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  • Not about tunnels: Israeli tanks take aim at central Gaza

    Israel's 'no-go zone' - created by scorched-earth shelling that has leveled entire neighborhoods - has shrunk Gaza nearly by half. A colleague in Gaza City’s Tal el Hawa neighborhood reported before dawn this morning that Israeli tank shells were falling all around the apartment building where he and his wife were hunkered in a hallway, contemplating where they could flee come sunrise. Between them and the Mediterranean sea to their west are fewer kilometers than those separating them from Shejaeiya to the east, where days earlier, Israeli tanks had reduced entire neighborhoods to rubble. “They’re doing to us like they…

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  • 'Unprecedented' violence stalks anti-war demos across Israel

    The recent demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Haifa against the Gaza war have largely failed to reach the global media. And while the end of the bloodshed still seems far from sight, there is a different, violent confrontation being held inside Israel – one that targets Arab citizens and left-wing activists on the internet, and uses physical violence against anti-war demonstrators. By Omer Raz Tel Aviv, July 13 The second weekend of Operation Protective Edge saw the first bout of physical violence at Habima Square - the cultural heart of Tel Aviv. At around 8 p.m. a crowd of several…

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  • Why did Israel reject Kerry's ceasefire proposal?

    Is Israel willing to prolong the fighting and to intensify the killing and bereavement on both sides just so that its ally in Cairo gets the credit, rather than the Hamas-allied Turkey and Qatar?  By Elizabeth Tsurkov There is hardly any difference between the draft agreement presented by Kerry and the Egyptian proposal, apart from the question of who will be its sponsor: Cairo, or Turkey and Qatar? On Sunday morning, Haaretz's excellent diplomatic correspondent, Barak Ravid, published a commentary on the new draft proposed by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: The draft Kerry passed to Israel on Friday shocked the cabinet ministers…

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  • Protective Edge: The disengagement undone

    Israel's latest operation has brought about an end to the notion that Gaza can be separated from the rest of Palestine. The current war in Gaza demands we revisit the circumstances surrounding Israel’s “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Supporters of the war often claim that Israel left the territory and “got rockets in return.” The first rocket was fired from Gaza in 2001, but there is a more important point to be made here: one cannot evacuate a certain part of the occupied territories and expect the problem to be solved – at least in that particular area…

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  • Gaza becomes Syria: Middle East geopolitics 2.0

    The bickering between countries over who has the right to negotiate over the Palestinians is nothing new. We've been here before. By Aziz Abu Sarah and Dr. Marc Gopin There are two main camps involved in negotiating a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel. However, the players are not within the camp that most would have expected. What started as Israel vs. Hamas is quickly becoming a geopolitical issue involving many new actors. While this might seem good for some, it should be seen as terrible news for Palestinians and Israelis alike. Israel, Egypt and the PLO seem to be…

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  • After Abu Khdeir murder, an ugly collision of homophobia and racism

    After Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burned to death, many Israeli Jews insisted he died at the hands of Palestinians. They seized on unfounded rumors of his alleged homosexuality rather than facing the truth of the horrible act. By Shaked Spier (Translated from Hebrew by Yossefa Mekyton and Shaked Spier) Alongside the pain, belligerence and anger, it is important to say a few words about homophobia and racism, and how the two manifested after the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. When the burned body of the Palestinian boy was found following public  incitement against Arabs - which peaked after the abduction and murder…

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  • Is the West Bank ripe for an intifada?

    Media and politicians have been quick to claim that Palestinian protests against Operation Protective Edge mark the beginning of a third intifada. But in Beit Sahour, the town that was the heart of the First Intifada, some are skeptical that today's demonstrations will turn into tomorrow's revolution.  Some ten thousand Palestinians marched from Ramallah on Thursday night to Qalandia checkpoint, in protest of Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip and in hopes of reaching Jerusalem. One man was killed and dozens were injured in what was the largest demonstration the West Bank has seen in years. While protesters and…

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  • Why Israel won’t sign any ceasefire that’s fair

    A fair ceasefire would bring major relief for Gaza, which would mean Hamas wins the war. The ceasefire that the world is now pushing for – one that, as UN chief Ban Ki-Moon put it, not only ends the fighting but also ends Israel’s “chokehold on Gaza” – is one that the Netanyahu government will not accept. It should accept it, because Gazans have the right to be free, but it won’t. Its rejection of John Kerry’s offer on Friday – which reportedly would have allowed the Israeli army to go on destroying Gazan tunnels even during a week-long ceasefire…

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  • Why the EU needs to rein in Israel's settlement policy

    An Israeli academic makes the case for Europe to contain Israel’s settlement policy with greater determination and more concrete measures. By Nurit Peled-Elhanan Times are very tough for both Israeli and Palestinian families. The death toll in Gaza currently stands at more than 1,000, the majority of whom are civilians. The death toll in Israel stands at 43, three of whom are civilians. Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank. A Palestinian youth from Jerusalem was burned alive by Jewish extremists. Dangerous and violent racism against Arab-Israeli citizens encouraged by Israeli ministers and parliament members has led…

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  • Israel has alternatives to this war

    This war can end and the next one can be avoided by lifting the siege, allowing for imports and exports in and out of Gaza, relieving the pressure on the civilian population, and then embarking on a genuine effort to reach a fair compromise with the Palestinians. This operation feels different from previous escalations. A ceasefire may come soon, but we could also be heading for a long period of violence and instability. Another escalation will not be limited to Gaza: the West Bank saw its largest protest since the Second Intifada last night, with two killed by army fire. This round of…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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