Tomorrow, Friday, Jerusalem police plans to limit entrance of Muslim worshipers to the Temple Mount to men ages 40 and older, carrying blue identity cards only (Israeli citizens). Women of any age will be permitted to enter.
Police will increase the forces staged around the Temple Mount and the Old City by several thousand policemen, to prevent attempts to disturb the peace in response to the “pillar of defense” operation in the Gaza Strip.
President Obama on Friday renewed America’s 33-year-old state of emergency against Iran.
The status was instituted by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 following Iran’s Islamic revolution, and allows the President greater autonomy in imposing sanctions and dealing with “unusual and extraordinary threat[s] to the national security, foreign policy and economy”.
Obama’s announcement followed a Treasury Department decision to impose additional sanctions against Iranian officials and institutions oppressing and censoring Iranian citizens.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said sanctions against Iran were meant to keep Iran from cutting Iranians off from the world with an “electronic curtain”.
Officials being sanctioned include the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and the Press Supervisory Board.
Thousands of Syrian refugees poured across the border into Turkey on Friday after heavy fighting between Syrian opposition and loyalists to President Bashar Assad led to the deaths of 46 people in two days in the northeast and 68 throughout the rest of the country, including 47 civilians.
According to the United Nations, over 9,000 Syrians fled to Turkey in the span of one day, with 2,000 others escaping to neighboring countries. Approximately 408,000 Syrians are considered refugees in the area.
The UN anticipated that 700,000 Syrians would ultimately make their way to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq to escape the civil war, and that 4 million people would need emergency aid.
The Tazpit News Agency reports that on Friday afternoon 30 Palestinians and foreign and Israeli anarchists protested and blocked the road in front of the Rami Levy supermarket, this time in Gush Etzion.
Security forces arrived and broke up the protest. One anarchist was arrested.
Rami Levy is a popular supermarket chain that employs both Arab and Jewish workers, and clients from both sectors shop there side by side.
“There’s nothing like a photograph of an innocent child caught up in military conflict to elicit sympathy, rage, and at times, international intervention.
On a media stage far away from Hollywood, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, where photographers gather every Friday to document repetitious scenes of Palestinian residents and international activists clashing with Israeli soldiers, Palestinian activists are placing their children in ever-more-visible roles. Unlike scenes in “Wag the Dog,” a black comedy, there’s nothing funny about parents exploiting their own children to score propaganda points in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Days later, photos of the distraught girls appeared in Australia’s Fairfax media outlets alongside a Page-1 article charging the Israeli army with the routine abuse of Palestinian children. “An Israeli soldier restrains a Palestinian girl crying over the arrest of her mother during a protest over land confiscation in al-Nabi Saleh,” stated one caption in the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.
Slamming the article’s “unnamed sources, hearsay and propaganda,” Philip Chester, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, also charged that the Palestinian leadership “blatantly use[s] children” and “presents a fable where Israel’s curtailing of violence is tantamount to abuse of children.”
Chester was not specifically addressing the photographs of the appealing young Tamimi girls under the thumb of the Israeli military, but he may as well have been.
A’hd is the daughter of Narimen and Bassem, prominent activists in the Popular Resistance, and Marah’s father is Naji, another leader in the weekly demonstrations.
In other words, the girls’ parents are among those who determine the protests’ strategies. Rather than keeping their children at a safe distance from the often-violent clashes, the parents encouraged their children to play highly visible roles in the confrontation with the army.
Narimen is a participant in B’Tselem’s video project, in which the prominent Israeli NGO distributes video cameras to Palestinians to “present the reality of their lives to the Israeli and the international public.”
This is not the first time she has exploited children and distorted reality. In a 2011 video of the arrest of an 11-year-old stone-thrower, Narimen filmed as a Palestinian man instructed the boy’s mother not to join him on the police vehicle, even while Israeli authorities repeatedly asked her to board the van. Later media reports falsely claimed that the Israeli police forbade his parents from accompanying him.
Despite complaints about her cynical exploitation of Palestinian children in order to produce anti-Israel propaganda, Narimen has not stopped using children as props. To the contrary, she has since enlisted her own daughter.
In a 16-minute video posted on the Nabi Saleh Solidarity blog, the two girls can be seen leading a crowd marching toward a spring that the army has deemed off-limits. A’hd and Marah are filmed at length, cursing the soldiers and trying to get around them. Marah can be seen running some distance to approach and confront soldiers. And when Narimen and two other women are arrested, the girls refuse to let go, interfering with the arrests. An army spokesman later said that the detainees, who were held for a few hours, had been throwing rocks.”
Here’s a screen capture from the video.
Here’s photo taken that day promoted on pro-Palestinian sites.
The site where the photo was published, Nabi Selah Solidarity, added the following:
“The actions of A’hd Tamimi and Marah Tamimi, the two young girls who attempted to prevent the arrest of non-violent resistance leader Nariman Tamimi by Israeli Occupation Forces on Friday, was recognised on Monday. A’hd is the daughter of Nariman and Palestinian non-violent resistance leader Bassem Tamimi who was jailed for over year for leading the non-violent resistance in Nabi Saleh. Marah is the daugher of Naji Tamimi, another Nabi Saleh non-violent resistance leader who was also jailed for over a year for his non-violent opposition to Israel’s military occupation.”
But, the exploitation of the two girls has not ended.
“A video shot at a Friday protest in the village of Nabi Salih, in the central West Bank, captured a striking image: that of a young Palestinian girl [A’hd Tamimi] attempting to provoke Israeli soldiers. Soon thereafter the girl is joined by many other seemingly young-looking people from the village.
A senior IDF source told Ynet that intelligence indicates that pro-Palestinian activists pay Palestinian children from Nabi Salih and other nearby villages to confront the soldiers. “The soldiers are briefed on the fact that these protests are staged for the sake of provocation, so that they could be filmed acting violently and so that those videos could be distributed worldwide in an effort to harm the IDF’s image,” the officer said.
According to Ynet, Abir Kubati, spokesperson of the popular protest coordination committee, said: “I don’t understand what the army wants – they send soldiers into a Palestinian village and then dare to depict themselves as victims because the residents don’t welcome them.”
“You’re a traitor! I know you speak Arabic. Our soldiers are stronger than you! I’ll smash your head,” the 10-year-old girl is heard in the video screaming at the soldier in Arabic, according to a translation provided by Ynet.”
Placing innocent Palestinian children in potentially dangerous situations, cynically hoping for a media coup stemming from any overreaction by IDF soldiers, is indeed shameful.
However, such provocations by the Tamimis pale in comparison to an antisemitic Palestinian political culture which consistently sends messages to their youth that martyrdom – dying, or even murdering Israeli Jews, to advance the Palestinian cause – is one of the most important political values they should aspire to.
Here are a few clips of chilling child abuse, routinely sanctioned by Palestinian society, which the Guardian won’t report.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is insisting that Israel does not consider Egypt’s government a “shocking dictatorship”, after Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad made the statement to students in Herzliya on Friday.
Gilad called the Egyptian Spring and recent elections a “tremendous historic change in Egypt”, and insisted that Israel’s relationship with Egypt has deteriorated since president Muhammed Morsi was voted in. “Out of desire for democracy has grown a shocking dictatorship,” the Associated Press quotes Gilad as saying. “Where are all the young people who demonstrated in Tahrir square? They have disappeared.”
In response to the stabbing of a Jewish man on Friday night, scores of Jewish residents of the historic Mount of Olives in Jerusalem took to the street in protest, demanding to be afforded the peace and security found in other parts of Israel’s capital city.
Walking back from prayers at the Western Wall on Friday night, a man in his 30s and his friend were attacked by two Arab men who leapt from a waiting car. One of the assailants stabbed the Jewish man in his back and both fled. The victim was treated at the scene by a Magen David Adom paramedic and an emergency room physician from Shaarei Zedek hospital, both of whom are residents of Maale HaZeitim, one of the Jewish neighborhoods in the area.
The victim was taken to Hadassah Ein-Kerem hospital by ambulance in moderate condition, with a stab wound to his kidney. This marks the first time a Jew was stabbed in the neighborhood since its establishment, more than a decade ago. It is an escalation in the violence which includes numerous rock throwing and other attacks. Residents demanded more police presence and stricter measures against anti-Jewish incitement and violence.
At an emergency meeting held by the Jewish community’s security committee, residents expressed their outrage at the Jerusalem Police department’s failure to provide basic protection to citizens, and issued a list of recommendations for local law enforcement, who they say do not take security threats or calls for police assistance seriously. Among complaints were inability to reach officers in a timely manner via the national police phone service, unwillingness for police to investigate charges of threats or harassment against Jews by Arab neighbors, and an overwhelming lack of police presence in an area known to be hostile toward Jews within the Jerusalem municipality.
Maale HaZeitim, and the new adjacent community of Maalot David, are a 15-minute walk from Jerusalem’s popular and ancient Old City, and enjoys a view of the Temple Mount.