+972 Magazine » News http://972mag.com Independent commentary and news from Israel & Palestine Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:58:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8 Post-Gaza war poll: Hamas, Haniyeh and rockets popularity at all-time high http://972mag.com/post-gaza-war-poll-hamas-haniyeh-and-rockets-popularity-at-all-time-high/96243/ http://972mag.com/post-gaza-war-poll-hamas-haniyeh-and-rockets-popularity-at-all-time-high/96243/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:35:58 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=96243 More than two-thirds of Palestinians favor bringing Hamas’ armed resistance model to the West Bank, although majorities in Gaza prefer that the PA take over key aspects of security and governance of Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli military leaders may have boasted of victory over Hamas last week following 50 days of warfare in Gaza, but a new poll shows Hamas with its highest-ever approval ratings among Palestinians since it took control of Gaza in 2006. In contrast, Netanyahu’s approval ratings have plummeted: 50 percent of Israelis said they are dissatisfied with his conduct, compared with an 82-percent approval rating at the beginning of the ground operation in mid-July, according to a Channel 2 poll.

If presidential elections were held today, Hamas leader and former PA prime minister Ismail Haniyeh would defeat Fatah leader and current PA President Mahmoud Abbas by a large margin (61 percent to 32 percent), according to the poll. In addition, for the first time in eight years, Haniyeh would also come in slightly ahead of imprisoned Fatah veteran Marwan Barghouti (49:45), who is serving two life sentences in Israeli prison.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, May 29, 2014 (Screenshot from Palestinian Interior Ministry YouTube)

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, May 29, 2014 (Screenshot from Palestinian Interior Ministry YouTube)

The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) among a sample of 1,270 adults in person in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between August 26-30, 2014, indicates that 79 percent of Palestinians believe Hamas won the war, 94 percent are satisfied with its military performance against Israel and a majority — 53 percent – believes that armed confrontation is the most effective means for establishing a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel.

Eighty-six percent of Palestinians support launching of rockets from Gaza if the siege and blockade are not ended, according to the poll. Half of those polled believe that launching rockets from populated areas is unjustified, but that number increases to 59 percent among Gazans; only 38 percent of those polled in the West Bank believe it is unjustified.

When broken down geographically, Abbas’ approval rating rises in the Gaza Strip to 49 percent but drops to 33 percent in the West Bank. By contrast, Khaled Meshaal’s approval rating drops in the Gaza Strip to 70 percent but rises to 83 percent in the West Bank. (Each is slightly more popular in the territory which they do not actually rule.)

A majority of those polled said they supported the June 2014 kidnapping of the three Israelis in the West Bank at the time (67 percent in Gaza and only 45 percent in the West Bank). A majority of those from the West Bank, however, opposed the killing of the kidnapped Israelis.

Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus demonstrate their support for Hamas resistance in Gaza Strip three days after a deal signed by Israel and Hamas ended a 50-day Israeli attack, August 29, 2014. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus demonstrate their support for Hamas resistance in Gaza Strip three days after a deal signed by Israel and Hamas ended a 50-day Israeli attack, August 29, 2014. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Overall, more than two thirds of those polled in both the West Bank and Gaza favor the transfer of Hamas’ armed resistance approach to the West Bank, although 61 percent believe that massive popular demonstrations could also contribute to ending the Israeli occupation.

Despite Hamas’ overall gains in popularity, in the Gaza Strip alone, the majority want to place the Rafah crossing and the security sector to come under the control of the Palestinian Authority reconciliation government; only a quarter of Gazans want them to remain under Hamas control. These statistics seem to point to overwhelming approval for Hamas as a military force in times of war with Israel, but not when it comes to governance and actual day-to-day rule.

It is important to keep in mind that polls taken during or directly after armed conflict tend to exhibit more extreme results with spikes in various directions, and the pollsters at PCPSR specifically warn that the latest statistics may revert in short time to what they were before the latest confrontation.

Related:
The victors of the Gaza war were also the losers
Five Gaza war takeaways
What if Hamas fired rockets at Britain?

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‘Suspects in brutal beating of two Palestinians tied to anti-miscegenation group’ http://972mag.com/suspects-in-brutal-beating-of-two-palestinians-tied-to-anti-miscegenation-group/96209/ http://972mag.com/suspects-in-brutal-beating-of-two-palestinians-tied-to-anti-miscegenation-group/96209/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:39:37 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=96209 Ten Jewish Israelis are suspected of severely beating two Palestinian men from Jerusalem in a wartime hate crime. Police believe some of the suspects are tied to right-wing anti-Arab group Lehava, Walla reports.

Several Jewish Israeli suspects in the brutal attack of two Palestinians from East Jerusalem on July 25th are connected to anti-miscegenation, anti-Arab group Lehava, according to a report by Walla! News on Monday.

In what Walla! describes as a “near lynch,” a group of about 10 Jewish Israelis from the East Jerusalem settlement of Neve Yaakov assaulted Amir Shwiki and Samer Mahfouz of Beit Hanina with bats and iron rods on a Friday evening during the height of the summer’s Gaza war (known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge). Both men were beaten unconscious and hospitalized in critical condition, only only recently improving to stable condition.

According to the report, the suspects had just left a shiva (Jewish ritual of seven days of mourning) for fallen IDF soldier Staff-Sgt. Moshe Malko, who was killed during an operation in Shujaiyeh in Gaza a few days earlier. From the investigation, it appears they set out looking to take revenge for Malko’s death. One of the suspects admitted in his interrogation that the motive for the assault was hatred of Arabs, according to Walla!. He added that he hates Arabs “just because. They are the enemy.” The investigation also allegedly revealed that several Jewish women who witnessed the beating did not call police, instead encouraging the attackers by screaming “death to Arabs.”

Neve Yaakov is a settlement in East Jerusalem adjacent to Beit Hanina, and the two communities have had violent confrontations in the past, especially since the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir on July 2 and the subsequent Gaza war.

Nine of the 10 suspects are not cooperating with police but one of them, a 14 year old, did talk. He reportedly told police that his brother, who was also allegedly involved in the attack, is an active member of anti-miscegenation group “Lehava.” According to the Walla! report, police believe many of those involved in the attack are active members of Lehava, an organization whose stated mission is to combat Jewish intermarriage but in practice engages in rampant and blatant anti-Arab incitement and racism.

Police also reportedly found that two of the suspects had been arrested in the past (more than once) for assaulting Palestinians (neither of them ever served time in jail) and several of the suspects were caught trying to hide evidence and coordinate their stories and alibis. For those who read Hebrew, the Walla! report publishes excerpts from the police’s surveillance and wiretaps of the suspects’ WhatsApp messages and phone conversations.

Severe beatings of Palestinians by Jewish youth, called by some Israeli media outlets as “near lynches,” are unfortunately not a new occurrence. In August 2012, 17-year old Jamal Julani was beaten unconscious in the middle of Zion Square by a group of Jewish youth while dozens of onlookers screamed “death to Arabs.”

Lehava leader Benzi Gupstein – a former Kach member and sworn Kahanist – told Walla! in a comment that Lehava “follows the law.” Police told the news outlet that they are aware of dozens of the organization’s members who are involved in “serious incitement.”

Last month Lehava organized a large protest against the marriage of a Palestinian Muslim from Jaffa to a Jewish convert to Islam. Several years ago, an expose in Haaretz revealed that Lehava was indirectly funded by the government.

Related:
Palestinian-Jewish couple hires wedding security for fear of anti-miscegenation group
Why Palestinian citizens of Israel are no longer safe

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A Palestinian ultimatum to end occupation? http://972mag.com/a-palestinian-ultimatum-to-end-occupation/96141/ http://972mag.com/a-palestinian-ultimatum-to-end-occupation/96141/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:43:41 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=96141 In a diplomatic surprise, the Palestinians have threatened to turn to the International Criminal Court if no date is set for a withdrawal to the 1967 borders – a move that +972 writers predicted more than a year ago.

The PLO will demand that the UN Security Council announce a deadline for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, to the 1967 ceasefire lines, reported Haaretz today. Ma’an News Agency writes that Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah figure and veteran negotiator, has said the bid will be submitted on September 15, 2014. If it is not accepted, he told Ma’an that the PLO will continue with long-rumored plans to pursue accession to the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), so that it can bring claims against Israel’s actions in Gaza.

With every other attempt to shake off Israel’s military rule proving futile, the idea of a simple ultimatum for withdrawal – with or without an agreement – ought not to come as a surprise. In fact, Noam Sheizaf and I not only predicted it, we advocated it over a year ago.

Netanyahu and Abbas in Washington, September 15, 2010 (State Dept. Photo)

Netanyahu and Abbas in Washington, September 15, 2010 (State Dept. Photo)

The move marks the third time in four years that the Palestinians have undertaken a major diplomatic effort for statehood in the 1967 territory. In 2011 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for UN membership, and submitted a bid to the General Assembly, but a vote was never held due to the certainty of a Security Council veto. In late 2012 a vote was finally held in the General Assembly. It passed, granting Palestine the status of non-member observer state in the UN, but made little difference on the ground.

Two further diplomatic attempts to achieve statehood and recognition happened before and after those: In 1988 the PLO first declared its independence along the 1967 ceasefire lines. That marked a major shift away from Fatah rhetoric, which up to then called for a single state from the river to the sea. Most recently, as the Kerry-led negotiations were falling apart, Abbas advanced applications and acceded to a number of international treaties and organizations to make statehood more meaningful on the international level.

The current move is, therefore, an extension of decades of Palestinian diplomatic action to end Israeli military rule. It may be partly designed to remind the world that the Palestinians have employed, and continue to draw on, numerous non-violent, as opposed to military strategies – including diplomacy, but also grassroots demonstrations and boycotts.

It is also a sign to the Palestinian people that Fatah still distinguishes itself from Hamas as the party of political rather than military means. Fatah may be hoping to capitalize on any Palestinian anger at Hamas for the destruction caused by the Gaza war, though it’s not clear how much there is.

Such action also speaks directly to Israel. It implies that joining the ICC and seeking indictments for top Israeli officials is not inevitable. Rather, Fatah is using the idea in an agenda-setting way: accept a deadline, and we will take away the stick of international court proceedings. It is a clever strategy: Either option advances the Palestinian cause; either one will be a painful blow – even if they remain headlines more than reality – to Israel.

Fatah is also taking a risk. The 2011 UN bid was underwhelming for the Palestinian people; even back then some thought the UN route was Fatah’s “last chance” for credibility at home. The second in 2012 was a happy moment but failed to make a dent in the occupation. Another such bust could lose what little residual faith Palestinians still have in Fatah.

However, Hamas is reportedly already considering backing the Fatah-led attempt to join the ICC. Should Hamas back the demand for a UN-decreed deadline, it could put Fatah back in a significant leadership role – at home, and abroad.

Related:
Giving the occupation an expiration date
What Palestinian statehood means for ICC jurisdiction over Israeli crimes

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A week in photos: Beyond ceasefire http://972mag.com/a-week-in-photos-beyond-ceasefire/96111/ http://972mag.com/a-week-in-photos-beyond-ceasefire/96111/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:12:47 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=96111 Palestinians in Gaza celebrate after Israel and Hamas declare a long-term ceasefire to end 51 days of fighting that left at least 2,104 Palestinians and 68 Israelis dead, as well as one Thai national working in Israel. While both Hamas and Israel have declared victory, those most affected by the war are left homeless and mourning.

Israeli activists protest in centre Tel Aviv against the Israeli attack on Gaza, calling to end the violence, August 23, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Israeli activists protest in central Tel Aviv against the Israeli attack on Gaza, calling to end the violence, August 23, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinians flash victory signs as hundreds  Gazans gather in he streets to celebrate the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on August 26, 2014 in Gaza City.A Palestinian youth holds a sign calling to boycott Israeli goods during the weekly protest against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, August 22, 2014.(Activestills.org)

Palestinians flash victory signs as hundreds of Gazans gather in the streets to celebrate the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on August 26, 2014 in Gaza City. (Activestills.org)

Palestinians flash victory signs as hundreds Gazans gather in he streets to celebrate the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on August 26, 2014 in Gaza City.Israeli activists from the group 'rhythms of resistance' play music in centre Tel Aviv as the protest against the Israeli government's policy to cut off of welfare services during the attack on Gaza, August 26, 2014.Residents of Kfar Shalom neighborhood in South Tel Aviv protest against the plan to evict houses in the neighborhood and calling for betterment of welfare services in Israel, next to the  'Iron Dome' battery, a missile defence system designed to intercept and destroy incoming rockets, in South Tel Aviv, August 24, 2014.Palestinians inspect wreckage of a car after it was hit by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on August 24, 2014. A Palestinian named Muhammed El-Gul was killed and 4 others wounded by an Israeli airstrike that targeted the car in Gaza City.Palestinians flash victory signs as hundreds  Gazans gather in he streets to celebrate the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on August 26, 2014 in Gaza City.A Palestinian youth holds a sign calling to boycott Israeli goods during the weekly protest against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, August 22, 2014.(Activestills.org)

Palestinians flash victory signs as hundreds of Gazans gather in the streets to celebrate the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on August 26, 2014 in Gaza City. (Activestills.org)

Palestinians inspect wreckage of a car after it was hit by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on August 24, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Palestinians inspect thewreckage of a car after it was hit by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on August 24, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Family members and relatives of Daniel Tregerman, a 4-years old, mourn during his funeral on August 24, 2014 in Hevel Shalom, Israel. (Activestills.org)

Family members and relatives of Daniel Tregerman, a 4-year-old Israeli, mourn during his funeral on August 24, 2014 in Hevel Shalom, Israel. (Activestills.org)

A Palestinian youth holds a sign calling to boycott Israeli goods during the weekly protest against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, August 22, 2014.(Activestills.org)

A Palestinian youth holds a sign calling to boycott Israeli goods, during the weekly protest against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, August 22, 2014.(Activestills.org)

Israeli activists from the group 'rhythms of resistance' play music in centre Tel Aviv as the protest against the Israeli government's policy to cut off of welfare services during the attack on Gaza, August 26, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Israeli activists from the group Rhythms of Resistance’ play music in central Tel Aviv at a protest against the Israeli government’s policy to cut off of welfare services, during the attack on Gaza, August 26, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Israeli activists protest in centre Tel Aviv against the Israeli attack on Gaza, calling to end the violence, August 23, 2014.(Activestills.org)

Israeli activists protest in central Tel Aviv against the Israeli attack on Gaza, calling to end the violence, August 23, 2014.(Activestills.org)

Residents of Kfar Shalom neighborhood in South Tel Aviv protest against the plan to evict houses in the neighborhood and calling for betterment of welfare services in Israel, next to the  'Iron Dome' battery, a missile defence system designed to intercept and destroy incoming rockets, in South Tel Aviv, August 24, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Residents of Kfar Shalom neighborhood in South Tel Aviv protest against a plan to evict residents in the neighborhood, calling for improved of welfare services in Israel, next to the Iron Dome battery, a missile defense system designed to intercept and destroy incoming rockets, in South Tel Aviv, August 24, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and longtime advocate for Palestinian political prisoners, showing an internal expulsion order given to her by Israeli soldiers who invaded her home in Ramallah at 1:30 am on August 20, 2014, ordering her leave Ramallah to Jericho within 24 hours. (Activestills.org)

Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and longtime advocate for Palestinian political prisoners, showing an internal expulsion order issued to her by Israeli soldiers who invaded her home in Ramallah at 1:30 a.m. on August 20, 2014, ordering her to leave Ramallah and move to Jericho within 24 hours. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian and international activists build a kitchen and bathroom for a Palestinian house in area 'C' in Jiftlik village, Jordan Valley, West Bank, August 22, 2014. Hamda Bdairat, the Palestinian woman who owns the house that contain 1 room. Her husband live in Jordan due to the Israeli prevention form entering the West Bank for many years. She suffers from water and electricity shortage. According to Oslo Accords, building in area 'C' is not allowed without an Israeli permission. In the recent weeks, Palestinians use Israel's focused attention on Gaza to build without receiving demolition orders. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian and international activists build a kitchen and bathroom for a Palestinian house in Area C of the West bank, in Jiftlik village, Jordan Valley, August 22, 2014. Hamda Bdairat, a Palestinian woman, owns the one-bedroom house. Her husband lives in Jordan as Israel has prevented him from entering the West Bank for many years. She suffers from water and electricity shortages. According to the Oslo Accords, construction in Area C is not allowed without Israeli permission. (Activestills.org)

Related:
Did Gaza win the war?
PHOTOS: Losing your home twice in one war

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Israeli right-wing politician: ‘Annex territories, grant Palestinians citizenship’ http://972mag.com/israeli-right-wing-politician-annex-territories-grant-palestinians-citizenship/96102/ http://972mag.com/israeli-right-wing-politician-annex-territories-grant-palestinians-citizenship/96102/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:45:32 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=96102 Israeli right-wing politician and former IDF general Efi Eitam has made remarks that few would have expected to hear from him.

Effi Eitam (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Effi Eitam (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Former IDF general and politician Efi Eitam is known for his extreme right-wing views and sharp tongue. From calling Arabs a “ticking bomb” to a “cancer,” Eitam has never shown much warmth for his neighbors.

Which is why it was surprising to read reports from the national religious website Srugim, quoting Eitam as saying the following remarks in a panel held last night to commemorate Berl Katznelson:

The State of Israel should annex Judea and Samaria and grant full citizenship to all Palestinians. Demography is not a numerical predestination, it is an expression of the joie de vivre of the nation. When a nation is happy, its number of children grows, that’s why I’m not scared of demography. Whoever can’t live with Arabs is not a partner of mine.

I trust the Arab public in Israel, it has proved itself. I have no fear of a bi-national state, the solution is not B-class citizens nor high fences. It is a simple and humane solution, Palestinians must be granted full rights and should vote for the Knesset. Whoever truly wants peace, should agree to accept more Arab citizens to his state, and whoever is part of the State of Israel whose borders need to be between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea for many reasons, needs to be a citizen with full rights and obligations.

Now, I’m not that naive to believe everything coming out of Eitam’s mouth. The bi-national state he talks about is probably not exactly what we think it is. But since there are more and more voices on the right talking about one state, it’s important to listen, find the nuances, and try to understand where these people really stand.

Is the right going through a major shift in ideology – or is this a different way of reaching the same target? My money’s on the latter, but… never say never?

Related:
What is the Israeli Right’s one-state vision?
Bennet’s response to Palestinian UN bid: Annexation
Palestinians repopulate Jordan Valley village, in protest of looming annexation

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ZARA presents: A striped pyjama with a yellow star for your child http://972mag.com/zara-presents-a-striped-pyjama-with-a-yellow-star-for-your-child/96058/ http://972mag.com/zara-presents-a-striped-pyjama-with-a-yellow-star-for-your-child/96058/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:38:38 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=96058 Following  outcry, Zara parent company removes product worldwide, while Zara Israel apologizes and says the shirts will be ‘exterminated.’

It’s a SHERIFF shirt for your three-year-old. Obviously. What else could it be?

ZARA Website screenshot 0920 27AUG2014

 

I mean, here, take a better look:

ZARA "Sherrif" shirt screenshot, 0922 24AUG2014

It even says Sheriff in (transparent, cutout) letters across the star.

Why, what else does it remind you of?

The shirt is produced in Turkey and appears to be available in Zara’s Israeli, French, Albanian and Swedish online stores. I’ve reached out to Zara and will update this post with the company’s reply.

Update 1pm IDT: Zara parent company Inditex told +972 the shirt was inspired by Classical Western films and that it is no longer available. The Israeli chapter of the company apologized more profusely, adding that it was decided to remove the offensive product from the shelves – and “exterminate” it.

We kid you not.

[Correction - an earlier version of this post stated the shirt was only available in Israel.]

Related:
Zara apologizes, says yellow star shirts will be ‘exterminated’
Urban Outfitters’ yellow tee causes causes stir over Holocaust association

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Ceasefire: Israel, Hamas reach open-ended deal to end fighting http://972mag.com/ceasefire-israel-hamas-reach-open-ended-deal-to-end-fighting/96054/ http://972mag.com/ceasefire-israel-hamas-reach-open-ended-deal-to-end-fighting/96054/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:15:12 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=96054 Israel and Hamas announced Tuesday evening that they had agreed to an Egyptian-brokered, open-ended ceasefire, after seven weeks of fighting left more than 2,200 people dead and tens of thousands wounded, the vast majority Palestinians.

Although the ceasefire went into effect at 7 p.m., both sides engaged in violence until the last minute. In Israel, a mortar attack killed two men in Kibbutz Nirim. Palestinians reported that an airstrike destroyed a seven-story building in Beit Lahiya.

Meanwhile, the Israeli cabinet approved the call-up of an additional 10,000 reserve soldiers. (photo: Activestills)

An Israeli soldier captures the destruction of a home in southern Israel. (photo: Activestills)

Officials from both Hamas and Islamic Jihad stated that the ceasefire included an Israeli agreement to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow relief supplies and construction materials. According to an Israeli official, the supplies will enter the Strip under supervision.

However, Haaretz’s Barak Ravid reported that the ceasefire proposal does not include Hamas’ demands for a seaport, an airport or the release of prisoners. In future negotiations, said the official, both sides will present their demands, and Israel will raise the issue of demilitarizing the Gaza Strip.

Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrate in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, Nablus, West Bank, August 15, 2014. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrate in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, Nablus, West Bank, August 15, 2014. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Haaretz also reported that senior Hamas member Musa Abu Marzouk stated that the deal guarantees Hamas clerks will be paid their salaries by the Palestinian unity government, which will also be responsible for the reconstruction of the Strip. Meanwhile, Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram reported that the deal between Israel and the Palestinians includes permitting fishing at a distance of between 11 and 22 kilometers from the Strip’s shore. 

Ziad Nakhala, a senior Islamic Jihad official, said talks on more complex issues would begin in a month.

Thousands of Palestinians poured into the streets of Gaza Tuesday night, as well as in refugee camps in southern Lebanon, to celebrate what they viewed as a victory for Hamas. Israeli officials claimed their own victory, saying that the military dealt a strong blow to Hamas, killed several of its military leaders and destroyed the organizations’s underground tunnels.

Related:
Why did Netanyahu take aim at Gaza’s tallest towers?
Gaza deaths aren’t worth a mention in leading Israeli newspaper
What would Israelis say to families of civilian casualties in Gaza?

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PHOTOS: Losing your home twice in one war http://972mag.com/photos-losing-your-home-twice-in-one-war/95890/ http://972mag.com/photos-losing-your-home-twice-in-one-war/95890/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 16:33:19 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=95890 Photos and text: Basel Yazouri / Activestills

Sixty-year-old Ibrahim Abu Odeh, otherwise known as Abu Alaa, lives in Beit Hanoun, Gaza. He was forced to flee his house with his family and the rest of the residents of Beit Hanoun, who ran in search of “anywhere close, safe, and provides shelter” when the Israelis began striking it. Abu Alaa lives in a three-story building with six apartments. Each one is occupied by one of his five married sons and their families. That makes 33 people in total, 21 of them children.

“We were all gathered on the ground floor,” he says, “to escape the top floors that are more vulnerable to shelling. We were in the last days of Ramadan, we heard heavy explosions all over town and the surrounding areas. The next morning, the shelling got stronger, we heard the neighbors shouting and we saw houses around us hit directly by missiles, which forced everyone to flee in search of safer places, leaving behind everything we own.” Abu Alaa and his family took refuge in a secondary school for boys in the Jabalya refugee camp, where he said living conditions were unbearable.

After two weeks there, when the first humanitarian ceasefire came into effect, some of Beit Hanoun’s residents, including Abu Alaa and his son Alewa, were able to return to the neighborhood. “We found a horrific sight,” he says. “Houses were destroyed on top of each other and you couldn’t tell them apart. At first I thought that our house was ruined, but as we moved forward we saw four houses that partially survived. One of them was ours.” The house was severely damaged from continuous shelling for days. Last week, Abu Alaa and some of his family members returned to the house again, “because living in the school is no life.”

This story was originally published on August 17, 2014 on the Heber website. Since its publication, the family has had to flee once again due to the renewal of Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

Abu Alaa makes a fire to prepare tea for the family because there is no gas in the house after the shelling of Beit Hanoun. August 11, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Abu Alaa makes a fire to prepare tea for the family. There has been no gas in the house after the shelling of Beit Hanoun. August 11, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Alewa’s wife prepares dough to bake bread for supper. August 11, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Alewa’s wife prepares dough to bake bread for dinner. August 11, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Abu Odeh’s house appears in the middle, with a damaged facade. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Abu Odeh’s house appears in the middle with a damaged facade. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Abu Odeh family members help clean up the house so they can live there during the temporary ceize-fire. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Abu Odeh family members help clean up the house so they can live there during the temporary ceasefire. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Abu Alaa’s wife, Um Alaa, hand washes clothes because there is no electricity in the house. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Since there is no electricity in the house, Abu Alaa’s wife, Um Alaa, must hand washes clothes. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Abu Alaa stands at his window in the early morning examining what’s left of his neighbourhood. Next to him is one of the rooms of his house, completely destroyed. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Abu Alaa stands at his window in the early hours of the morning, examining what’s left of his neighborhood. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

A view from Abu Odeh’s house toward the neighbourhood. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

A view from Abu Odeh’s house looking out toward the neighborhood. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Yasmin Abu Odeh, 9 years old, rests against the wall, watching her grandma washing clothes. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Yasmin Abu Odeh, nine years old, rests against the wall, watching her grandmother wash clothes. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Um Alaa bakes breads for breakfast, Augost 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Um Alaa bakes breads for breakfast, August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

The destroyed kitchen of Abu Odeh family, Augost 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

The Abu Odeh family’s destroyed kitchen, August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

The back of the Abu Odeh house, where two rooms on the ground floor were destroyed. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

The back of the Abu Odeh house, where two rooms on the ground floor were destroyed. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Nader Obu Odeh, 6 years old, gathers some wood from destroyed houses to help make a fire. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Six-year-old Nader Obu Odeh gathers some wood from destroyed houses to help make a fire. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Abu Alaa sits with his neighbours exchanging jokes on the occupation army. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Abu Alaa sits and exchanges jokes with is neighbors. August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Related:
How the IDF turned a Palestinian house into a military post
What would Israelis say to families of civilian casualties in Gaza?

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‘Pay the price for peace’: Israelis demand ceasefire http://972mag.com/pay-the-price-for-peace-israelis-demand-ceasefire/95927/ http://972mag.com/pay-the-price-for-peace-israelis-demand-ceasefire/95927/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 18:56:29 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=95927 Some 400 protesters gathered in Tel Aviv Saturday night to protest against the war in Gaza, calling for an end to the blockade of the Strip and the Israeli occupation in general. The protest was organized by the the Coalition of Women for Peace and the socialist Da’am Workers Party.

Israelis in Tel Aviv protest against Israel's assault on Gaza, calling for a ceasefire and an end to the blockade of the Strip, Tel Aviv, August 23, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

Israelis in Tel Aviv protest against Israel’s assault on Gaza, calling for a ceasefire and an end to the blockade of the Strip, Tel Aviv, August 23, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

The protest was set to take place in Habima Square in central Tel Aviv, however police prevented the demonstration from taking place there and moved it to a nearby street. During the protest a rocket was fired from Gaza toward Tel Aviv and intercepted by the Iron Dome.

The protesters chanted demands for a ceasefire, as well as slogans such as “Yes to welfare, no to war” and “Occupation is terrorism.” For the first time since anti-war demonstrations have taken place during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, there was no organized counter-protest of right-wingers; however, at the end of the demonstration an individual threw an egg at the protest organizers.

At the same time that the demonstration was taking place in Tel Aviv, residents of southern Israel gathered in Jerusalem to demand a political solution to the Gaza war, rather than a military one.

An Israeli protester holds a sign reading 'End the massacre in Gaza,' at a demonstration against Israel's assault on the Strip, Tel Aviv, August 23, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

An Israeli protester holds a sign reading ‘End the massacre in Gaza,’ at a demonstration against Israel’s assault on the Strip, Tel Aviv, August 23, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

Israelis in Tel Aviv protest against Israel's assault on Gaza, calling for a ceasefire and an end to the blockade of the Strip, Tel Aviv, August 23, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

Israelis in Tel Aviv protest against Israel’s assault on Gaza, calling for a ceasefire and an end to the blockade of the Strip, Tel Aviv, August 23, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

Israelis in Tel Aviv protest against Israel's assault on Gaza, calling for a ceasefire and an end to the blockade of the Strip, Tel Aviv, August 23, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

Israelis in Tel Aviv protest against Israel’s assault on Gaza, calling for a ceasefire and an end to the blockade of the Strip, Tel Aviv, August 23, 2014. (Photo: Activestills)

(Haggai Matar contributed to this report)

Related:
10,000 protest in Tel Aviv for a just peace, end to occupation
Hundreds in Tel Aviv defy police ban to protest Gaza war
The night it became dangerous to demonstrate in Tel Aviv

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Israeli child killed by mortar; Hamas executes 18 suspected collaborators http://972mag.com/israeli-child-killed-by-mortar-hamas-executes-18-suspected-collaborators/95876/ http://972mag.com/israeli-child-killed-by-mortar-hamas-executes-18-suspected-collaborators/95876/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:08:59 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=95876 Update: The IDF has confirmed that the mortar shell that killed a 4-year-old Israeli child Friday evening was not fired from a UN-run shelter for Gazan refugees, as earlier reported by Haaretz.

On the 46th day of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge at least 113 projectiles were fired into Israel from Gaza. A mortar attack early Friday evening  killed four-year-old Israeli child Daniel Tregerman – the first child fatality on the Israel side since the start of hostilities more than six weeks ago. This was also the first Israeli fatality since a temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel broke down last Friday and fighting resumed.

Haaretz reported that, according to a military source, the mortar that killed Tregerman was fired from a school used by the UN to house Gazan refugees in Gaza City.

Israelis check the scene in which a rocket shot from the Gaza Strip has hit a street in the city of Beer Sheva, August 22, 2014. (photo: Activestills)

Israelis check the scene in which a rocket shot from the Gaza Strip has hit a street in the city of Beer Sheva, August 22, 2014. (photo: Activestills)

Meanwhile, Friday’s death toll in Gaza reached seven, a day after Israeli airstrikes killed 38 across the Strip. More than 65 Palestinians have been killed since Israel relaunched its assault on Gaza late Tuesday, bringing the total Palestinian death toll in the six-week assault to more than 2,090.

According to Ynetafter Israel killed several senior Hamas military chiefs on Wednesday, the group’s military wing executed 18 alleged collaborators on Friday. Seven were killed by Hamas militants in a central Gaza square in what were reportedly the first public executions in the Strip since the 1990s. Eleven other alleged collaborators were killed by firing squad at an abandoned police station.

Palestinian youth throw stones during a weekly protest against the Israeli occupation and a solidarity protest with Gaza, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, August 22, 2014. (photo: Activestills)

Palestinian youth throw stones during a weekly protest against the Israeli occupation and a solidarity protest with Gaza, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, August 22, 2014. (photo: Activestills)

While in the West Bank, hundreds protested all over in solidarity with Gaza, particularly in Hebron, where Hamas supporters clashed with Palestinian Authority security forces. According to media reports, tear gas was used to disperse the crowd, which was advancing towards a nearby Israeli army checkpoint.

Related:
Photos of the week: Ceasefire begins and ends
Israel kills three top Hamas commanders in Gaza
What would Israelis say to families of civilian casualties in Gaza?

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