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  • Resource: Privatizating law enforcement in, around settlements

    'The Lawless Zone' is a report by Yesh Din on the transfer of policing and security powers to the Civilian Security Coordinators (CSC) in Israel’s West Bank settlements and outposts. The report presents an analysis of the institution of the CSCs as an inherent aspect of the biased and chaotic state of Israeli law enforcement in the occupied Palestinian territories. The report demonstrates how the regime of civilian security coordinators undermines the rule of law in the West Bank to the point of stripping it of all meaning. It constitutes another layer in Israel’s dereliction of its duty to protect…

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  • How the IDF abdicates its monopoly on violence in the West Bank

    The IDF grants arrest and other powers to civilians in West Bank settlements and outposts but fails to ensure they are held accountable. In essence, the army has privatized law enforcement. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din Privatizing the state's use of force should be a source of concern to us all. Such a process – and particularly when the powers are transferred to a body with a clear political agenda – creates uncontrolled militias. This is the process that has occurred in the West Bank due to the army’s policy of delegating some of its law enforcement powers to…

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  • The U.S. is also guilty in Palestine

    When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to opportunities for justice by superpowers like the U.S., something is wrong – deadly wrong. By Sam Bahour The U.S. is not a neutral mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; it is an active participant and is guilty of the crimes being committed by Israel against Palestinians, most recently, the mass killings and destruction Israel wrought on the Gaza Strip during the summer. The reality that the U.S. is an active supporter of unimaginable suffering may very well be the motivating force behind the U.S.’s adamant attempts to block the Palestinians from using…

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  • All Israelis are implicated in the occupation

    Rather than an army secret, the systems supporting the occupation include such normal institutions as taxation, infrastructure projects, the education system and, of course, army service. The debate over refuseniks from IDF intelligence unit 8200 unleashed acrimonious debates all week. While I have already observed some of them, here are a few more that stand out. Carolina Landsmann has one of the most powerful opinion pieces I’ve read in a long time, in Haaretz. It may yet appear in English, but for now the excerpts here are my translation. Like one former member of Unit 8200 who spoke to me,…

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  • PHOTOS: Amid rubble and trauma, Gaza goes back to school

    With displaced families still living in some schools, and despite severe damage to classrooms, Gaza's children return to school after a summer of Israeli bombardment. Photos by: Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Despite damaged classrooms and destroyed schools, Gaza’s school year began this week after delays due to the recent Israeli offensive known as Operation Protective Edge. According to Gaza Education Ministry official Ziad Thabet, the first weeks of classes will focus on recreational activities and psychological counseling to help children recover from the trauma sustained during this summer’s attacks. During the seven weeks of…

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  • Contradicting its own ruling, Israel’s Supreme Court legalizes segregated communities

    The Israeli Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed various petitions against the Admissions Committees Law, which allows admissions committees in hundreds of communities in Israel to reject housing applicants based on their “social suitability.” By Amjad Iraqi March 8, 2000 marked a unique moment in Israeli history. In a major decision, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that the town of Katzir, which was established on state land by the Jewish Agency, could not deny the right of the Arab Ka’adan family to live in the town simply on the basis that they were not Jewish. This was the first time that Palestinian citizens of Israel…

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  • WATCH: Get arrested at a protest? There's an app for that

    Being a human rights activist can put you in risky situations, including the very real possibility of arrest. Amnesty International this summer released a new Android app to facilitate discreet, emergency assistance from your chosen contacts in the event of arrest. Social TV speaks with Amnesty’s Israel director about its 'local' uses. Related: Rights of demonstrators in the occupied territories

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  • In Gaza, justice delayed is justice denied

    Israeli army investigators have not even contacted the teenage victim of one of the few alleged war crimes it says it is probing. More than two months after Israel's assault on Gaza began, victims of the air, land, and sea invasion continue to have no recourse against their occupiers. It's been nearly two months since 17-year-old Ahmad Abu Raida says he was used as a human shield by Israeli forces near the Gaza border town of Khan Younis. Since then, human rights organizations and various media outlets have reported on the case (+972 was among the first), but Abu Raida has yet to face his alleged…

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  • Against spy revelations, Israel doth protest too much

    The nation’s establishment has called the whistle-blowers of Unit 8200 every bad name, but it has no answer to their charge that information deliberately gathered on innocent Palestinians is used to blackmail them into collaborating. The 43 refuseniks in Unit 8200, Israel’s legendary high-tech snoops, are this week’s Gideon Levys, this week’s Haneen Zoabis – the focus of patriotic hatred in the land. “Baseless slander” is what Netanyahu called their letter, published Friday in Yedioth Ahronoth, in which they declared they would no longer spy for the occupation. Aside from being called traitors, the 43 reservists have been called cowards,…

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  • Resource: How the Shin Bet holds Gazans' health ransom

    A 2008 report by Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights - Israel, detailing for the first time the methods Israel's domestic security services use to exploit the medical needs of Gaza Strip residents in order to extort them into becoming collaborators for Israel. In September 2014, dozens of Israeli army intelligence reservists publicly spoke out about the way that they were trained and ordered to conduct surveillance on innocent Palestinians to find ways of extorting them into becoming informants. Such information included innocent Palestinians' sexual orientation, which the Shin Bet could threaten to expose, or health problems -- their own…

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  • There's nothing static about the West Bank 'status quo'

    Israel is already carrying out Bennett’s annexation plan, only without the formal annexation part. The West Bank is a very different place than it was 10 years ago. It will be even more different five or 10 years from now. The indispensable Amira Hass reported this morning about an Israeli plan to push thousands of Palestinian-Bedouin into a new town it plans to build in the Jordan Valley. The Jordan Valley is one of three areas in which Israel is trying to relocate Bedouin into designated areas or towns; the others are south of Hebron and east of Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s government treats…

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  • A most determined occupation and its cursed victory

    It is not momentum or errors or personality quirks which have sustained the occupation, but a clear determination by Israel’s elite to maintain control of the West Bank and Gaza. Those who are willing to openly examine how Israel – and the pre-state Zionist Jewish community in the Holy Land – conducted itself prior to 1967, can only view the occupation as part of a natural continuum. Cursed Victory: A History of Israel and the Occupied Territories. By Ahron Bregman. Allen Lane; 416 pages; £25. I received my copy of Cursed Victory – Ahron Bregman's history of the occupation – on the…

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  • PHOTOS: Working class neighborhood takes to TA streets ahead of evictions

    On the eve of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, 20 families are expected to be evicted from their homes in the Givat Amal neighborhood without just compensation. Neighborhood residents and supporters took to the streets in north Tel Aviv and blocked main roads to protest the imminent eviction. Photos and text: Keren Manor/Activestills Residents and supporters of the embattled north Tel Aviv neighborhood of Givat Amal gathered on Monday to demonstration against the feared impending eviction of 20 families. The families, whose homes sit on land purchased by Israeli tycoon Yitzhak Tshuva, are in danger of immediate eviction next…

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