Municipality officers escorted by Israeli soldiers issued demolition warrants for thousands of Palestinian homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ras Khamis and Ras Shahada on Oct. 31, a local Palestinian official said. Jamil Sanduqa, who chairs a local committee to develop the Ras Khamis neighborhood, said that over 15,000 Palestinians live in the buildings slated for demolition. The warrants were posted on 200 residential blocks each consisting of 40-70 apartments and the owners were given 30 days to submit objections to the demolition orders, Sanduqa said. He added that municipality officers took photos of several buildings located near the entrance to the neighborhoods before they issued the orders. Among the buildings was a mosque and a newly built school.
Israeli forces fired tear-gas cannisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at al-Quds university students in Abu Dis on Sept. 8, witnesses said. An Israeli border police patrol stopped and searched several students at the main gate of the university in Abu Dis, inspecting identity cards and detaining several students for over an hour. Clashes broke out after university staff prevented Israeli forces from entering the campus. Over 30 students suffered from gas inhalation. Eight students were injured by rubber bullets and transferred to Abu Dis emergency center. Two university security guards were also hospitalized.
Israeli forces razed several structures in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of al-Tur and Eisawiya Aug. 27, under the pretext that they were built without a license. Locals told Ma'an News Agency that a large number of Israeli forces—including special forces troops, police horsemen, and border guard officers—raided Khallat al-Ein neighborhood in al-Tur district. The invading forces denied residents and journalists access to the area before they forced two families to quickly evacuate their houses for demolition. The families were given only minutes to pull out some of their belongings.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 24 ruled (PDF) that Israel cannot be listed as the place of birth on US passports for citizens born in Jerusalem. Section 214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (PDF) requires the State Department to list "Jerusalem, Israel," as the birthplace for US citizens born in Jerusalem if the parents request. The appeals court found that § 214 is unconstitutional, basing its decision on the executive power of recognition, affirming that only the executive has the sole power to recognize a state. This decision now requires that section of the law to be reinterpreted, as Congress does not have the power to recognize foreign states. The office of the president has never recognized any one state as having jurisdiction over the city of Jerusalem, and as such, citizens born there cannot include a country name on their passport.
An Israeli magistrate's court ruled July 21 to evict a Palestinian family from their home in East Jerusalem, after a six year legal battle to prove ownership of the property. The court ruled that the house is absentee property and ordered the Siam family to leave the premises by the end of July, Nathira Siam told Ma'an News Agency. The family was also ordered to pay 40,000 shekels ($11,200) as a rent supplement and 20,000 shekels ($5,600) to the court, Siam said. Nathira said that the family have lived in the property since the 1960s. "I've been renting the property from a woman called Sabriye Taha who has the rental contract and have been paying her regularly," she said. "When she passed away, Israel changed the ownership of the house to absentee property..."
Palestinian youths smashed holes in Israel's separation wall in East Jerusalem on July 9. The protest marked the ninth anniversary of an International Court of Justice advisory opinion that ruled the wall illegal and called for its removal. Activists declared the anniversary a national day for the destruction of the wall. In Eizariya, dozens of youths tore two holes in the wall before Israeli forces arrived and dispersed them with stun grenades and plastic-coated steel bullets, Fatah official Mohamed Amin said. "The destruction of a portion of the wall is a protest to the daily raids at al-Aqsa holy mosque. The Palestinians have a right to break the barriers and the wall to reach Jerusalem and protect its holy sites from the Israeli violations," Amin told Ma'an News Agency.
For a fourth consecutive day April 5, young Palestinians in Hebron clashed with Israeli troops in protests over the death of an elderly prisoner in Israeli custody. The fiercest clashes took place in Bab al-Zawiya neighborhood in the center of Hebron April 4 after the funeral procession. Young protesters hurled stones, empty bottles and fire-bombs at Israeli troops who in turn used rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters. At least 20 protesters were injured. Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, 63, died April 2 at Israel's Soroka Hospital. Although he was diagnosed with cancer in January, it apparently went untreated; according to his lawyer, Rami Alami, he was only given painkillers and antibiotics. Palestinian officials charge that Israeli authorities refused to treat his cancer, ultimately causing his death. (Ma'an News Agency, April 5; Ma'an News Agency, Daily Beast, April 4)
Such a perverse historical irony. Israel's draconian restrictions on freedom of movement in the occupied West Bank provide the circumstances for religious ritual and political protest to converge seamlessly, as Palestinian Christians' attempt at a Good Friday procession in Jerusalem is perforce converted into a demonstration for rights and dignity. The Romans provided the template for a universal metaphor of oppression in Palestine 2,000 years ago. The new Romans became, over time, Byzantine Greeks, Seljuk Turks, Christian Crusaders, Mamluk mercenaries, Ottoman Turks, British colonialists—and now Jews. Can this possibly be good for the Jews? From Al-Monitor, March 29: