which to leave? With no jobs, no hope, no future for you or your children, dependent on humanitarian aid that may well stop coming, with only a few hours a day of electricity, and water that’s polluted? The Israeli propaganda machine dupes Israelis into thinking that the two million people living in the besieged Gaza Strip are not human beings. Instead, we are told, each and every one of them is actually a murderous terrorist. Here they come, hell-bent on destroying us. They are armed with stones and equipped with onions as shields. They’re a deadly, primeval swarm. Nothing but live gunfire every Friday and bombing and shelling every few years can keep them in check and ensure they toe the line in the prison we’ve confined them to. But what happens after the propaganda? How many more Fridays (scores of dead, hundreds of wounded), or rounds of air strikes (thousands of dead) will keep Gaza contained? Is this Israel’s vision? Is this a strategy? Is this the future? As far as Israelis are concerned, the residents of Gaza simply woke up one Friday and decided to swarm the fence. And even if they do have any grievances, they shouldn’t address them to us. It’s all the handiwork of Hamas. After all, we left. They’ve been managing their own affairs for years; it has nothing to do with us. But it turns out you can’t just walk out and shut the gate behind you on a small, crowded piece of land you ruled for 40 years, especially not when you’re still calling the shots on how many trucks can come in and out, or how much water and electricity is supplied to the people living in the enclosure you wanted to erase from your mind. Gaza and its two million residents cannot be made to disappear, not literally and not figuratively.
Reality is stronger than any propaganda campaign. It will ultimately break through and penetrate public awareness. Even the inmates in the Gaza prison managed to remind us they exist – and on the first night of Passover at that. Even after 50 days of bombing them in the summer of 2014, we had forgotten they exist. Even though we killed 547 children back then, lo and behold, they’re still there. The great March of Return hasn’t gotten one Gazan past the fence, but it has returned Gaza to the public eye….
https://972mag.com/palestinians-in-gaza-are-reminding-us-that-they-exist/134758/

Are Israeli Jews beginning to accept the right of return?
+972 blog 18 Apr by Eléonore Bronstein and Eitan Bronstein Aparicio — A number of new surveys shows that at least a fifth of Israel’s Jewish citizens are open to the idea of Palestinian refugees returning to their homes. So how do we reconcile this with the violence being meted out to Palestinians on the Gaza border? — What is it about Gaza’s “Great Return March” that so threatens Israelis? What is it that Israelis are so actively preventing? The Gaza fence symbolizes the essence of the Jewish state, which was founded through the dispossession of the Palestinians, expelling the majority of them beyond its borders. Walls and fences were built — above and below ground — to prevent the return of those refugees. Today, as in the 1950s, they are considered dangerous “infiltrators.” Not much has changed when it comes to colonial thinking and practice. Unfortunately, we must also admit that even when the atrocities become too much to bear, the violent Israeli response is not surprising. It almost goes without saying; perhaps the fact that there is nothing surprising in this kind of behavior is the real atrocity. That the emergency in Gaza has become a trivial matter.
That is why it was so surprising to discover the results of a new survey, conducted by the Geocartography Knowledge Group among 500 Jewish Israelis, for our book, Nakba in Hebrew. The survey shows that quite a few Israeli Jews, or at least many more than one would think, support the right of return of the Palestinian refugees….
https://972mag.com/are-israeli-jews-beginning-to-accept-the-right-of-return/134788/

Palestinians want independent probe of Israeli Gaza killings
UNITED NATIONS (AP) 20 Apr — The Palestinians said Friday they want the U.N. Human Rights Council to establish a commission to carry out an independent investigation of the Israeli military’s killing and wounding of Palestinians during protests in Gaza. Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador, said his counterpart in Geneva will start the process early next week with initial consultations that will hopefully culminate in an emergency meeting of the rights council and approval of a resolution authorizing a body “to investigate these crimes.” “It seems that the Israeli occupying forces are not restraining themselves, they’re not listening to anyone and they are continuing with this massacre,” Mansour told reporters. For a fourth week, several thousand people in Gaza staged protests on the border with Israel to protest its blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory and press for a “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to what is now Israel. Israeli soldiers firing from across a border fence killed four Palestinians Friday, bringing the number killed since the protest marches started in late March to 32, and the number wounded by live rounds to more than 1,600, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Israel says it’s defending its border, and alleges Hamas uses protests as cover for attacks. The Palestinians say the rising casualty toll signals that Israel’s military is sticking to its open-fire rules against the protesters despite international criticism of the use of lethal force against unarmed demonstrators … The U.N. Security Council has not commented on the protests because the United States, Israel’s closest ally, has blocked proposed statements supported by most members critical of the high death toll and Israel’s use of force against protesters. With Security Council action blocked, the Palestinians are turning to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council where there are no vetoes. Mansour noted that in the past, the Palestinians were successful in getting the rights council to authorize three different fact-finding missions and commissions. He said the Palestinians will not accept an investigation announced by Israel into its military actions in Gaza because “it cannot be credible.”….
http://abcnews.go.com/amp/US/wireStory/palestinians-independent-probe-israeli-gaza-killings-54624823

Israeli naval forces open fire at Gaza fishermen
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 19 Apr — Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen as they sailed off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning. Locals told Ma‘an that Israeli naval boats chased down Palestinian fishing boats, forcing them back to shore. No injuries were reported.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780042

Japan donates $500,000 to UN women to support vulnerable women in Gaza
GAZA (WAFA) 19 Apr – The Government of Japan donated half a million US dollars to UN Women Palestine Office for a one-year project to improve the situations of women in Gaza, a UN Women press release said on Thursday. The project, with a special focus on vulnerable women suffering from displacement and disability, as well as elderly women, will provide specialized protection services and economic empowerment activities for almost 1,700 direct beneficiaries until April next year. Following the 2014 conflict in Gaza which created massive displacement, women in Gaza have been disproportionately affected by the humanitarian conditions which systemically create gender-based vulnerabilities, said the UN Women….
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=cJk1c0a97331972298acJk1c0

Facebook becomes fundraising tool for Gaza’s poor
EI 13 Apr by Amjad Ayman Yaghi — Osama al-Kahlout receives requests for help every day. There are so many that he cannot promote all of them. The most urgent cases have to be prioritized. He is among a number of people living in Gaza who use Facebook as a tool to raise money for the poor. Through posting photographs and information on the social media website, he has found a donor who financed the construction of a five-story home for an extended family in Deir al-Balah refugee camp. Comprising 40 people, the extended family had previously been living in the same small house. The donations came from Qatar and were arranged by cooperating with a Qatari organization already active in Gaza. Al-Kahlout is a journalist, writing about social issues for Donia Al-Watan, a Palestinian website. This work “makes me close to people who are in need,” he said. Al-Kahlout regularly posts appeals for money on his Facebook page. Generally, these appeals are for families requiring food, medicine or accommodation. One such appeal was for five families living in a cemetery. Their homes were badly built, lacking proper windows. The appeal raised enough for renovations to be carried out on their homes and to give them food and clothes. “I wish I could help everyone who is in need,” said al-Kahlout. But he is unable to do so. Some of the requests he receives are not deemed suitable for Facebook appeals as they require intervention from the official authorities. He also has to bear in mind that hardship is widespread in Gaza. For that reason, he has to concentrate on cases where the problems are particularly acute….
https://electronicintifada.net/content/facebook-becomes-fundraising-tool-gazas-poor/23946

Gaza restaurant offers food to poor families
GAZA CITY (Al-Monitor) 18 Apr by Huda Baroud — In the Gaza Strip, where 80% of the residents rely on humanitarian assistance to survive, various civil initiatives help the poor by providing them with food and medical treatment or writing off their debts. One of the initiatives that has been running for four years now is “Faker Bghayrak” (“Think of Others”), a youth initiative that provides food and medical treatment to the sick. A more recent campaign — “Sameh, Toujar” — encourages merchants to drop the debts of Gazans who cannot pay. A recent campaign by the Abdallah Restaurant chain offers Gazans a free breakfast and dinner every day. The chain’s three restaurants — in Rimal neighborhood, west of Gaza City; in Sabra neighborhood, central Gaza; and al-Zaytun neighborhood, south of Gaza City — are part of the initiative designed to feed 100 poor families daily….
https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/gazan-restaurant-feeds-the-poor.html

Photos: Honey collected at farm in Gaza Strip city of Rafah
Xinhua 20 Apr — Palestinian beekeepers collect honey from beehives at a farm in the southern Gaza Strip City of Rafah, on April 19, 2018. (Xinhua/Khaled Omar)
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-04/20/c_137123863.htm

Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem

Soldiers injure a child with live fire near Nablus
IMEMC 20 Apr — Israeli soldiers shot, Friday, a Palestinian child with live fire, and caused many to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, in the al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The soldiers assaulted the Palestinians who marched in their village, protesting the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the escalating violations against them, their property and holy sites. Medical sources said the soldiers shot the child, 16, with a live round in his leg, before he was rushed to Salfit governmental hospital. The soldiers also fired many gas bombs and concussion grenades, causing many Palestinians to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation.
http://imemc.org/article/soldiers-injure-a-child-with-live-fire-near-nablus/

Palestinian elderly man injured, two minors detained in Jerusalem raid
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 20 Apr – Israeli police late Thursday night injured a Palestinian elderly man and detained two minors in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, said WAFA correspondent and a local watchdog. Israeli police conducted a raid into Silwan after erecting barriers at the neighborhood entrances. Wadi Hilweh Information Center, a Silwan-based watchdog, said that troops raided the family home of a 65-year-old Palestinian man, assaulting him and his family members, violently ransacking the property and detaining his 14-year-old child. The center added that troops fired a concussion grenade at the elderly man, striking him in his lower extremities and causing cuts and bruises. He was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Troops also stormed and thoroughly searched several other homes in Silwan, where they indiscriminately fired concussion grenades at residents and detained a 17-year-old minor.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=xdP8p5a97342441581axdP8p5

Israeli army protects armed settlers during raid west of Ramallah
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 19 Apr – More than 150 Israeli settlers Thursday raided the village of Al-Mazra‘a ash-Sharqiya west of Ramallah, said witnesses. Villagers present at the scene told WAFA that more than 150 heavily armed settlers raided the area of Harasha under heavy Israeli army protection. The army responded with teargas to the villagers who tried to force the settlers out of the area.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=xdP8p5a97336731063axdP8p5

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian students in Hebron on way home from school
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 19 Apr — Israeli settlers on Wednesday reportedly attacked Palestinian students as they were walking home from school in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, according to the official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency. Wafa reported that Israeli settlers physically attacked students and “used foul language against them,” as the students were leaving school in the al-Salaymeh neighborhood in the Old City of Hebron. No injuries were reported.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780041

Palestinians assaulted by Israeli settlers south of Bethlehem
IMEMC/Agencies 20 Apr — Israeli settlers, overnight, assaulted five Palestinians to the south of Bethlehem, in the southern West Bank, said security sources. A group of settlers from Bat Ayin settlement, which is a part of the cluster of Israeli settlements making up the Gush Etzion bloc, intercepted five Palestinian chess referees and hurled stones at their vehicle, forcing them to flee their vehicle. According to WAFA, the referees were on their way from the northern West Bank to Nahhalin town, west of Bethlehem, to participate in a chess match. They reportedly lodged a complaint at a nearby Israeli police station. Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.
http://imemc.org/article/palestinians-assaulted-by-israeli-settlers-south-of-bethlehem/

Settlers chop down 100 olive trees south of Nablus
NABLUS (WAFA) 20 Apr – Israeli settlers Friday chopped down 100 fruitful olive trees belonging to Burin village, south of Nablus, said a local activist. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said that Israeli settlers from Yitzhar settlement chopped down 100 olive trees, some of which were estimated to be 60 years old, besides to almond trees. He added that settlers spray-painted racist graffiti on rocks before they fled the scene. Meanwhile, mayor of Burin Yahya Qadoos described the settlers’ attack as a “massacre”, noting that it was not the first time that settlers attacked this village. He added that the landowner, identified as Muhammad Raja, had ploughed his plot of land, which was deemed as his sole source of livelihood, just few days ago before he found out that his trees were chopped down.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=xdP8p5a97346248593axdP8p5

Right-wing extremists filmed slashing tires in Palestinian village
Ynet 20 Apr by Elior Levy et al. — Graffiti also sprayed on vehicles and homes calling for expulsion and death for ‘terror supporters’ in the Palestinian village of Burqa; attack comes as Shin Bet warns of spike in number of hate crimes carried out by Israeli extremists in West Bank — Police are investigating a possible hate crime that took place overnight Thursday after several suspicious individuals entered a Palestinian village east of Ramallah and punctured car tires and sprayed hateful slogans on dozens of vehicles and homes.  Two suspects were caught on CCTV cameras slashing the tires of vans in the village of Burqa.  “God is the king,” “Stop the administrative orders” and “Here live terror supporters to be expelled and killed” were the slogans that were scrawled on the homes and cars. Israeli security forces were called to the scene and launched an investigation into the matter. The IDF and police have issued repeated warnings in recent weeks against acts of violence and vandalism carried out by Israeli right-wing extremists, which risks sparking an escalation in violence in the West Bank as Israel faces a volatile Gaza border. A string of hate-related incidents have aroused the IDF’s attention in the West Bank in recent weeks. Two assailants were captured on security camera overnight last Friday setting fire to the front door of a mosque near Nablus … According to the Shin Bet, 63 administrative restriction orders were issued last year against extremist right-wing activists, while 13 have been issued so far in 2018 … Security forces said that the arson attack in Kfar Aqraba constituted an escalation in the severity of the nature of the attacks, since it was launched not merely against private property, but against a place of worship—the first since June 2015 when the Church of Loaves and Fishes on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel was set alight….
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5235830,00.html

Israeli soldiers abduct 13 Palestinians in the West Bank
IMEMC 17 Apr — Israeli soldiers abducted, on Tuesday at dawn, thirteen Palestinians, including a senior political leader of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), during extensive and violent searches of homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank. The soldiers also distributed leaflets in the al-Am‘ari refugee camp, in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, warning “further restrictions and ongoing invasions,” if the Palestinians continue their protests. In addition, the army said some of its military jeeps were attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails in the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, and claimed to locate a pistol during searches in the West Bank. Furthermore, the soldiers summoned for interrogation several young men, after invading their homes in Qarawat Bani Hassan village, in Salfit in central West Bank.
The soldiers also started bulldozing and uprooting Palestinian lands in Immatain town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, to expand the illegal Emanuel colony, which was built on private lands. It is worth mentioning that the army started bulldozing the lands, 15 dunams, a month ago, but the owner, Fawzi Nasser Ghanayem, managed to obtain an order from the Israeli High Court, stopping the destruction on his property, but the army resumed the war despite the injunction….
http://imemc.org/article/israeli-soldiers-abduct-seven-palestinians-in-the-west-bank-4/

Israel finds bomb at West Bank checkpoint
JERUSALEM (Xinhua) 18 Apr — A “powerful” explosive device was found in a Palestinian truck at a West Bank checkpoint on Wednesday, the Israeli Defense Ministry said. The bomb was found after the driver was stopped for a routine check at the Rehian crossing between the northern West Bank and Israel. The driver was arrested, the ministry said in a statement. The vehicle also carried goods to Israeli settlements in the area, according to the ministry. The incident came as Israeli security forces were on full alert ahead of the mass celebrations for the country’s 70th anniversary of its founding on Wednesday night. On Tuesday, Israel closed all exits from the West Bank for two days, citing security concerns.
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-04/18/c_137120619.htm

Prisoners / Court actions

Demonstrators gather in West Bank, Gaza to mark Palestinian Prisoners Day
MEE/Agencies 17 Apr — Palestinians held vigils and protests in Gaza and across the West Bank on Tuesday to remember the thousands of prisoners held in Israeli jails. The demonstrations took place amid heightened tensions following weekly mobilisations for the Great March for Return, which is due to continue until 15 May, demanding the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Several thousand amassed in the Gaza Strip while sporadic gatherings took place across the West Bank. Around 6,500 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli prisons, 500 of whom detained under administrative detention, a practice used by Israel against Palestinians to imprison people without charge or trial for indefinite periods according to the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS).  Palestinians who attended the demonstrations, as part of the annual Palestinian Prisoners Day marches, held up portraits of relatives currently held in Israeli prisons. PPS estimates that around one million Palestinians have been detained by Israel since the country was founded in 1948, adding that Israel has held 48 Palestinians for more than 20 years. The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, meanwhile, stated that some 1,800 Palestinian prisoners were in dire need of medical care. Palestinians have long denounced the ill-treatment of prisoners, accusing Israel of torture, medical neglect, and of flouting international law. According to PPS, 215 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons since 1967, including 72 who died from torture, and 61 who died due to medical negligence….
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/demonstrators-gather-west-bank-gaza-mark-palestinian-prisoner-day-119480138

Gaza hosts wheelchair race to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners
PC 16 Apr — Dozens of wheelchair users participated in a race in Gaza City yesterday to show solidarity with sick or wounded Palestinians in prison, the Palestinian Information Centre reported. Organized by the Wa’ed Society for Detainees and Ex-Detainees and Al-Salam Sports Club for People with Disability, the race was dubbed “Marathon 1,500”, in recognition of the number of imprisoned Palestinians suffering from an illness or disability. . Of the 6,500 Palestinians held inside 22 Israeli jails, about 400 have medical conditions which need treatment. The majority of sick Palestinians are being held in the Al-Ramla Prison, which is overcrowded, and according to the group, most do not receive the necessary healthcare and treatment to deal with their condition. Similarly, disabled prisoners are not given due assistance and so are unable to use toilets and facilities without the help of other inmates….
https://www.palestinechronicle.com/gaza-hosts-wheelchair-race-solidarity-palestinian-prisoners/

Two Jerusalemites remanded in custody for writing on Facebook
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 19 Apr – The Israeli authorities extended on Thursday the detention of Wafa Abu Jomaa and Amir Dibs from Jerusalem until Sunday for allegedly writing incitement on Facebook. Israeli forces detained Abu Jomaa on Monday after raiding her home in al-Tur neighborhood and Dibs, a freed prisoner, detained after raiding his home in Shu‘fat refugee camp. According to the Detainees Commission, Israel has detained 340 Palestinians since October 2015 for alleged incitement on Facebook and for posting or sharing photos of Palestinian prisoners or those killed by Israel.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=UVZyD4a97333875804aUVZyD4

Israel issues 41 administrative orders to Palestinian prisoners since April 1
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 18 Apr — Israeli authorities have issued administrative detention orders to 41 Palestinians since the beginning of April, according to a statement on Wednesday from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS). According to PPS, nine of the 41 orders were issued against Palestinians who were recently detained for the first time or recently re-detained. Israel uses administrative detention almost exclusively against Palestinians. The widely condemned Israeli policy allows for a detainee to be sentenced for up to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence … According to prisoners rights group Addameer, there were 6,050 Palestinians in Israeli prisons as of March, with 427 being held in administrative detention.
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780039

Israel arrests four settlers over posters accusing colonel of ‘shooting Jews’
Haaretz 19 Apr by Yotam Berger — Israeli police arrested four people, one of them a minor, on Wednesday night on the suspicion of hanging posters accusing a military commander of “shooting Jews,” apparently in reference to the recent evacuation of an unauthorized outpost in the West Bank. One poster featured an image of Shomron Brigade chief Col. Gilad Amit and alleged that he was “responsible for a series of attacks on new settlement points in the Samaria region.” Last week, three people, including a minor, were arrested during the attempted evacuation by soldiers led by Col. Amit of the outpost known as Rosh Yosef, which is near the settlement of Itamar in  northern West Bank. The outposts’ residents pelted the troops with stones, the military said. The soldiers responded by firing tear gas and shooting into the air. The posters found on Wednesday claimed that the soldiers made “massive use of tear gas” and used live fire against residents….
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-arrests-two-settlers-over-posters-attacking-colonel-1.6012465

The Nakba and Israel Independence Day

Palestinians uncover hidden history of the Nakba, even as Israel cuts them off from their sources
Haaretz Magazine 20 Apr by Dina Kraft — When Salim Tamari was researching his book on Arab neighborhoods in the Jerusalem area that were destroyed or conquered during the 1948 war, he had to ask Jewish-Israeli colleagues to go to the Israel State Archives to retrieve material for him. As a Palestinian, he did not have a permit to travel to the city, just 33 kilometers (20 miles) from his office in the West Bank. He was seeking family papers, photos and diaries – precisely the kind of primary source material vital to piecing together any period in history. However, this material is often out of reach for Palestinian historians of the Nakba (the Palestinian term for the formation of Israel, which means “Catastrophe” in Arabic). While Israelis will celebrate 70 years of the Jewish state this week, it is remembered as a national trauma by the Palestinians. Over 700,000 lost their homes in wake of the War of Independence and millions of their descendants live in refugee camps scattered throughout the Middle East. Telling the social history of this period from a Palestinian perspective is a challenge. When Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes – the matter has long been the subject of fierce debate – the contents were often looted or confiscated, among them the letters, books and photo albums needed to help tell the history of that period and the life that preceded it. The limited material that remained was collected and cataloged by the nascent Israeli authorities and stored in archives. In the case of some 30,000 books collected and housed by the National Library of Israel, for example, the belongings were labeled “absentee property” and, like other materials, placed out of reach of the majority of Palestinians. … [article is behind a paywall]
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-hidden-stories-of-the-nakba-1.6010350

Independence Day signs vandalized in Arab towns
Ynet 16 Apr by Yishai Porat & Hassan Shaalan — Notices for 70th anniversary of Israel found spray painted in Arab localities; residents wonder: ‘What is Israel proud of, the expulsion of our families?’ Rahat Mayor: ‘These acts have no place;’ 3 East Jerusalem men arrested for burning flags — … “In the past few days, Arab media sources have been harshly criticized for publishing ads for the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence,” said Jafar Farah, the Director of the Mossawa Center … He further noted that critics claimed that the publication of such ads in the Arab media was meant to hurt those who lost families and homes. “This is chutzpah (impudent) and abuse of the victims of the Nakba. The Jews are celebrating while we visit our villages that were destroyed. There is something defiant and painful about forcing the victors’ celebrations on the Palestinian people, who lost their families and their homeland,” according to the critics. ….
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5232446,00.html

Mourning Arabs fly Palestinian flags as Israel marks Independence Day
[with photos] ATLIT, Israel/BEIRUT (Reuters) 17 Apr by Stephen Farrell & Ayat Basma — Waving Palestinian flags and wearing T-shirts proclaiming Jerusalem to be “the eternal capital of Palestine,” thousands of Israel’s Arab minority turned out on Thursday for a rally to commemorate a war lost 70 years ago. In a field south of Haifa, near an Arab village that was depopulated and abandoned in 1948, children read the lyrics of nationalist anthems from their iPhones, while their elders sat beneath awnings, listening to dignitarites and musicians. The gathering was something of an anomaly: the same day that Israelis celebrate the 70th anniversary of their Independence Day, Palestinians lament the Nakba, or “Catastrophe”, when they lost their homeland in the conflict that surrounded the birth of the modern Jewish state. This year the gathering was near Atlit, a small coastal village south of Haifa from which, the rally organizers said, 170 people were driven out in 1948, and fled to other towns or into neighboring countries such as Lebanon, where they and their descendants remain refugees today. “I never miss any event related to the Nakba,” said Sami Salman, 83, a carpenter originally from Nazareth who attended the rally. “Many people left for Lebanon back then, but fortunately for us we did not have enough money to go. I am very glad about that now.” Unable to attend but watching the event on television was Khaled Ali Hassan, a Palestinian refugee who lives in the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, 80 miles up the coast of the Mediterranean in Lebanon. His father came from the village of Ijzim, near Atlit, but was never able to go back after he fled the conflict in 1948. Lebanon has around 450,000 Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations refugee agency, many living in the country’s 12 refugee camps. “When he used to speak of Palestine, he would stop when the tears came to his eyes,” said Hassan, 53. He noted the irony that the Israeli celebrations and Palestinian mourning are intertwined. “The two of us are on opposite ends. Our day of tragedy, our day of misery, is their day of joy,” he said….
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-independence-nakba/mourning-arabs-fly-palestinian-flags-as-israel-marks-independence-day-idUSKBN1HQ2IR

For Arab Israeli students, Independence Day is Nakba Day
Ynet 18 Apr by Adir Yanko — Most Arab schools ignore Independence Day, with school administrators citing lack of connection Arab citizens feel towards the event; some Arab schools do however broach the topic, especially among Bedouins. —  Principals of Arab schools in Israel don’t plan to ignore the country’s 70th Independence Day, but they’re also not going to toe the line with the way the holiday is marked in Jewish schools. There are 388,000 students from the Arab sector in the Israeli education system in nearly 4,000 different educational institutions, and they too will have no studies on Independence Day.  According to the 2016 Democracy Index conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, the Israeli identity of Israeli Arabs is only second to their religious identity, parallel to their Arab identity and ahead of their Palestinian identity. 55 percent stated that they were proud to be Israelis while 38 percent said that it gave them no pride. Dozens of school principals, heads of education departments in the Arab sector and even academics refused to be interviewed for this story and talk about how and if they mark Independence Day in Arab schools. Those who did agree to be interviewed admitted there is an intentional silence observed around the holiday. “For the children, it’s just another day off,” one of them said. “They don’t even know what Independence Day is. This situation is convenient to all.” …  “I live in this country and respect it, but I have no connection to this day,” says the director of the education department in one of the Arab municipalities. “The principals in the Arab sector do not feel a connection to this day, and rightly so. “The state has not done enough to connect us and we do not feel that this day is relevant to us,” he continued. “We have to think about how to connect the citizens to the country, but we are different and we are in a situation that is unnatural.”  For them, he explained, Independence Day represents a dark chapter in their history. “This day is our Nakba (catastrophe) Day, that is the truth. Perhaps if we were to receive recognition, the feeling will change, but as long as that is not the case, how can we identify?” However, the administrator pointed out that among the Bedouin sector, the situation is slightly different from that in the Arab sector. “Because of militay service, some schools in the Bedouin sector certainly mark Independence Day.” Muhammad Khalil, a principal of a high school in Bi‘ina, is among the few who do mark Independence Day….
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5233235,00.html

Palestinian refugees – Syria

Refugees in Syria short of food and medicine amid shelling – UN
BEIRUT (Reuters) 18 Apr by Heba Kanso — Thousands of Palestinian refugees near the Syrian capital are trapped in “rapidly deteriorating” conditions without running water or doctors and little food, the United Nations said on Wednesday, as the Syrian army prepared to capture the area. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides aid to Palestinian refugees, reported overnight shelling on Tuesday as Syrian forces prepared for an assault on the last area outside their control near Damascus. “The humanitarian situation in Yarmouk and surrounding areas has long been very harsh and is rapidly deteriorating,” UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said, referring to Syria’s biggest camp for Palestinian refugees since the mid-20th century.
“Supplies of food and medicine are running low. There is no running water and very little electricity. Healthcare options are limited and there are no doctors remaining in the area.”  Recovering Yarmouk camp, which has been under the control of Islamic militants for several years, and neighbouring areas south of the city would give President Bashar al-Assad complete control over Damascus, further consolidating his grip on power. Many residents have fled the area, which has been besieged by pro-government forces since the early days of the seven-year-old civil war that has killed more than 500,000 people and driven more than half of Syrians from their homes. UNRWA said refugees in Yarmouk camp make up about half of some 12,000 civilians trapped in the area. Checkpoints into the camp have been closed for most of the last month, cutting off its lifeline, Gunness said….
http://news.trust.org//item/20180418164639-f9gsk/

Last Damascus rebels bombarded as Assad presses advantage in Syria
The Guardian 20 Apr by Andrew Roth in Moscow — The Syrian army has bombarded jihadis and other rebels in the last area outside government control near Damascus, as President Bashar al-Assad moved to strengthen his position around the capital after the defeat of rebels in eastern Ghouta earlier this month. The bombing came as inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) remained stranded in Damascus almost two weeks after a chemical attack on a town in Ghouta that precipitated the rebel collapse. Airstrikes and shelling hit the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp and al-Hajar al-Aswad area, part of a small enclave divided between warring jihadis and other rebels south of the capital. Live state television footage of the area showed a plume of smoke billowing across one district as guns boomed in the distance. The US, British and French missile strikes designed to punish Assad for the use of chemical weapons have done nothing to slow the advance of his forces, now in their strongest position since the early months of the seven-year war….
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/syrian-army-bombards-yarmouk-refugee-camp-in-damascus-1.3468579

Land theft / Ethnic cleansing

Israeli forces hand out demolition notices in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 20 Apr – Israeli police and authorities on Friday handed out notices for the intended demolition of a number of residential and commercial structures in the neighborhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem.  Staff from the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem accompanied by police handed out notices for demolition of a number of homes and structures in the area, citing construction without a permit as a pretext. Using the pretext of illegal building, Israel demolishes houses on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem. At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem for Jews.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=xdP8p5a97349103852axdP8p5

UN calls on Israel to stop expelling Jerusalem’s Bedouins
MEMO 19 Apr — The United Nations yesterday warned Israel of the dangers of deporting Palestinian Bedouins from occupied East Jerusalem. In a report issued following a visit by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick and UNRWA’s Director of Operations in the West Bank Scott Anderson to Khan Al-Ahmar, the UN said: “Nearly all of the Khan Al-Ahmar community’s structures risk demolition by the Israeli authorities, including the school, initially built with donor support that serves some 170 students from the community and four surrounding ones.” “The humanitarian impact of home demolition is severe and long lasting. It is well documented in previous instances that the transfer of Bedouin communities into urban settings is socially and economically non-viable. The Khan al Ahmar-Abu al Helu community has repeatedly called for the provision of suitable planning solutions and services in its current location,” Anderson warned. “We are monitoring the situation in Khan Al-Ahmar closely and are deeply concerned by what we see here and in the scores of other vulnerable Bedouin communities,” Jamie McGoldrick said….
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180419-un-calls-on-israel-to-stop-expelling-jerusalems-bedouins/

BDS

Listen: How Durham activists led city to ban police training in Israel
EI 19 Apr by Nora Barrows-Friedman — In a unanimous vote by its city council on 16 April, Durham, North Carolina, became the first city in the US to ban training programs between its police department and foreign militaries, including Israel’s. The city council’s action was the result of steady grassroots campaigning led by 10 local civil and human rights groups that make up the Demilitarize! Durham2Palestine coalition, supported by nearly 1,400 residents and dozens of multi-faith leaders. The coalition is an affiliate of Jewish Voice for Peace’s Deadly Exchange Campaign, which seeks to formally abolish police exchange partnerships between US police departments and Israel’s army and police forces. The Durham ban on police exchanges “sets an example for other cities” to end these programs, MJ Edery, a leader of the New York City chapter of the Deadly Exchange campaign, told The Electronic Intifada on Tuesday….
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/listen-how-durham-activists-led-city-ban-police-training-israel

Other news

Key faction says will boycott rare Palestinian parliament session
GAZA (Reuters) 19 Apr by Nidal al-Mughrabi — A Palestinian Liberation Organisation faction said on Thursday it would not attend a meeting of the most important Palestinian political congress in years, because it wants more factions to be included. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said it will boycott the rare Palestinian National Council (PNC) session, after a delay to allow such factions as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad to attend was not been granted, the group said in a statement issued in Cairo on Thursday. The PFLP is the second-largest PLO faction after Fatah, the group headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the PLO. Its absence would be a blow to his efforts to win a broad consensus on resolutions. “The PFLP’s decision will lead to weakening the legitimacy of the PNC meeting and the legitimacy of decisions it may take,” said Hani Habeeb, a Gaza political analyst. The 700-member council session will convene in the West Bank town of Ramallah on April 30 to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a U.S. policy change that has outraged the Palestinians …  In Ramallah, Fatah spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi said the PNC session would be held as planned.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-palestinians-faction/key-faction-says-will-boycott-rare-palestinian-parliament-session-idUSKBN1HQ2I0

Palestinian security forces arrest journalist in West Bank
Beirut (CPJ) 18 Apr — The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed concern about the arrest of Hazem Naser, a Palestinian cameraperson and video editor for An-Najah Broadcasting Channel (NBC). Palestinian Preventive Security Forces today at approximately 12:30 a.m. arrested Naser at home in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, according to news reports and Naser’s sister, Sahar Naser, who lives with Naser at the family home. “They had a search warrant, so they searched the house, but didn’t seize anything. When the search was complete, they arrested my brother Hazem without mentioning any charge of any reason for his arrest,” Sahar Naser told CPJ. CPJ was unable to determine Hazem Naser’s whereabouts or if he had been charged. “We are concerned about the arrest of our colleague Hazem Naser given the Palestinian Authority’s record on respecting the rights of independent journalists,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney from New York City. “The authorities must explain immediately on what grounds they snatched this journalist away from his home in the middle of the night.”….
https://cpj.org/2018/04/palestinian-security-forces-arrest-journalist-in-t.php

Hamas leader says open to Israel prisoner deal
AFP 17 Apr — The head of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas said Tuesday it was ready to negotiate with Israel to trade two Israeli captives and the bodies of two soldiers it is holding. “We in Hamas are ready to start negotiations to achieve a deal through a third party mediator,” Ismail Haniya said in a speech marking the Palestinians’ annual Prisoners’ Day. The movement has previously suggested it is willing to reach a deal similar to the 2011 one that saw Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit freed in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails. But Haniya’s comments were his most direct yet. Two Israeli soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, are believed to have been killed in the 2014 war in Gaza and their remains held by Hamas. Two Israeli civilians, both said to be mentally unstable, are also believed to have entered Gaza and to be held by Hamas. They are Avera Mengistu, an Israeli Jew of Ethiopian descent, and a Muslim Bedouin, Hisham Al-Sayed. Talks about a potential deal have long been rumoured, but little public progress has been made. Around 6,500 Palestinians are currently in Israeli jails, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.
https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/hamas-leader-says-open-israel-prisoner-deal-doc-1441av1

Ashrawi condemns Israeli closure of youth organization in Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 19 Apr – PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi Thursday condemned Israel’s closure of the Elia for Media youth organization in occupied Jerusalem. She said in a press release, “We strongly condemn Israel’s closure of the youth organization “Elia for Media” in occupied Jerusalem which works closely with young Palestinians to offer them courses in media, journalism, photography, and videography, produce films about Jerusalem and to provide information services to institutions in Jerusalem.” The closure was authorized on Tuesday by Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Ashrawi said the closure is part of Israel’s ongoing policy that targets and closes Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem, including the Orient House, the official address of the PLO and the headquarters of the Palestinian negotiation team, the Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, the Department of Social Services, and the Office for National Institutions. “These acts are in direct violation of Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres’ promise to Norwegian Foreign Minister Johan Holst in October 1993 that he will “not hamper” the activities of the Palestinian institutions … She added that the closure of “Elia for Media” is in grave breach of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which calls for the protection of the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press….
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=xdP8p5a97337682816axdP8p5

PLO official condemns Israel’s decision to close media group in Jerusalem
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 19 Apr – Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee Saeb Erekat Thursday condemned in a press statement Israel’s decision to close Elia Association for Youth Media in East Jerusalem, stressing that Israel seeks to cancel the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, in clear violation of international law/ understandings related to the preservation of Palestinian institutions in the city. Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman signed an order closing Elia media center located in East Jerusalem’s main business street, designating it as a “terrorist” organization affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Israeli police posted a note at the door to Elia office of the closure decision. “Israel has become aware that video documentation of its violations and illegal practices constitutes a threat to its false claims that it is a democratic state by exposing its systematic repressive policies against our people,” said Erekat in a statement.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=UVZyD4a97335779310aUVZyD4

Presidency to approach UN SC for international protection
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 20 Apr – Nabil Abu Rudeinah, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said on Friday the leadership will approach the United Nations Security Council again to demand international protection to the people of Palestine under Israeli occupation. “At a time when the [Israeli] occupation is continuing its violations on the Palestinian people, including: the killing of protesters in Gaza, Judaization of Jerusalem, [daily] arrests, confiscation of lands, attacks by settlers in the West Bank, the arson of worship places and the drawing of racist graffiti; the Palestinian political action in the period to come will focus on requesting intentional protection,” said Abu Rudeinah in a press statement. He called on the international community to have a say to put an end to the Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people, saying: “These Israeli actions pose a threat not only to the Palestinian people, but also to international law which Israel violates every day.”
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=xdP8p5a97351959111axdP8p5

Palestinian lecturer killed in Malaysia, Israel blamed
KUALA LUMPUR (WAFA) 21 Apr – Palestinian lecturer Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, 35, was shot dead near his house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Malaysian police said on Saturday. His family accused the Israeli Mossad of being behind what it said was an assassination. Malaysian police chief in Gombak district, Mazlan Lazim, said that two gunmen on a motorcycle fired more than 14 bullets at Batsh as he was leaving his house to attend al-Fajr (dawn) prayer at a nearby mosque. One bullet hit him in the head and the rest hit his body killing him immediately. He said police has opened an investigation. Batsh was an inventor and a private university lecturer. He hails from the town of Jabalya in the Gaza Strip. Batsh had won a prestigious scholarship in Malaysia, the Khazanah Scholarship, and was awarded the Best Academic Achievement award given by the scholarship administration. Batsh’s family has confirmed his assassination, accusing the Israeli Mossad of responsibility for it. It told WAFA that it has demanded from the Malaysian authorities to begin urgent investigation into the killing of its son in order to catch the culprits before they leave the country, adding that Batsh was supposed to travel to Turkey on Sunday to chair an international scientific conference on energy. The family demanded that his body be returned to Jabalya to be buried there.
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=z7uOXea97357669629az7uOXe

EU Parliament passes law against Palestinian incitement
Ynet 19 Apr by Itamar Eichner — PEGASE, the Palestinian Authority’s main source of funding, will halt the transfer of aid money if it is used for education to hatred; ‘The Palestinian children receive intentional and systematic encouragement to sacrifice themselves and their lives,’ says Israeli researcher who helped formulate law — The European parliament in Brussels adopted on Wednesday legislation preventing the transfer of funds from the European Union’s PEGASE to the Palestinian Authority, if those funds are to be used for education to hatred. THE EU Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control approved the change in March and this week it received the final approval. PEGASE, which is described as a mechanism “to channel EU and international assistance as a contribution to the building of the Palestinian State,” is the PA’s main source of funding. The new legislation determines that classes and instruction program funded using EU funds must reflect shared values such as peace, liberty, tolerance and non-discrimination in the education system. The Israeli research institute IMPACT-SE at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which studies and analyzes official text books around the world, aided the European Union in formulating the legislation.
https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5234844,00.html

US State Department drops term ‘occupied territories’ from its annual human rights report
WASHINGTON (WAFA) 21 Apr – The US State Department dropped from its annual human rights report released on Friday the term “Occupied Territories” when making reference to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, according to the Washington-based Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), which it said is seen as a major shift in US foreign policy towards Israel and the Palestinians. IMEU said that US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, a staunch supporter of Israel’s illegal settlement policy in the occupied territories, had asked the State Department in December to stop referring to the occupied territories as “occupied.” Yousef Munayyer, political analyst at the Arab Center of Washington, DC, executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, described the State Department’s omission of the term ‘occupied territories’ in their human rights report covering the West Bank and Gaza as “a new low.” “How is it possible to even understand the human rights obligations of actors on the ground when the framework of occupation, for which international humanitarian law clearly delineates rights and responsibilities, is discarded?” he said. “Perhaps, however, this is a clarifying moment. If the territories are not occupied, what will the State Department tell us their status is? Are they prepared to acknowledge the Apartheid reality that Israel has established on the ground? They may have just unintentionally done so.”….
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=9S4Fnka97358621382a9S4Fnk

First Palestinian-themed museum in the US to open doors on Sunday
NEW HAVEN (WAFA) 21 Apr – A museum dedicated to Palestinian art and culture is set to open its doors on Sunday, April 22, becoming the first-ever of its kind to open in the United States. The “Palestinian Museum U.S.” will include artworks, films and other work of art made by Palestinian artists all over the world, in celebration of Palestinian diversity, culture and history. Faisal Saleh, executive director of Palestine Museum U.S., told reporters that he believes the museum will offer a fuller and more intricate picture of the Palestinian land and people than Americans see in mainstream media. “There are so many Palestinian artists in Palestine, the West Bank and Gaza, and they have little avenues for exhibiting their work,” said Saleh. “This museum will provide a channel for them to get their work out so people can see it and appreciate it.” Saleh, who hails from al-Bireh city in the occupied West Bank, had earlier said that while there are similar Palestinian museums elsewhere, including in Birzeit in the West Bank and Bristol in England, this museum will be the first of its kind in the United States….
http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=HW1sETa97355766123aHW1sET

groups.yahoo.com/group/f_shadi (listserv)

Source Article from http://mondoweiss.net/2018/04/israeli-gunshots-unusually/

US, France & allies should not leave, must build ‘new Syria after war’ – Macron

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/424816-macron-syria-not-leave/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Qatari fighter jets endanger Emirati passenger plane – UAE officials

The civilian jet was crossing airspace run by Bahrain when it was shadowed by fighter planes on Sunday. The approaching military aircraft came so close that the passenger plane was forced to take evasive action, according to Emirati civil aviation authorities cited by the UAE state news agency.

Bahrain’s aviation authority also issued a statement Sunday criticizing the actions of the Qatari military jets, stating that the passenger plane was over international waters when it came under threat.

“[T]his incident constitutes a clear violation of international regulations, threatens the safety and integrity of international air traffic, poses serious risk… and threatens the lives of passengers and property,” the authority’s statement read

READ MORE: Qatari forces participate in Gulf war games, compromise seen among Arab states

In 2017, several Arab nations – including Bahrain and the UAE – hit Qatar with sanctions, including banning Emirati aircraft from entering their airspace. At the time, the countries said the sanctions were in relation to Qatar’s alleged ties to terrorist organizations, which Qatar denied. In August, Saudi Arabia threatened to shoot down any commercial Qatari plane that violated its airspace.

RT.com has reached out to the government of Qatar for comment.

In January, Qatar was accused of using military aircraft to “harass” flights from the UAE to Bahrain. Qatari government communications officer Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani denied the accusations, labelling them “completely untrue.”

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/424815-qatar-emirates-jets-threat/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Germany shouldn’t buy the F-35, Europe needs military independence – Airbus Defense CEO

“As soon as Germany becomes an F-35 nation, cooperation on all combat aircraft issues with France is dead,” Dirk Hoke, the CEO of Airbus Defense and Space at Airbus Group, told Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

“Europe needs to define its sovereignty more clearly and state that we need to remain independent in defense and space,” Hoke said, referring to the joint Franco-German project to develop a fifth-generation fighter, according to the newspaper.

France and Germany unveiled plans to develop a next-generation European fighter jet in July of last year. While little is known about the new plane’s layout and features, it is understood the jet would replace the Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon, rival fourth-generation jets that compete on international markets.

The CEO’s comments come on the heels of a debate in Germany over the purchase of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet. The German Air Force is considering replacement options for its aging Panavia Tornado – designed and brought to service during the Cold War – but finding suitable options has proved difficult.

Some military chiefs, like Air Force Commander General Karl Muellner, advocate buying the F-35, while government officials favor an upgraded version of Joint Strike Fighter’s European contender – the Eurofighter Typhoon. Though no official tender has been announced so far, a contract to replace the German Tornadoes is believed expected to be completed by around 2030.

The F-35 – the most expensive defense program in the world so far – gained notoriety for its major setbacks, including reports on reliability issues, and faulty avionics, software, fire control systems and safety equipment.

Despite this, Australia, Israel, Italy, and Japan have already received deliveries of the aircraft. The US Air Force is the biggest F-35 operator. Recently, it was reported that the USAF may be forced to dramatically cut its F-35 fleet after concluding that costs over the next decade will be running at almost 38 percent over planned budget. 

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/424809-germany-france-f35-purchase/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

French tourist site Mont-Saint-Michel evacuated after man ‘threatens to kill cops’

Mayor Yann Galton told France 3 Normandie France 3 Normandie on Sunday morning that police had launched a search for a man who shouted “I will kill the cops.”

Police were sent to the popular tourist attraction after receiving several reports of the threat, and the island was evacuated. A helicopter was deployed as police search homes and businesses for the man, France 3 reports.

A tour guide contacted the authorities at about 7:45am after he heard the man say he wanted to attack police while on the shuttle bus to Mont-Saint-Michel, BFMTV reports. The man was located and monitored through video surveillance until police lost sight of him.

After a house-by-house search, authorities believe the suspect is no longer on the island.

“All the houses have been checked, all the public and private places have been inspected by the gendarmerie forces, and the abbey is empty,” Jean-Marc Sabathé, prefect of the Channel, told BFMTV.

The investigation into the incident continues, he added.

Earlier, Sabathé told FranceInfo: “An individual has returned to the Mont-Saint-Michel, he has made a fairly precise threat to the security forces in front of a cafe, he has been seen on the ramparts of the city.”

The island sees three million tourists a year. An armed police presence was introduced at the site in December in case of a terrorist attack.

France has seen a spate of terrorist attacks in recent years, from the 2015 gun attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, to the Nice car ramming in 2016.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/424808-france-evacuation-police-threat/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

48 killed, 112 injured in Kabul suicide blast – health official (VIDEO)

The explosion happened at about 10am local time in Dasht-e-Barchi. According to eyewitnesses, the death toll is thought to be higher than what officials have said, TOLO News reports.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to its affiliated Amaq website.

Afghanistan is holding elections in October and voter registration centers have been set up around the country. Sunday’s blast is the latest attack on election centers over the past week. On Tuesday, armed men kidnapped three employees and two police officers at a center in Ghor.

A second blast was reported at a voter registration center in Puli Khumri in Baghlan province on Sunday, Khaama reports. The death toll is unclear, but at least six or seven people are reported dead and several wounded after an IED detonated near the center, according to local officials.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/424807-kabul-explosion-afghanistan-suicide/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

City life is KILLING humanity: 95% of humans living today are breathing polluted air, mostly from cities


Image: City life is KILLING humanity: 95% of humans living today are breathing polluted air, mostly from cities

(Natural News)
Even if you don’t have any unhealthy habits, something that you do every day could be killing you: breathing. A new report from the Health Effects Institute shows that more than 95 percent of the people on our planet are breathing in air that is unsafe. Unfortunately, it’s those who live in the poorest communities that are being hit the hardest.

While cities are packed with people and can expose millions of individuals at once to unsafe air, the risk of indoor air pollution in rural areas should not be underestimated. Around 2.6 billion people were exposed to air pollution in 2016 due to the burning of solid fuel like biomass or coal in their homes to stay warm or cook. Indoor air pollution also impacts the quality of air in the areas surrounding it. This number has dropped in recent years, but it’s still shockingly high. Meanwhile, around a third of people around the world have to contend with the misfortune of breathing in unsafe air inside as well as outdoors.

Another cause of air pollution is the emissions from transportation, with diesel fuel being a big cause of air pollution in well-off countries like the U.K. In poorer nations, many people drive cars that are older and in bad condition, and these vehicles are linked to fine particulate matter that causes millions of deaths annually.

The Health Effects Institute reached their conclusions using satellite data and other types of monitoring. These high levels of exposure have pushed air pollution into the fourth position when it comes to the top causes of death around the world, following killers like high blood pressure, diet and smoking. More than six million people died last year of causes linked to air pollution, such as heart attack, stroke, chronic lung disease and lung cancer. Not surprisingly, people from countries like India and China made up more than half of these deaths.

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The researchers are also concerned about the growing gap between the most and least polluted areas. Developed countries have been trying to clean up their air, but many developing countries are seeking economic growth at the expense of clean air. The institute’s vice president, Bob O’Keefe, said that the gap between the most and least polluted areas is now 11-fold; it was 6-fold in 1990.

Do you live in one of the most polluted cities?

If you thought this problem was confined to places like India and China, think again. The American Lung Association recently released its 2018 State of the Air report, and it shows the places in the U.S. with the worst air pollution. They found that nearly 129 million Americans live in 185 counties that were given a grade of “F” when it comes to ozone, and they report that smog is worse this year than it was last year.

Their top ozone-polluted area in the nation was, not surprisingly, the Los Angeles-Long Beach area of California, followed by several other places in California, including Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego and Modesto. Phoenix took eighth place, while New York came in tenth.

The U.S. metros with the cleanest air were Palm Bay, Florida; Wilmington, North Carolina; Honolulu, Hawaii; Bellingham, Washington; Casper, Wyoming; and Burlington, Vermont.

With so many people around the country and the world breathing in polluted air, it’s clear that city life is slowly killing humanity.

Read more news on pollution at Pollution.news.

Sources for this article include:

TheGuardian.com

CNBC.com

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Paranoid health loons now claim SHOWERING is bad for you


Image: Paranoid health loons now claim SHOWERING is bad for you

(Natural News)
Now, suddenly, after centuries of evolution, humans who wish to cleanse their bodies of potentially infectious substances are overdoing it and actually harming themselves in the process.

Yes, the daily shower has now been added to the long and growing list of things deemed unhealthy, unsanitary, and downright dangerous by hacks whose primary job is to fill space on someone’s blog.

As noted by someone calling themselves Josh Clark at How Stuff Works:

It’s conventional wisdom that the more you shower, the cleaner you are. Lathering up with a healthy dose of soap and washing it off with a nice stream of hot water should kill any germs on your skin. Studies by medical researchers have shown quite the opposite, however. Using plain old soap (as opposed to antimicrobial or antibacterial soap) doesn’t kill skin-borne bacteria. It actually disturbs microcolonies of skin flora and fauna, transferring them to the surrounding environment — like your shower, for instance. For this reason, surgical teams and patients are generally restricted from showering immediately before entering an operating room.

The writer cites this source from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases, but there is no headline for this particular edition readily indicating the research he references. Maybe it’s buried in one of the articles and if that’s the case, Clark should have linked to that particular piece of research specifically.

He goes on to write this in the very next paragraph: “Still, showering regularly is recommended for good personal hygiene,” and, “Showering too much, however, can have a potentially damaging effect on your skin.”

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So, which is it? 

The point is this: The research and the article don’t pass the (ahem) smell test.

Think about it. If showering were so doggone unhealthy, how come there isn’t more disease and pestilence in the world, and especially the first world, where daily showering and bathing is routine?

Also, what is “too much showering?” Once per day? Once per week? Twice a day? 

If the research being cited above were accurate, wouldn’t people constantly be sick, just from stepping into their shower? 

Some people keep their shower stalls immaculate while others let theirs go for months before cleaning them up; what’s the sickness ratio between clean shower stalls and dirty ones, 1:10? 1:200? 1:1,000? (Related: Shower filters head off water contaminants.)

The article goes onto state that not only is it unhealthy, generally speaking, to shower “often,” people add to their unhealthy hygiene behavior by drying off with a towel. 

More:

Another problem related to showering too often is the use of a towel to dry off. While rubbing yourself dry with a towel is common practice, it’s also a damaging one for your skin. Air drying is the optimal way to dry off following a shower, but if you don’t have time to wait for evaporation or don’t like tracking bathwater throughout your house, you can still use a towel. Just make sure it’s a soft one and use a gentle patting motion to absorb water.

So again — which is it? You can use a towel…or you can’t? 

And aren’t all towels “soft” and “gentle?” Do people use sandpaper to dry off with after a harmful, skin-endangering shower? Air-drying probably is a good thing, but is it really a better way to dry off than using a towel? 

There’s just an awful lot of “maybes” and “perhaps” and “possiblys” in this story. No hard-and-fast conclusions.

The fact is there is more disease in parts of the world where inhabitants don’t have the ability to wash regularly, where there is no access to any soap or clean water. That has been proven in numerous studies for decades.

Why now, all of a sudden, it’s “unhealthy” to take a daily shower, then use — egads! — a towel to dry off with, makes no sense.

Read Stupid.news for more examples of stupid ideas from stupid people.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

Sources include:

Health.HowtStuffWorks.com

NaturalNews.com

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New biochemical leaching process uses corn stover to recover rare earth metals from electronic waste


Image: New biochemical leaching process uses corn stover to recover rare earth metals from electronic waste

(Natural News)
A study has determined that aside from being used as fodder or bedding, corn stover can be used as feedstock for a new biochemical leaching process.

This revolutionary process helps recover valuable rare earth metals from electronic waste. The biochemical leaching process is similar to a mining process and it requires the use of corn stover.

The research was directed by the Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI) at the Ames Laboratory on the Iowa State University campus. Scientists from the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Purdue University spearheaded the research.

Yoshiko Fujita, David Reed, and Vicki Thompson, from INL’s Biological and Chemical Processing Department, are researchers for CMI. They belong to a CMI team dedicated to discovering a way to minimize a growing environmental and manufacturing supply problem such as the accumulating amount of electronic waste (e.g. discarded cell phones and hard drives). The team are also working on the possible ways to recover and recycle high demand rare earth metals that can be used again in manufacturing.

Hydrometallurgy is a liquid chemical process used to obtain metals from ores, recycled, or residual materials. Thompson, a Distinguished Staff Engineer at INL, said that traditional leaching methods currently in use by the mining industry are not a sustainable choice for recycle and recovery methods for various reasons. She added that these are often sulfuric acid-based and they are an environmental hazard.

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Since they require heat and pressure, traditional leaching methods are also costly. Thompson emphasized that from an environmental and economic perspective, it is crucial to determine a more efficient method.

The CMI team discovered a feasible method by exploring the abilities of a strain of Gluconobacter bacteria, a microbe that produces acid. Thompson shared that Gluconobacter evolved after billions of years, making them useful for this particular biochemical leaching process.

The resulting organic acids produced by the bacteria are one of the active ingredients used to dissolve and extract rare earth metals from waste materials. The bacteria feed on glucose (sugar) and they thrive in a sugar-rich environment.

Gluconobacter bacteria prefer simple sugars because they are easy to eat and break down. Reed, the principal investigator for the research, commented that refined glucose makes up 44 percent of the expense of this leaching process and that it required lower cost alternatives.

Fujita, the lead scientist for CMI’s environmental sustainability research efforts, explained that the group examined agricultural waste streams such as apple processing water and potato peels, both of which are abundant in Idaho. The team also considered corn stover, which was local to CMI headquarters in Iowa. (Related: ADM, Monsanto to Study Converting Corn Waste to Biofuels.)

The team tested all three options, and corn stover was the easiest to convert into the basic sugars that the metal mining bacteria required. Corn stover was easy to convert to usable sugars and it was “cost competitive for larger scale commercialization.”

Alex King, CMI director, said that CMI knows how crucial it is to determine solutions to “critical materials challenges that are economically and environmentally sustainable.” He concluded that by using corn stover, it has become easier to meet national goals while also benefiting Iowa’s farmers.

Fast facts on corn stover

  • Corn stover includes the cobs, leaves, and stalks that remain in fields after the corn harvest. It is often used to produce ethanol.
  • Corn stover is the main biomass source used to produce cellulosic ethanol in the U.S. Farmers can harvest stover for cellulosic sugars that can be fermented into ethanol.
  • Corn stover’s ethanol byproduct has thrice the concentration of nitrogen as the original cornstalks.
  • Corn stover makes up the majority of biomass residue in the U.S., and at least 120 million tons of biomass residue is available yearly. This stover can supply at least 23 to 53 billion liters of fuel ethanol to the U.S. transportation market, or at least 10 percent of total gasoline needs.
  • Corn stover can also be used for animal bedding.

You can learn more about other studies on rare earth metals and biomass at Research.news.

Sources include:

Newswise.com

AgMCR.org

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Hydrogen-bromide flow batteries could soon power the renewable energy industry (but release a dangerous, toxic gas)


Image: Hydrogen-bromide flow batteries could soon power the renewable energy industry (but release a dangerous, toxic gas)

(Natural News)
An energy storage concept from the Radical ’60s could solve the biggest problem of the wind energy sector. In an article published in ScienceDaily, Kansas researchers have developed a viable hydrogen-bromine flow battery that could store excess electricity during the night.

Anyone who has been in the Midwest is bound to run across a wind farm sooner rather than later – that’s how prevalent wind energy is in the area nowadays. However, the wind energy sector has run into a roadblock. It needs to find an affordable yet effective way to store electricity produced during off-peak hours.

“We get a lot of wind at night, more than at daytime, but demand for electricity is lower at night, so, they’re dumping it or they lock up turbines – we’re wasting electricity,” explained Trung Van Nguyen, the leader of the University of Kansas (KU) research team.

According to Nguyen, wind farm owners could store power generated throughout the night and sell it during the day, when it’s in demand. A high-capacity energy storage device would give them the incentive to keep their wind turbines running 24 hours a day, which maximizes their investment. (Related: New “smart blade” technology will make wind turbines even more efficient.)

Bringing a 1960s energy storage concept into the 2010s

The original concept for the hydrogen-bromine battery dates back to the 1960s. Nguyen and his team started working on their version in 2010.

Their prototype energy storage device is roughly the size of a truck. It could store excess energy from wind farms during the evening and do the same for solar farms during the day, ensuring it is never without work.

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According to Nguyen, their design could be scaled up to handle the immense energy needs produced by commercial wind farms. He envisions a single battery will have the storage capacity for one megawatt-hour of electricity.

He personally helped develop the hydrogen-bromine battery’s electrode, which needed a large surface area for maximum efficiency. Earlier attempts stacked paper-carbon electrodes on top of each other to attain the needed electrical output. The use of multiple layers resulted in bulky electrodes that cost more and suffered from high resistance.

Learning from those earlier designs, the KU team chose to grow carbon nanotubes right on top of a porous material. This technique massively increased the surface area while keeping the electrode within a reasonable size.

Corrosion complicates things for hydrogen-bromine flow batteries

The biggest drawback of a hydrogen-bromine battery is its use of its namesake gas. Bromine has been compared to chlorine gas in terms of corrosive effects.

Because of its potentially deadly contents, such batteries must be kept far from populated areas. They need to be stored underground in tightly-sealed conditions to minimize the chance of leakage.

While it cannot be installed in commercial or residential areas, the energy storage system is viable for renewable energy facilities. Solar farms and wind farms are usually constructed in remote locations with plenty of room to safely bury the batteries.

Bromine’s corrosive property also has a complex development of a catalyst that increases the performance of the battery. In addition to having higher output and resistance, the catalyst must be able to withstand corrosion.

Nguyen feels his latest candidate shows much promise. The new catalyst uses rhodium sulfide, which is highly resistant to corrosion, and testing showed it could increase the rate of hydrogen reaction.

Once the corrosion-related kinks have been ironed out, the KU team believes their hydrogen-bromine battery could make renewable energy even more attractive to investors, who are usually hesitant to commit to projects with daunting start-up costs.

Read more articles at Power.News.

Sources include:

ScienceDaily.com

EES-Magazine.com

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Scientists have developed new semiconductors that are more environmentally friendly


Image: Scientists have developed new semiconductors that are more environmentally friendly

(Natural News)
Concerned with the prevalence of useful but toxic perovskites in photovoltaic cells, a group of Iowa-based researchers devised alternative materials. They reported creating cheaper and eco-friendly semiconductors with similar performance, according to a ScienceDaily article.

Perovskites are light-gathering materials used as semiconductors in solar panels. While highly efficient – called “wonder materials” by the solar power industry – they also contain lead, which is toxic to humans and especially dangerous to children.

Other semiconductors use the equally toxic arsenic or cadmium. Still others use lithium and indium, which are rare and difficult to manufacture.

A replacement material needs to be just as effective at converting sunlight into electrical energy. Furthermore, it must use elements that are commonly found on Earth and inexpensive to produce. Finally, the new semiconductor must not be toxic to humans or contaminate the environment.

Javier Vela led the efforts of an Iowa State University (Iowa State) developmental laboratory to find such a substitute material. Vela is an associate professor of chemistry who also works for the Ames Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

His lab specializes in nanostructure materials, which makes it uniquely suited for investigating perovskite alternatives. Perovskites get their excellent photovoltaic and semiconductor properties from their crystalline structure.

“While semiconductors may not contain rare materials, many are toxic or very expensive,” Vela shared.

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Sodium-based semiconductors

Vera took a leaf from an earlier report made by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers. The MIT presentation brought up sodium-based materials as one of the potential alternatives to perovskite semiconductors.

Assisted by Iowa State graduate students Bryan Rosales and Miles White, Vela began investigating sodium-based semiconductors. His study took 18 months and was supported by a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

Their efforts produced a semiconductor compound that uses common elements such as sodium and sulfur. The scarcest one is bismuth, but it also happens to be a widely-produced by-product of metal mining, making it very cheap.

Furthermore, all three elements are relatively non-toxic to humans. While bismuth is a heavy metal like lead and cadmium, it’s also the least toxic member of that group. Indeed, bismuth has been used as a medicine since ancient times.

“Our synthesis unlocks a new class of low-cost and environmentally friendly ternary (three-part) semiconductors that show properties of interest for applications in energy conversion,” they reported in their paper. (Related: Will renewable energy plans for the Mojave Desert finally move forward?)

Vela’s team published their findings in the online version of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

New semiconductor is cheaper, stabler than perovskite equivalent

In the paper, Vela explained that chemists could manipulate the size and structure of a material’s nanocrystals during synthesis. They could adjust the temperature and time of the reaction, choose the right metal ion percursors, and add ligands that form coordination complexes around metal molecules.

His research team used these variations to adjust the properties of their experimental compound for its intended role as a photovoltaic semiconductor.

Vela reported that the sodium-based semiconductor displayed a band gap that is perfect for solar cells. An incoming light particle will find it easy to knock an electron loose from a molecule of the material. This process generates electricity in solar panels.

He also added that the new material remains stable despite exposure to air and water. The reverse is true with perovskite-based materials, which are quite volatile.

In their paper, the Iowa State team hoped that their results will encourage other researchers to expand upon their current work or seek out other alternative materials for solar cells.

Visit Chemistry.news for more news coverage on chemistry breakthroughs.

Sources include:

ScienceDaily.com

PUBS.ACS.org

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In 1914, US Military Slaughtered Kids In Colorado and JD Rockefeller Had Media Cover It Up

On April 19 and 20, 1914, during a miner strike in Colorado, the National Guard killed dozens of people—though the exact number of casualties is disputed, most sources agree that at least four women and 11 children were among the dead. When the workers first went on strike, they were evicted from the company-owned houses in the mining town, so they set up massive tent colonies outside of the towns. The workers were protesting for higher wages and better work qualities but were making very little progress.

The largest of these tent cities was in Ludlow, just outside of John D. Rockefeller’s Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. The tent city in Ludlow housed over 1,200 people, and entire families, including children, were living in these tents. The strike had been going on for months before the massacre, with tensions rising between the military and the strikers with every passing day.

Then one day, these tensions came to a head and the National Guard set up a machine gun on a hill overlooking the tent city and began raining bullets down on the workers and their families. The Soldiers then invaded the colony and began setting fires to the tents, trapping many innocent people to die inside. When news of the violence spread, miners all over the state began to revolt, and went to war with the coal companies, shooting and attacking soldiers and mine owners, as well as dismantling railroad tracks and blowing mines shut.

Eventually, the Army was called in to quell the uprising and the protesters went back home or back to work.

However, news of the incident was beginning to spread, tarnishing the Rockefellers’ reputation and inspiring more protests. To deal with this problem of public perception, Rockefeller hired public relations pioneer Ivy Lee. Lee was an early influence of Edward Bernays, who would later write the infamous book “Propaganda,” a textbook of mind control for tyrants and aristocrats. Bernays is often called the “father of propaganda.” If this is so, then Ivy Lee is the grandfather.

It is likely that Rockefeller picked Lee for the job because years earlier he came up with an idea that would revolutionize how corporations and governments communicated with the peasant class. In 1906, when a horrible train accident happened in Atlantic City, Lee suggested that the company issued a statement presenting their side of the story to the press—this was to be the first “press release.”

The disaster was caused by negligence on the part of the railroad company and was witnessed by hundreds of people, so the press release was a special measure taken in hopes to get their side of the story out first. The press release scheme was a success and two days later the New York Times just printed the company’s statement word for word! This kind of insanity continues to this day where “news“ reporters simply regurgitate the statement from the White House or from Exxon about what they are doing, instead of making any attempt at investigative journalism.

Starting with the Ludlow Massacre, Lee began to change the public image of the Rockefeller family and their businesses even if it meant telling blatant lies. Lee sent out mass bulletins claiming that the people who had been killed in the Colorado protests were the victims of a house fire caused by an “overturned stove,” when in reality those fires were intentionally set by National Guard soldiers. He also accused a popular union worker named “Mother Jones” of being a prostitute and running a brothel, because she was a vocal activist who was bringing a national spotlight on the incident.

On Lee’s advice, Rockefeller wrote a statement one month after the incident, insisting that, There was no Ludlow massacre. The engagement started as a desperate fight for life by two small squads of militia against the entire tent colony … There were no women or children shot by the authorities of the State or representatives of the operators … While this loss of life is profound and to be regretted, it is unjust in the extreme to lay it at the door of the defenders of law and property, who were in no slightest way responsible for it”

For a short time, Lee and the Rockefellers were able to manage public perception of the event on a national level, although many residents of Colorado were already well-aware of the truth behind the massacre. Eventually, word spread and caused outrage across the country, sparking widespread protests that eventually led to a congressional hearing. As expected, the congressional hearing solved nothing and brought no justice for the families of the slain children and miners.

To repair the public image of the Rockefeller name, Lee suggested that the family make high profile donations to various charities and have photographs taken of them handing out money to the commoners to make people think that they were good-hearted and generous.

Again the plan worked and the application of public relations was able to resurrect Rockefeller’s reputation and then build it to the point where it is today. At the time of his death, Lee was being investigated by Congress for his work with the Nazis through the company IG Farben and a proxy firm called the German Dye Trust. He was also a founding member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Ludlow massacre is a part of history that is often glossed over, and when it is mentioned, it is typically in the backdrop of conversations about unions and labor laws. While it is true that this was a labor dispute and a strike, the power dynamic that existed between the workers, the company and the government is often overlooked.

It is often suggested that government is here to protect people from corporations becoming too powerful, but this incident illustrates how the government actually helps these interests maintain their power.

via:

thefreethoughtproject

Source Article from https://worldtruth.tv/in-1914-us-military-slaughtered-kids-in-colorado-and-jd-rockefeller-had-media-cover-it-up/

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