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  • Palestinian family struggles to survive after repeated home demolitions

    The Jordan Valley village of Hadidiya is no stranger to human rights violations by Israeli authorities. This is the story of one family whose life and livelihood have been affected by home demolitions, time and time again. By Nancy Hawker “Watch out! The bulldozers and the jeeps are coming.” Shirin Salamein heard the warning from one of her neighbors as she finished milking her sheep and goats close to her home. She lives in the village of Hadidiya, behind the Israeli settlement of Ro’i in the West Bank. “I was about to start making cheese, and there was not enough…

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  • Mental segregation: Mapping Jews and Palestinians into separate worlds

    In a short news piece (available so far only in Hebrew), Haaretz reported this morning of the damage caused by the recent storm to both settlers and Palestinian in the West Bank. The wording of the article gives us the opportunity to examine the difference in news coverage for Jews and Arabs living under the same regime in the same stretch of land. Reports of settler suffering take up five paragraphs, while Palestinians get one. More importantly, however, is the way in which the spaces the two peoples inhabit are described. The text (as well as the headline, at least in…

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  • Report: Israel to let Palestinians use some of their own land

    Israeli officials reveal plans to allocate nearly 5,000 acres of privately owned Palestinian land so as not to stand in the way of a PA-USAID economic development program. Israel is pushing through a plan to allocate nearly 5,000 acres of land in Area C of the West Bank (under full Israeli military and administrative control) for a Palestinian economic development program, Hebrew daily Ma'ariv reported Wednesday. According to the report, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is behind the initiative, and plans to fund and facilitate Palestinian agricultural and commercial development there. Israel's Defense Ministry has committed to speeding up the planning…

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  • PHOTOS: Forced to live in a tent, Palestinian family celebrates Eid al-Adha

    In the Jordan Valley, it is virtually impossible for Palestinian families to get the permits to build a home: their buildings are demolished and they are forced to live in tents and tin structures with no electricity or water. Illegal Jewish settlements, however, are rarely demolished and are connected to the electricity and water grids. Activestills joins one family that has been living in a tent without basic services for 10 years as they celebrate the first night of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Samiha and Suleiman Shalalda live with their five children in a tent on the edge…

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  • In West Bank, the logic of annexation supersedes the rule of law

    Israeli authorities aren't merely incompetent when it comes to defending the rights of Palestinians in Area C - they are part and parcel of a process dedicated to the area's annexation. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Last week, IDF forces removed, with hardly any noise, settlers from the lands of Muhammad Ibrahim 'Ali Shabana, a resident of the village of Sinjil in the West Bank. The removal took place after the invasion by settlers Yonathan Rothschild and Yehuda Elitzur. Thus ended a long legal saga which proves, yet again, the incompetence of the Israeli authorities when it comes…

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  • Israel launches 'price tag' attack par excellence in response to EU settlement directive

    Israel's defense minister orders a halt to cooperation with the European Union-funded humanitarian aid projects benefitting West Bank and Gaza Palestinians. Israel’s defense minister launched a massive 'price tag' attack last week. In response to an EU directive that will help ensure European funding does not benefit Israeli settlements, Moshe Ya’alon ordered a halt to cooperation with European humanitarian efforts benefiting Palestinians in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank. "We are freezing the relationship on everything," an Israeli official told The Guardian. "We did this as soon as we heard [about the directive]. We can't act like nothing happened." Price…

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  • 'Not born for happiness': Israel as a Russian opera

    The ultimate tale of a missed opportunity, now staged by the Bolshoi on Tel Aviv's opera stage, resonates strongly in an Israeli heart that still recalls an old hope. It does not end like an opera. No diva is sprawled on the stage, a dagger in her heart and a high D♭emerging emerging from her throat. I remember stepping out of "Eugene Onegin" stunned. Could there really be an opera that dealt with real life, rather then the melodramatic opera universe? Did Pushkin and Tchaikovsky both just send me off with the message: "life sucks, deal with it?" It was…

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  • Resource: Area C Palestinians under threat of displacement

    A new report published by B'Tselem to mark 46 years since Israel occupied the West Bank reveals how the Civil Administration has violated its obligation to administer the area for the benefit of the Palestinian population. Contrary to its legal obligations, the Civil Administration, the body responsible for implementing Israeli government policy in Area C (60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli control), implements exactly the opposite policy. The Civil Administration consistently prefers Israeli and settlements' interests while displacing Palestinians, exploiting the area’s resources to benefit Israelis, and bringing about a permanent situation in which Israeli settlements thrive and Palestinian presence…

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  • Report: Forced displacement on both sides of the Green Line

    By Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel A new Adalah report documents the parallels between two Palestinian villages, Al-Araqib in Israel and Susiya in the West Bank, which share a single story of struggle against home demolitions and forced displacement. The report sets out the methods of displacement used by Israel to expel Palestinian communities from their land on both sides of the Green Line, and examines the legal context in which it takes place. Read more: PHOTOS: Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day with rallies and protests Remembering the Nakba, understanding this is a shared land…

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  • WATCH: Threat of demolition looms over Palestinian village in West Bank

    The Palestinian village of Susya, which has been through numerous demolitions and forced expulsions, beginning in 1986, is facing yet another threat to its existence. This time, the fate of the entire village lays in the hands of Israel's Supreme Court. By Rabbis for Human Rights On Thursday, Israel's Supreme Court will hold two sessions regarding two petitions affecting the future of the Palestinian village Susya. One will discuss the possibility of expediting the demolition of most of the village, while the other seeks to prevent the villagers’ remaining lands from being rendered off limits to them. The first court session involves a petition by…

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  • PHOTOS: Jordan Valley demolitions leave Palestinian families homeless in winter

    Photos by Mareike Lauken and Keren Manor On January 17, the Israeli army destroyed 55 homes and animal shelters in the Al Maleh area. This large scale military operation happened simultaneously in two separate locations: Hamamat al-Maleh, and further up the valley in Al-Mayta. Al-Maleh and Al-Mayta are two marginalized villages located in the north of the Jordan Valley, near the Tayasir checkpoint. Of the 55 buildings demolished, 23 were family homes: five in Hamamat Al-Maleh (leaving 37 people homeless) and 18 in Al-Mayta (leaving 150 people homeless). In addition, 33 other buildings used to shelter the communities' animals were…

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  • The Freedom Bus: Taking resistance on tour in the West Bank

    In September, a troupe of performers from the West Bank and Israel held a nine-day tour throughout the West Bank, promoting cultural resistance and staging innovative performance styles in an attempt to unify disparate Palestinian realities. By Marta Fortunato Al-Hadidiya, Jordan Valley, 12 December 2012 – Samir is on the verge of tears while he watches the Freedom Theatre actors performing the story that he himself just finished sharing with his community members. “I was grazing my sheep when the Israeli army arrived. I was blindfolded, handcuffed and brought to a military camp,” Samir tells. “There, some soldiers set dogs on me.…

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  • In response to Palestinian statehood bid, government issues empty threats

    Foreign Minister Lieberman may offer the Palestinians a 'temporary state' with no borders, which actually translates to no state at all. The Israeli government is so threatened by the Palestinian Authority's bid to go to the UN in order to achieve non-member observer state status, that it has gone through a series of moves in recent weeks that began with threats, and has now transitioned into what is being called an "offer" by the Foreign Ministry. According to a report in Haaretz on Wednesday,  Foreign Minister Lieberman is considering offering the Palestinians recognition of statehood within "provisional borders" in exchange for…

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