+972 Magazine » Video http://972mag.com Independent commentary and news from Israel & Palestine Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:28:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8 PHOTOS: Protest for conscientious objector outside IDF prison http://972mag.com/photos-protest-for-conscientious-objector-outside-idf-prison/116256/ http://972mag.com/photos-protest-for-conscientious-objector-outside-idf-prison/116256/#comments Mon, 25 Jan 2016 11:51:59 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=116256 Conscientious objector Tair Kaminer is being held in an Israel army women’s prison for refusing to take part in the occupation.

Text by Haggai Matar
Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

Solidarity protesters and family members protest for Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer, Prison 400, central Israel, January 23, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Solidarity protesters and family members protest for Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer, Prison 400, central Israel, January 23, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Roughly 80 left-wing activists protested in support of jailed conscientious objector Tair Kaminer outside the IDF’s Prison 400 on Saturday.

Two weeks ago Kaminer informed the army that she is refusing to serve because of the ongoing military occupation, and was sentenced to 20 days in the women’s military prison. Kaminer is expected to be released this coming weekend, after which she will once again likely refuse to serve and be sentenced to another period in prison.

Two other young Israeli refuseniks are expected to refuse to serve in the coming weeks, the first on January 31.

Outside Prison 400 on Saturday the activists sang, beat drums and used a PA system to ensure the prisoners heard them. They called for Kaminer’s release and all political prisoners, among them Ezra Nawi, Guy Batavia, and Nasser Nawaj’ah — who were arrested in relation to a right-wing hidden camera stunt, two of whom have since been released to house arrest — along with administrative detainees, with an emphasis on Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, who has been on hunger strike for some 60 days.

Solidarity protesters and family members protest for Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer, Prison 400, central Israel, January 23, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Solidarity protesters and family members protest for Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer, Prison 400, central Israel, January 23, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Solidarity protesters and family members protest for Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer, Prison 400, central Israel, January 23, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Solidarity protesters and family members protest for Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer, Prison 400, central Israel, January 23, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A woman holds a sign reading ‘Free the political prisoners’ at a protest in solidarity with Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer, Prison 400, central Israel, January 23, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A woman holds a sign reading ‘Free the political prisoners’ at a protest in solidarity with Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer, Prison 400, central Israel, January 23, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The demonstrators also expressed hopes that everyone in the military prison be released to their homes and families soon. Guards were seen watching the protest from over the prison walls.

Activists from “Yesh Gvul” and “Refusers,” Kaminer’s family and others took part in the solidarity protest.

IDF prison guards watch the protest from inside the prison walls. Prison 400, central Israel, January 23, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

IDF prison guards watch the protest from inside the prison walls. Prison 400, central Israel, January 23, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Conscientious objector Tair Kaminer is greeted by supporters outside the Tel Hashomer induction base, Ramat Gan, Israel, January 10, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Conscientious objector Tair Kaminer is greeted by supporters outside the Tel Hashomer induction base, Ramat Gan, Israel, January 10, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Kaminer, 19, recently finished a year of national service with the Israeli Scouts (“Tzofim”) in the southern development town of Sderot. There she volunteered with children who suffer from trauma due to multiple wars in Gaza and continual rocket fire on the city. “The children I worked with grew up in the heart of the conflict and have had extremely difficult experiences from a young age, experiences that caused them to feel hatred, which can be understood, especially when it comes from young children,” Kaminer wrote in a statement several days ago.

“Like them, many children who grow up in Gaza or in the West Bank, in an even more difficult environment, learn to hate the other side,” she continues. “They, too, cannot be blamed. When I look at all of these children, and the next generation on both sides and the reality in which they grow up, I see only more trauma and pain. And I say enough! That is why I refuse: so that I do not take an active part in the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the injustices that the Palestinian people face under occupation, so that I do not take part in this circle of hate in Gaza and Sderot.”

Kaminer also writes that she aspires to peace, equality, democracy, and security for all people who live in Israel/Palestine, emphasizing the security of those whose security tends to be forgotten — Palestinians and Israeli residents of the western Negev Desert. “They convince us that the army has nothing to do with politics, but serving in the army is a political decision. Military jail frightens me less than our society losing its humanity.”

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WATCH: Ever wonder what a ‘settler takeover’ looks like? http://972mag.com/watch-ever-wonder-what-a-settler-takeover-looks-like/116199/ http://972mag.com/watch-ever-wonder-what-a-settler-takeover-looks-like/116199/#comments Fri, 22 Jan 2016 17:23:15 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=116199 Dozens of Israeli settlers with crowbars descend on two homes in the old city of Hebron. Israeli authorities remove them a day later.

The phrase “settler takeover” is used fairly often by the international media to discuss a common occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But rarely do the cameras actually capture just how this kind of thing is done. That’s why the sight of dozens of Israeli settlers with crowbars descending on two homes in the old city of Hebron is as surprising as it is disturbing.

The settlers, who took over the buildings on Thursday, claimed to have purchased the properties, located near the Cave of the Patriarchs. Israeli authorities were not previously informed of the takeover. According to Israeli political analyst Tal Schneider, the decision to take over the two homes was orchestrated by high-ranking members within the ruling Likud party, none of whom actually live in West Bank settlements.

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Israeli security forces removed the settlers on Friday morning, with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon calling them “intruders” who “trampled the law” for not taking the necessary legal measures required to move into the houses. None of the settlers were arrested, however.

The last major settler takeover in Hebron occurred in April 2014, when three Israeli families moved into a contested home, following a years-long legal battle that culminating with an authorization from Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Palestinians claimed the property was purchased using forged documents, but Israel’s Supreme Court rejected that claim. Settlers often buy Palestinian land through front companies, the most famous of which is named Al Wattan (homeland in Arabic). Read more about fraudulent settler land purchase tactics here.

Earlier this month settlers used a front company meant to appear like a Swedish church group in order to purchase property for a new settlement in between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Defense Minister Ya’alon eventually approved that purchase, to the chagrin of the United States.

Settlers in Jerusalem often use similar tactics to take over Palestinian property, even when the buildings themselves aren’t abandoned, such as the case of the Sub Laban family, whom settlers nearly expelled from their Old City home in March of last year.

In late 2014, Israeli settlers took over three empty apartment buildings in the heart of the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem. They moved in under the auspices of Ateret Cohanim and Elad, respectively, two settler organizations based in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City that seek to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem.

The buildings were purchased by foreign companies at the behest of the Committee for the Renewal of the Yemenite Village, which claims to want to re-establish the Yemenite community that lived in the area before the establishment of the State of Israel.

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WATCH: The Palestinian youth realizing their dream of return http://972mag.com/watch-the-palestinian-youth-realizing-their-dream-of-return/116120/ http://972mag.com/watch-the-palestinian-youth-realizing-their-dream-of-return/116120/#comments Wed, 20 Jan 2016 15:43:08 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=116120 For three years, a group of young Palestinian citizens of Israel has been meeting in order to imagine and plan their return to the destroyed villages from which their parents and grandparents were expelled.

The project they initiated, “Udna” (“Return”), aims to give the younger generation an awareness of the Nakba, and to create actual models for return. In episode 3, refugees from Iqrit return to their abandoned village, despite the state’s opposition. Watch episode 2 here and 1 here.

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WATCH: A conscientious objector and a feminist http://972mag.com/watch-a-conscientious-objector-and-a-feminist/116080/ http://972mag.com/watch-a-conscientious-objector-and-a-feminist/116080/#comments Mon, 18 Jan 2016 22:17:04 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=116080 Dozens of demonstrators accompanied Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer to the Tel Hashomer induction base last week, where she was sentenced to 20 days prison for her refusal to enlist in the Israeli army.

Kaminer, 19, recently finished a year of national service working with children who suffer from trauma due to multiple wars in Gaza and continual rocket fire on the city. Read more here.

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WATCH: Internally displaced Palestinians plan their return http://972mag.com/watch-internally-displaced-palestinians-plan-their-return/115863/ http://972mag.com/watch-internally-displaced-palestinians-plan-their-return/115863/#comments Tue, 12 Jan 2016 14:51:28 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=115863 For three years, a group of young Palestinian citizens of Israel has been meeting in order to imagine and plan their return to the destroyed villages from which their parents and grandparents were expelled.

The project they initiated, “Udna” (“Return”), aims to give the younger generation an awareness of the Nakba, and to create actual models for return. In episode 2, descendants of the internally displaced from al-Lajjun made a film about the expulsion from the village in 1948. Watch episode 1 here.

More on planning Palestinian return:
Displaced Palestinians return to village after 64 years
At annual conference, Palestinians and Israelis turn ‘return’ into reality
To return, we must feel what our grandparents went through

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Amid right-wing attacks, suspected arson at B’Tselem offices http://972mag.com/amid-right-wing-attacks-suspected-arson-at-btselem-offices/115825/ http://972mag.com/amid-right-wing-attacks-suspected-arson-at-btselem-offices/115825/#comments Sun, 10 Jan 2016 23:36:06 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=115825 Headquarters of Israel’s oldest human rights organization sustain heavy damage. Spokesperson says if fire turns out to be arson, ‘it must be seen in the context of the wave of government incitement and smear campaigns against Israel’s human rights groups, and B’Tselem in particular.’

A fire broke out at Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem’s offices in Jerusalem Sunday night. Police said they suspect arson.

[Update, January 11, 2016, 11 a.m.: The preliminary results of the fire inspector's investigation indicate that the fire the result of an electrical shortage and not arson.]

Right-wing organizations, government ministers and the media have launched seemingly concerted attacks against human rights and anti-occupation organizations in recent weeks, which many have called incitement. The government is currently advancing a law targeting human rights organizations that would portray them as serving foreign agendas.

A handful of right-wing Israelis gathered outside the building and celebrated the blaze while firefighters sought to extinguish it Sunday night, +972’s Orly Noy reported from the scene.

A handful of right-wing Israelis revel at the fire that engulfed B’Tselem’s offices in Jerusalem, January 10, 2015. (Orly Noy)

A handful of right-wing Israelis revel at the fire that engulfed B’Tselem’s offices in Jerusalem, January 10, 2015. (Orly Noy)

“We are still waiting for the findings of the fire investigator,” B’Tselem said. “However, if it is discovered that this was an arson attack, it must be seen in the context of the wave of government incitement and smear campaigns against Israel’s human rights groups, and B’Tselem in particular.”

Video footage released by the Jerusalem Fire Department showed extensive damage to the organization’s offices.

“Naturally, the damage to our offices will not stop our work of documenting and exposing the harm to human rights under the occupation,” B’Tselem said in a statement.

No B’Tselem staff was in the building at the time of the blaze, which broke out around 10 p.m. Other people in the office building, which houses at least one other NGO and a synagogue, did have to be evacuated, and one person was treated for smoke inhalation.

A firefighter stands in front of the charred door of B’Tselem’s offices in Jerusalem. (Photo: Fire Department Spokesperson)

A firefighter stands in front of the charred door of B’Tselem’s offices in Jerusalem. (Photo: Fire Department Spokesperson)

Hand in Hand, an organization that runs Israel’s only Jewish-Arab integrated school system, also has its offices in the building. A Hand in Hand school was also the target of an arson by right-wing Israelis just over a year ago. It was not immediately clear if its offices were damaged in Sunday’s fire.

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Hyper-nationalist group Im Tirzu published a video accusing B’Tselem executive director Hagai Elad of being a foreign agent several weeks ago, suggesting that he and other human rights activists are somehow connected to the wave of stabbing attacks in recent months.

A separate right-wing organization put B’Tselem in its crosshairs this past weekend when it published hidden camera footage of one of its Palestinian field workers allegedly informing on a man who allegedly wanted to sell his family’s land to Israeli settlers. Israeli politicians and right-wing organizations used the video to smear the entire spectrum of human rights and anti-occupation organizations in Israel.

Peace Now executive-director Yariv Oppenheimer lay blame for the suspected arson on the doorstep of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing government, saying that next political murder is closer than ever. “The government must stop its campaign of incitement against the Left and order Israel Police to protect left-wing organizations from further attempts to harm them,” Oppenheimer wrote on Facebook following the fire.

Some human rights and anti-occupation organizations have hired security guards in recent weeks in response to the delegitimization campaigns being waged against them.

Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh also blamed the government for the suspected arson. “We don’t know who threw the punch but the source of the fire that was set tonight at B’Tselem’s offices is the government and the [prime minister] who are conducting an incitement campaign against human rights organizations,” Odeh said late Sunday night.

Zionist Union MK Ksenia Svetlova responded with dire warnings about those who celebrated the fire, and those who may have set it. “We won’t allow them to drag us down, into a bloody civil war,” she wrote on Facebook. “We simply can’t allow it.”

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WATCH: 3D modeling helps visualize Palestinian right of return http://972mag.com/watch-3d-modeling-helps-visualize-palestinian-right-of-return/115744/ http://972mag.com/watch-3d-modeling-helps-visualize-palestinian-right-of-return/115744/#comments Sat, 09 Jan 2016 10:00:38 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=115744 For three years, a group of young Palestinian citizens of Israel has been meeting in order to imagine and plan their return to the destroyed villages from which their parents and grandparents were expelled.

The project they initiated, “Udna” (“Return”), aims to give the younger generation an awareness of the Nakba, and to create actual models for return. The displaced descendants of one such destroyed village, al-Ghabisiyya, made a 3D simulation of what their village might look like if and when it is rebuilt.

More on planning Palestinian return:
Displaced Palestinians return to village after 64 years
At annual conference, Palestinians and Israelis turn ‘return’ into reality
To return, we must feel what our grandparents went through

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WATCH: How a single checkpoint affects an entire neighborhood http://972mag.com/watch-how-a-single-checkpoint-affects-an-entire-neighborhood/115703/ http://972mag.com/watch-how-a-single-checkpoint-affects-an-entire-neighborhood/115703/#comments Thu, 07 Jan 2016 21:08:28 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=115703 Ever since the eruption of the latest round of violence, the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya has been essentially blocked off from the rest of the city by a single checkpoint. Dozens of residents, along with students from Hebrew University and members of Knesset, held a demonstration calling to open the checkpoint and end the collective punishment of 16,000 people.

Read more on the situation in Jerusalem:
‘East Jerusalem youth no longer distinguish between life and death’
Jerusalem becoming mini-police state and ghost capital

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WATCH: Armed Palestinian police order Israeli troops out of West Bank city http://972mag.com/watch-palestinian-police-kick-israeli-troops-out-of-west-bank-city/115018/ http://972mag.com/watch-palestinian-police-kick-israeli-troops-out-of-west-bank-city/115018/#comments Tue, 22 Dec 2015 00:48:34 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=115018 Palestinian security forces are often derided as sub-contractors of the Israeli military occupation due to close cooperation with the IDF. Some are worried that might change.

A video published on Monday appears to show armed Palestinian police evicting Israeli troops from the Ramallah area.

The incident took place in Beitunia, a suburb of Ramallah, according to Palestinian news agency Ma’an. The Israeli Border Police force had chased a group of schoolchildren, according to the report.

In the video, a Palestinian police officer named by Ma’an as Lt. Akee al-Shalan, can be seen yelling at the Israeli troops to “get away from my work,” and insisting that the Border Police contingent leave immediately.

An Israeli officer approaches his Palestinian counterpart and protests that people, presumably Palestinians, have been breaking through the separation barrier for the past three days. The Palestinian officer’s only response is to demand again and again that the Israeli troops leave the area. And they do.

The Oslo Accords split the West Bank into three distinct administrative areas. Area A, which consists of major Palestinian urban areas including Ramallah and Beitunia, is supposed to be under complete Palestinian security control. In practice, however, the Israeli army regularly incurs into Area A, usually to make arrests.

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What makes this case unique is the fact that Palestinian security forces are not only present when that happens, but that they confront the Israeli troops and demand that they leave.

Palestinians often accuse their own security forces of collaborating with the Israeli army, acting as a sub-contractor of sorts for the occupation.

Sixty-nine percent of Palestinians want to end security coordination with Israel, although only 27 percent believe the Palestinian government will actually do so, according to a poll conducted by An-Najah University’s Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies last month.

One particularly telling video from June 2014 shows young Palestinians pelting a PA police station with stones immediately after an Israeli army incursion. In that case, PA police had retreated into their central Ramallah station minutes before the arrival of Israeli soldiers, who actually stood guard outside the Palestinian police station.

More regularly, Palestinian police quietly carry out arrests of militants accused of planning or carrying out attacks against Israelis. But the cooperation goes much further: Palestinian security forces also regularly prevent protesters, including non-violent marches, from even approaching Israeli military positions and West Bank settlements.

Israeli security officials regularly praise the cooperation of their — entirely subordinate — counterparts, and credit their actions with maintaining calm and preventing attacks against Israelis.

In recent months, however, some have noted a shift in the willingness of Palestinian police to suppress protests against the occupation. In one specific area, PA security forces have been keeping a low profile at daily protests on the northern edge of Ramallah where heavy clashes have been taking place.

The PLO actually voted to suspend security cooperation with Israel earlier this year, but quite expectedly, it was an empty declaration. The real fear is of a much slower deterioration of security cooperation, and of PA security forces’ willingness to collaborate with the army occupying their country.

Speaking to the New York Times’ Diaa Hadid several weeks ago, Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff described such a scenario: “It’s not a day or an hour, it’s a gradual process: In a couple of weeks we might find five people disobeying orders. Then 20, then 125. This is what I am afraid of.”

Only time will tell if this video is the start of something larger.

A request for comment was sent to the IDF Spokesperson. It will be added here if and when it is received.

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WATCH: Israelis say ‘enough’ to violence and occupation http://972mag.com/watch-israelis-say-enough-to-violence-and-occupation/115008/ http://972mag.com/watch-israelis-say-enough-to-violence-and-occupation/115008/#comments Mon, 21 Dec 2015 19:56:31 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=115008 Since the beginning of October, more than 120 people — Palestinians and Israelis — have lost their lives, while hundreds of others have been wounded in the latest round of violence. Lives on both sides are cut short, entire families are torn apart, and fear and hatred reign in the streets. Dozens of Israeli activists heeded the call of their Palestinian counterparts and protested in front of the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv last week to call for an end to the violence.

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