Analysis News

Violence sells: When the media profits off the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

In my third post about publishing–or, rather, not publishing–my book about migrant workers and African refugees in Israel, I examine the role of violence in the media and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And then there was a ray of light. In the wake of the May 2012 race riot in Tel Aviv, the mainstream media was suddenly paying attention to African refugees in the Jewish state. My agent called to say that we might be able to ride the wave of violence to sell my book about migrants in Israel.

There’s something wrong with an industry that only sits up and takes notice when things get bloody. There’s something sick to me about riding the riot and the asylum seekers’ fear and suffering. But, hey, sex and violence sells. As a number of my students pointed out, when blood is spilled, the international community pays attention to issues that the world usually ignores. And it seems the only way to force Israel’s hand.

During and after Operation Pillar of Defense, my university students in the West Bank were divided on the role armed struggle should play in Palestinian resistance. Some felt that violence only begets violence and chastised their classmates who rejoiced in seeing footage of Tel Aviv residents dashing to bomb shelters. When one young man told the class that he was happy to see “Jews running like chickens” to take cover, a girl in hijab turned around and yelled at him, “Haram!” She went on to upbraid him for enjoying anyone’s suffering, including that of the Jews.

Others felt that the frightful images coming out of Gaza—and the lopsided body count—might call the international community to action. And then there were those who were conflicted: violence sucks, they said. But sirens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem made Israel pay attention to Gaza and to ease the blockade a little bit. That proved to them that, as awful as bloodshed is, fighting back is the only way to “peace.”

It’s all too easy to blame the Israeli government for ignoring Palestinian demands for human rights. It’s comfortable to point the finger at journalists, editors, and publishers who follow a sensationalistic “if it doesn’t bleed it doesn’t lead” line. However, at the end of the day, the fault lies with a public that, to put it simply, just doesn’t care.

Or does it? Noam Chomsky and others...

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What do Palestinian teenagers wish for in 2013?

New Year’s resolutions offer us a glimpse into the hopes of the children who live under Israeli occupation.

A colleague of mine, a fellow journalist and writer, teaches English to Palestinian children in Hebron. I visited her recently in the West Bank and she generously shared her teenage students’ New Year’s resolutions. They are published here, sans names, with the students’ permission.

From a teenage boy:

*Study hard

*Be lovely

*Don’t hurt others

*Work better

*Keep your mouth closed

*Imagine well

*Never give up

*Eat healthy food

*Hate injustice

*Like to help others


*Fight bad insects

The next one list was written by a girl who seems unusually self aware for a teenager. The most heartbreaking entry in her list was number 11, which she’d drawn a line through. It shows how hard it is for her trust the world around her and alludes to the severe impact it makes on her personal relationships:

1) Focus more on my studies in class

2) to Work more on my relationship with God.

3) Stop and think before I do anything.

4) Fix my relationship with my dad and mom

5) Stop talking when the teacher is talking

6) Watch fewer programmes at T.V.

7) Stop listening to music that’s not good

8) Have breakfast before going to school

9) Take real things seriously.

10) Try to tell everybody how you feel about him or her

11) Stop believing every body lies

Another young woman’s list shows, again, how hard it is for these children to have faith in the people around them. No surprise given the fact that their lives are so unstable and can be changed on the whim of an Israeli soldier.

1) Study hard

2) Prepare myself to Al-Tawjehi

3) Start to make my dreams a fact

4) See my life in another way

5) Don’t trust people so quickly

6) Don’t tell my rivals in school my marks

7) Enjoy my school day with my friends

8) Eat pizza

That these lists do not mention the occupation does not mean that living under Israeli military rule makes no impact on the children’s lives. Rather, that the students don’t talk about freedom of movement or seeing their brothers, uncles, and cousins released from Israeli prisons suggests that it doesn’t seem like a realistic hope.

The New Year’s resolutions...

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Media misconceptions: Is the conflict really about Jews vs. Arabs?

In the second post of my three-part series about media and publishing, I examine some misconceptions about the Israeli-Palestinian ‘conflict,’ and the ways in which the media feeds into a binary that leaves non-Jews and non-Palestinians out of the spotlight.

When my agent and I shopped my book about Israel’s migrant workers and African refugees around, we got a lot of those “We love it but it’s not right for us” and “This is an important book that needs to be published. But there’s no audience for this” kind of responses.

But perhaps the most common response was, “Where are the Palestinians?”

The Palestinians are there, of course. They are discussed directly and indirectly. As migrant workers were first brought to Israel during the First Intifada to replace Palestinian day laborers—a fact I take care to mention in my book—you can’t talk about the state’s treatment of foreign workers without alluding to those they replaced. And with most Palestinians locked behind the separation barrier, migrant workers and African refugees—the “new” non-Jewish “others” in Israel—have become more convenient stand-ins for the racist sentiments that have long been channeled towards Palestinian.

But, no, publishers who haven’t set foot in Israel—much less covered it as a journalist for years on end—insist that the “conflict” is about Jews vs. Arabs, Israelis vs. Palestinians, not Israel versus all non-Jewish others. Tell that to the families of migrant workers who are being deported by the state; tell the African refugees who face prison without trial that Israel’s conflict is with the Arabs.

And tell that to the many Israeli politicians who readily admit that the issue is preserving a Jewish state.

Further, Israel has tweaked the 1952 Entry to Israel law and the 1954 Infiltration Prevention law—both of which discriminate against Palestinians—broadening them to apply to migrant workers and African refugees. Israeli politicians use similar rhetoric and separation methods (read: walls) against all of these non-Jewish groups.

As I wrote in The National:

In 2003 Mr Netanyahu, then finance minister, called Arab citizens of the state a “demographic problem” adding that the separation barrier would stop a “demographic spillover” of Palestinians from the Occupied Territories. Fast forward to 2010: Prime Minister Netanyahu calls African asylum seekers a “concrete threat to the Jewish and democratic character of the country” and promises another separation barrier, this one to run the length of the border between...

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Eviction of Palestinian family in East Jerusalem temporarily postponed

The eviction of  a Palestinian family from their home in Sheikh Jarrah, planned for today, has been delayed by two months. 

Two Palestinian children in front of their house in Sheikh Jarrah, February 7, 2010 (photo: Anne Paq/

The Shamasneh family was slated to be evicted from their home at 2:00 p.m. today, December 31, so that the Israeli Custodian for Absentee Property could take possession of the house. The Jerusalem District Court ordered the eviction to be postponed until March 1, 2013 after the family’s lawyer appealed to Israel’s high court.

Activists and politicians who support the Shamasnehs in their fight to stay in their East Jerusalem home emphasize that this is just a temporary postponement in the eviction, and that the family of 10 is still in danger of losing their house. They also point out that it is just one of many examples of Israel’s lopsided, discriminatory application of the law that is leading to the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem.

In a number of cases, the Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property has handed over Palestinian homes to Jewish settlers after Israeli courts have ruled that the properties in question were owned by Jews prior to the 1948 war. Palestinian refugees who were forced or fled from their homes in the same period, however, are not allowed to sue for the properties in Israeli courts.

The Shamasneh family has lived in their Sheikh Jarrah home since 1964, three years before Israel occupied East Jerusalem. In 1980, Israel unilaterally annexed East Jerusalem, a move that remains unrecognized by the international community.

Speaking yesterday of the Shamasneh’s case, Dr. Saeb Erekat of the Palestine Liberation Organization remarked, “We hold Israel accountable for any consequences to their illegal actions and we call upon the international community to end the culture of impunity for Israel and treating Israel as a state above international law.”

Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah days away from eviction
Fact sheet: Israel’s tightening control over Jerusalem
Spotlight: Sheikh Jarrah

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It's a man's world: women in journalism and publishing

Over five years of on-the-ground research. Almost three years of writing and rewriting. And my book about migrant workers and African refugees in Israel just isn’t selling.

I’ve spent more than two years addressing everything in my control (with the help of an excellent literary agent who has sold some very big books). My experiences as a journalist–and some appalling numbers from the publishing industry–leave me to conclude that editors are passing on my book because I’m a woman.

I’ve also gotten the sense that publishers aren’t interested because the discourse about Israel-Palestine is locked into an overly simplistic discussion of a bilateral “conflict” when—as Israel’s treatment of migrant workers and African refugees shows—the conversation needs to be about the Jewish state’s denial of human rights to ALL non-Jews.

And then there’s the issue of violence. As the old journalism adage goes, “If it doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t read.” My experiences with the publishing industry suggest that this holds as true now as ever.

In this post, the first of a three-part series, I’ll talk about what it means to be a woman in journalism and publishing.


I should have known that I was battling gender bias the moment my agent asked me if I could turn my original draft—a journalistic, semi-academic, discussion of non-Jewish, non-Palestinian “others”  and their place in Israel—into “Eat Pray Love meets migrant workers.”

Yes, memoir was big at the time. But can you imagine an agent asking a male journalist to turn his investigative work into something less deliberate? Can you imagine a male journalist being urged to write about how “you bumped into this person who introduced me to that person”?

And doesn’t the term “male journalist” sound funny? That’s because we’re not used to hearing it. Male journalists are the norm and we don’t bother describing norms. We only describe the exception to the rule. Articles exclaiming how far “female journalists” have come or the “Unique advantage of ‘female war reporters” actually suggest that we haven’t come that far… otherwise, participating in our profession would be unremarkable, so unremarkable it wouldn’t need to be discussed in an article.

That’s not to say that my agent is to blame. He’s  just a salesman—he’s a conduit for and reflection of market forces. And when it comes to publishing, women are relegated to particular corners of the industry.

Writing in The Washington Post...

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Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah days away from eviction

On December 31, as Americans celebrate New Year’s Eve and Israelis lift a glass to “Sylvester,” a Palestinian family will be evicted from their East Jerusalem home to make way for Jewish settlers.

The Jerusalem District Court has ruled that the Shamasneh family must leave the house they have been living in 1964—three years before Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem began—by 2:00 PM on Monday afternoon. Ten people currently live in the home, including six children.

The court has granted ownership to the Israeli Custodian for Absentee Property, which was represented by lawyers who also represent settlers’ organizations, including the Israel Land Fund.

According to the Israel Land Fund’s website, the organization’s goals include “acquiring all the land of Israel for the Jewish people.” The ILF “strives to ensure that Jewish land is… reclaimed and in Jewish hands” rather than “hostile, non-Jewish, and enemy sources.”

The ILF has been behind a number of different settlement projects in East Jerusalem. Activists believe that the Shamasnehs’ home will be handed over to Jewish settlers after the family is evicted.

The Jerusalem District Court’s decision breaks a three year lull in such evictions in Sheikh Jarrah. The al-Kurd family was evicted from their house in Sheikh Jarrah in 2008 and were left homeless; two more families were dispossessed in 2009. Jewish settlers now occupy all of the houses.

The wave of evictions led to weekly protests in Sheikh Jarrah that were, for some time, popular with Jewish Israeli activists.

In the below letter, Ayoub Shamasneh, asks the international community to help him and his family. He also points out that Jews the world over can claim properties in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories based on previous ownership–however tenuous those claims–while Palestinians are not allowed to reclaim the properties they were forced to leave during the 1947-1948 conflict.

To whom it may concern,

My name is Ayoub Shamasneh and I live in Um Haroun, Sheikh Jarrah. My wife and I are living here with our son, Mohammed, his wife Amaal, and their six children ranging from the ages of 11 to 22 years old. We have lived in this house since 1964, it is where we built our family and raised our children.  In 2009, after decades of living in our home, the Israeli General Custodian’s Office informed us that our rental’s agreement will not be...

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E1 doesn't matter: One-state reality is here

Those who think that E1 is the nail in the coffin of the two-state ‘solution’ are willfully blind to the fact that a one-state outcome is already on the ground and that the Zionist militias started building it before there ever was an Israel.

I know this is a little late. The big brouhaha about E1 was, what, a few weeks ago? I wasn’t paying that much attention because, as someone who spends a lot of time traveling between Jerusalem and the West Bank–and noticing the one unequal state already on the ground–I didn’t quite get the fuss about E1. It’s just more of the same; it’s part of the process that began in 1947.

Every day, I take a Palestinian bus from East Jerusalem to Abu Dis, in the West Bank. We go through Sheikh Jarrah and then through the tunnels, popping out in the Palestinian land next to the Israeli settlement Maale Adumim. We pass through Azzariya and then take a winding road to Abu Dis.

People were up in arms about construction in E1 making a contiguous Palestinian state impossible. As though there were any possibilities left. The West Bank has been carved up already. Israeli settlements dot East Jerusalem and the West Bank and the Palestinians are confined to separate bus line that connects their Bantustans. I see it on my commute every day as the Palestinian bus passes Israeli bus stops full of settlers. As we pass Maale Adumim. As we share the road with all the yellow-plated Israeli vehicles traveling to and from settlements that are even deeper in the West Bank than Maale Adumim neighboring E1.

Of course, it’s awful that Israel will expropriate privately owned Palestinian land for settlement in E1. It’s shameful that the Palestinians who live in the areas surrounding E1 will find their (already non-existent) ability to expand to accommodate for natural growth further limited. But those who think that the tiny piece of land known as E1 is what will make or break a Palestinian state don’t realize that the Palestinian state was broken from day one; those who think that E-1 is the nail in the coffin of the two-state “solution” are willfully blind to the fact that a one-state outcome is already on the ground and that the Zionist militias started building it before there was an Israel.


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Will the two-state UN bid make a difference on the ground?

Festivities were held in Ramallah throughout the day to celebrate the Palestine Liberation Organization’s bid at the United Nations to receive an upgrade to non-member observer state. It’s a bit ironic that the Palestinian Authority chose Ramallah for these official festivities—isn’t East Jerusalem supposed to be the Palestinian capital according to the two-state solution?

And President Mahmoud Abbas’ move is a two-state move, as some of my students angrily pointed out this week. One girl, who is the 18-year-old granddaughter of Palestinian refugees who fled the massacre in Deir Yassin, said that Abbas is giving up her right of return. Another young woman said Abbas and the PA need to go—as does Hamas. She likened both to dictators.

I also heard this sentiment throughout “Operation Pillar of Defense.” While many of my students were excited to see the Palestinian moqawama (resistance) holding its own as Israel pummeled the Gaza Strip, some also felt that there is a need for something entirely new. Not the PA, not Fateh, not Hamas. This flies in the face of mainstream media reports—written by people who have very limited contact with Palestinians—that “Operation Pillar of Defense” represented a tipping point during which Hamas garnered more support. Support for Hamas was already quite strong at the university I teach in; Fateh had a weak showing during local elections in October.

What I saw change during the Israeli assault on Gaza is that my students were energized—they wanted to do something for Palestine. It was no longer enough to keep Palestine in their hearts; the idea of “existence is resistance” was no longer enough either. But before they got anything off the ground, “Operation Pillar of Defense” was over and the feeling of urgency waned a bit. They’re used to the grind of occupation—the checkpoints, the restrictions on freedom of movement, that they can’t visit their grandparents villages. And then the UN bid was upon us all.

Many of my students support the UN bid. It feels like some sort of victory, even if it’s only on paper. Some feel it might bring some sort of change by raising international awareness of the Palestinians’ plight.

My Arabic teacher who lives in East Jerusalem but is a Palestinian citizen of the state—and who holds a...

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West Bank and East Jerusalem buses are already segregated

Yes, the suggestion to segregate buses is disgusting. But it shouldn’t overshadow the fact that, if we consider Israel/Palestine as one continuous territory under a system that privileges Jewish Israelis, there is already de facto bus segregation on the ground in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

One of the three large bus terminals in East Jerusalem that serve Palestinian residents. From this station, lines head to Sur Bahir, Atarot, and elsewhere. Sur Bahir is a Palestinian village of East Jerusalem, which Israel unilaterally annexed after the Six Day War in 1967. Palestinian residents pay taxes to Israel like Jewish Israelis but have a special bus to the area. Atarot is also occupied land and a large industrial park is found there, where many of the businesses are Jewish-owned. Yet Palestinian workers take a separate bus line to Atarot from their Jewish bosses and coworkers.

No, I’m not Palestinian. But I experience this segregation every day because I work at a Palestinian university in Area B. Every morning, I make the trip to East Jerusalem, where I head towards the “Palestinian buses.” Sure, there are Israeli buses that head into the West Bank, too. But they only serve the settlements. They do not serve all of the people who are under Israeli control.

And no matter where one lives in the West Bank, Israel is in control. Israel controls the borders, the water, the air space, and the checkpoints—including the one that my bus passes through every day.

Many of the people on the bus with me are Jerusalem residents. This means that they pay taxes to the Israeli authorities. Or, if they’re students—and most of the passengers on my line are—their parents pay taxes. Despite the fact that they pay into the same system as Jewish Israelis, the transportation system available to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem take into the West Bank is separate and unequal from the one that Jewish Israelis take into the West Bank.

Outside of one of the entrances of the “Central Bus Station” in East Jerusalem. The driver hangs out the window to make sure there are no children crossing in front of the small bus.

It starts with the station itself....

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Israel suppresses Gaza protests in West Bank; two Palestinians killed

Rushdi Tamimi, 31, was shot by Israeli soldiers during a protest in Nabi Saleh on Saturday; he died today in a Ramallah hospital. 22-year-old Hamdi Falah died today after being shot four times by soldiers at a Hebron protest. In the past several days, Israeli forces have violently repressed demonstrations in East Jerusalem and the West Bank against the army’s ‘Operation Pillar of Defense.’

Rushdi Tamimi’s funeral Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012 (Activestills0

Abir Kopty of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee reported that protests held on Saturday and Sunday at Nabi Saleh, Ofer Military Prison, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, and Bethlehem were put down through the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and rubber-coated bullets, with soldiers sometimes firing directly at demonstrators. More than 10 protesters were arrested and a number were injured, including Tamimi, who was shot in the back with live ammunition. According to Kopty, “While injured, soldiers dragged him attempting to detain him.”

Tamimi was taken to a hospital in Ramallah where he died of his injuries today.

Falah was protesting the Israeli assault on Gaza when soldiers shot him in the face, chest, and knee. According to Maan News Agency, witnesses reported that Falah “was shot at close range.”

For the second day in a row, Israeli soldiers fired tire gas at unarmed students of Al Quds University in Abu Dis in the West Bank in an attempt to suppress protests against the assault on Gaza.

A 19-year-old student told +972 that as she was leaving campus yesterday around 4:00 p.m., she saw little kids throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. One of the college students also threw a rock in the soldiers’ direction, she said, as a form of protest of the Israeli assault on Gaza that has killed over 100 Palestinians. The soldiers shot tear gas at the children and the student and then ran towards a crowd of university students, pushing them into campus, where they continued to fire tear gas at them.

Five Al Quds University students were arrested.

The student reported that she and dozens of other students hid in a building as they did not want to confront the soldiers. One of her friends fainted from tear gas inhalation.

A professor told...

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Israelis express support for military, reoccupation of Gaza

I spent Thursday in Kiryat Gat, Kiryat Malachi, Ashkelon and Sderot–the Israeli cities under Hamas fire. I spoke to dozens of Israelis; support for Operation Pillar of Defense was unanimous, though no one thought it would bring lasting peace. Most felt it would bring temporary quiet; many believe that Israel needs to reoccupy the Gaza Strip. 

At a commercial center in Kiryat Malachi, a short walk from the apartment building where three Israelis were killed Thursday morning by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, an elderly man selects tomatoes at a small produce stand. The 74-year-old man, who immigrated to Israel from Algeria with his family when he was a teenager and who does not wish to be identified, says that he is not worried about additional rockets.

“I’m safe here,” he says, as he examines a tomato, “I’m following the [Israeli Army Home Front Command’s] directions and doing what they say. So there’s no problem.”

The father of six and grandfather of nine said that he like most Israelis support “Operation Pillar of Defense,” which has taken the life of 15 Palestinian residents of Gaza since it began on Wednesday.

“I support our [army] officers, Defense Minister [Ehud Barak], and Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu],” he adds.


Two men, sipping beer out of plastic cups outside of a nearby cell phone accessories store, voice similar feelings.

Eli Chalilo, a 38-year-old who emigrated from Uzbekistan with his parents when he was 18, says, “Right now we feel fine, but this morning was a little stressful.” He adds that his house is just 200 meters from the building that was hit by a rocket.

Chalilo, who is currently unemployed, wears a white sweat suit and sunglasses. He sent his two children to family in Jerusalem because he is worried about their safety. But, he adds, he is not concerned about his own security. He points to the sky, “God’s up there.”

The two men are joined by Eli Pozielov, 31, the owner of the cell phone accessories store. The father to three children, aged three, four and five, says, “My kids are crying. They’re scared, I’m scared, I don’t know what to do, where to go.”

Chalilo and friends in Kiryat Malachi, just a few minutes walk from the apartment building where three Israeli were...

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On civilians and 'Israel's Gaza problem'

Wednesday, November 14: Israeli forces have just killed a four-year-old and a seven-year-old in Gaza. Two children.

Jeffrey Goldberg tweets*, correctly, that the fighting won’t solve anything. But his phrasing embodies everything that’s wrong with the mainstream media. It also points at the Israeli attitude towards both the Palestinians and the region:

Israel’s Gaza problem?

The fatalities suggest it’s the other way around. According to B’Tselem, 6500 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces from the start of the Second Intifada in September 2000 until to September 30, 2012—4660 of which were Gazans. The same ten-year-period period saw 590 Israelis killed by Palestinians.

And then there’s the issue of Gaza’s economy, which Israel has systematically de-developed for over 40 years. There’s the blockade. There’s Israel’s separation policy, which, in a further attempt to fracture the Palestinian territories, tears families into two—leaving one spouse in the West Bank, another in Gaza, ripping parents from their children.

Israel’s Gaza problem?

These are people. 1.7 million people live in Gaza. They shouldn’t be collectively referred to as Israel’s “problem.”


I get on the train to go to a protest in East Jerusalem. People are talking and laughing and smiling as though nothing is going on. People are dying in Gaza. I boil. I sit. Two teenage girls stand in the aisle next to me. Their chatter is mindless and light-hearted.

The girls are about the same age as the Palestinian students I teach at a university in the West Bank. One has told me about her aunts and uncles and cousins in Gaza. I wonder what she’s doing right now. I wonder if her family is okay.

I think about the Palestinian woman, Nisreen, I interviewed via the phone recently. Her kids are in Ramallah; she is stuck in Gaza with no work and no family and hasn’t seen her son and daughter in five years. When I asked Nisreen about Operation Cast Lead, she said that the hardest part was not what she experienced but her parents’ and children’s panic and fear as they watched the news in the West Bank.

The teenage girls next to me giggle. I can’t bear...

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Israel demolishes two Palestinian homes in Area C

As America celebrated the re-election of Barack Obama, it was business as usual in Israeli-controlled Area C of the West Bank. At least two Palestinian homes were demolished today. The residents’ ‘crime?’ They didn’t have building permits, which are issued by Israel and are next to impossible for Palestinians to obtain. 

According to Operation Dove, an Italian organization that maintains an international presence in the South Hebron Hills, one home was destroyed in Ad Deirat, while another house and a water cistern were destroyed in Jawwaya.

Both villages are located in Area C of the West Bank, where Palestinians are under increasing pressure from Israel. Tamar Feldman of ACRI told me recently that 14 Palestinian villages in the south Hebron Hills are in legal battles initiated by the state and the settlers in an attempt to expel the residents from the land. Another 12 villages live in area that the Israeli army wants to turn into Firing Zone 918. If the state has its way, 1,500 people will be forced from their homes.

Israeli soldiers arrive with heavy machinery to carry out the demolition (photo: Operation Dove)

A majority of Palestinians cannot receive building permits to expand their homes or build new houses in Area C, which is controlled by Israel. Jewish settlements, however, continue to expand.

The two-story home is destroyed as a Palestinian man records the demolition with his cell phone (photo: Operation Dove)

On Monday, Israeli forces evicted two Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem. One of the houses was demolished. According to the United Nations’ Displacement Working Group:

DWG adds that the couple does not have anywhere else to live and is now homeless.

A family of six was evicted from their home on the Mount of Olives on Monday morning, as well. DWG reports:

According to the family, the home was broken into and the family evicted by armed individuals in civilian clothing who did not present any official identification. Israeli police forces were reportedly present outside the building, on the main street…The other apartments in the building were previously taken over by settlers associated with the El Ad settler organization, which has claimed before Israeli courts to have bought the building, via...

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