As Noam Sheizaf's recent headline states, "the Nakba's memory is more present than ever in Israel." The Nakba, literally, "the catastrophe," is the name given to the massive deportation of more then 700,000 Palestinians from what became the State of Israel in 1948. Sheizaf goes on to point out how efforts, such as the "Nakba law," which authorizes the finance minister to withdraw funds from organizations commemorating the day, have backfired and effectively injected Nakba consciousness into the global discourse. From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank and Gaza, activists marched to assert a history which is no longer…Read More... | 5 Comments
Photos by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org; Text by Haggai Matar and Michael Omer-Man Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 42 kilometers (26 miles) long (in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority). The marathon took place in spite of harsh and untypical weather conditions and the winner was Abdel Nasser Awajneh, a Palestinian man from Jericho. Palestinians “do not have a state, and their lands are controlled by a foreign…Read More... | 3 Comments
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES Israeli soldiers target a Palestinian photographer who was taking pictures of them invading Aida Refugee Camp, shooting him in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet. At about 5:30 p.m. Monday, Israeli soldiers entered Aida Refugee Camp through a gate in the separation wall dividing Rachel’s Tomb from Bethlehem. There were no clashes at the time, and their presence in the camp was not provoked, but was itself a provocation. Mohammad Al-Azza began photographing the advancing soldiers from the second-floor balcony of the Lajee Center, a children’s center near the camp entrance where he has long volunteered in…Read More... | 23 Comments
Mr. President, you are welcome in Bethlehem in occupied Palestine, with open arms, in the hope that you are devoted to justice and a positive peace. By Antwan I. Saca BETHLEHEM – Just like the many other visitors that we receive here in this land, we would do our best to overwhelm you with our cultural hospitality and traditions. Mr. President, I would seize this opportunity to not only welcome you to visit Bethlehem, but also to welcome all U.S. citizens to visit my small city. I invite you, Mr. President, to be in my city and among the nation…Read More... | 6 Comments
Palestinians mourn youth killed by Israeli forces, activists resist house demolitions in the West Bank and separation wall construction in Jerusalem, and life goes on in Gaza. Activestills photographers present the stories of the week from their unique perspective.Read More... | 11 Comments
It’s one thing to have to deal with the racism and hatred prevalent here in Israel/Palestine. But it’s another when an imbecile I support with my tax money, who claims to represent me, spreads his venom overseas (and not for the first time - the deputy at the embassy said in the past that "Pro-Palestinian activists have sexual identity problems"). The idiot that wrote the following status on the official Facebook page of the Israeli Embassy in Ireland should be removed from his post. A thought for Christmas...If Jesus and mother Mary were alive today, they would, as Jews without security,…Read More... | 27 Comments
The transformation of Palestinians into objects and the attempt to undermine the relationships they have with one another form the context in which this latest assault on Gaza must be understood. By Vicky Hosker Although less than three hours away from Bethlehem, Gaza often feels like another world to me. The distinguishing feature of Israel’s long-term policy towards Palestinians is not simply displacement, but dismemberment: separate ID cards for West Bank and Gaza residents have forced married couples to choose between leaving the country entirely or living apart, while economic, educational, and cultural ties have been severed with clinical efficiency.…Read More... | 7 Comments
From the death of 12-year-old Hamid Younis Abu Daqqa, whose killing from Israeli gunfire helped ignite the latest escalation, to demonstrations demanding an end to the violence, Activestills presents a week in its Gaza coverage.Read More... | 7 Comments
Due to a temporary relaxation in Israeli policy, many Palestinians traveled to Jerusalem through checkpoints during Ramadan this year. But now that Ramadan is over, it's back to business as usual. Every day, thousands of Palestinians circumvent the Israeli separation wall by crossing into Jerusalem without permission from Israeli authorities. Haggai Matar recently described this major flaw in the wall’s security rationale, even quoting a pro-barrier activist who admits: “There’s no problem crossing the gaps in the fence and tens of thousands of illegal workers cross it back and forth every day, and there should be no problem getting suicide…Read More...
The official reason for construction of the wall was Israeli security. After reviewing the history of the route in the first chapter of this series, and before inquiring whether it achieved its stated goal, we come now to the question of the wall's effects on Palestinian society in the last decade. Chapter Two: the wall, the peace process, and Jerusalem. Project Photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills I was little more than 18 years of age when rumors of the planned wall in the West Bank started spreading in activist circles around me. As its annexing route became clear, so did…Read More... | 30 Comments
Tens of thousands of people participated in Land Day demonstrations in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Negev and the Galilee, as well as in Jordan and Lebanon. One person was killed, many were injured - several critically - and several were arrested in clashes with the Israeli army and police. Hamas and Fatah also attacked demonstrators. The village of Budrus was actually one of the quieter places to be today. This small yet ancient village, with lands on both sides of the green line, was one of the first to raise the flag of non-violent resistance…Read More... | 107 Comments
At first it was only Gaza. Now – it's the West Bank. Bit by bit, without our noticing, the Israeli media has stopped reporting on the occupation. It's been two weeks now that I've been wanting to write this post. I wanted to write two Fridays ago, when it became apparent that two more West Bank villages – A-Diq and Qadum – successfully joined the cycle of popular resistance. Villages like Bil'in, Ma'asara, Ni'lin, Beit Umar and Nabi Saleh have already become known for their persistence in weekly demonstrations against the Wall and the settlements, but these two villages are…Read More... | 4 Comments
In Christmas celebration hosted by the Fatah movement, Mohammad Shtayyeh, a Fatah central committee member, appealed to Christian Palestinians to remain in their land, and to call on their sons and daughters who have emigrated to return to Palestine. Shtayyeh quoted Jesus' words from the Gospel of Matthew, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?".According to a Maan News Agency report (Arabic), Shtayyeh told the Christian attendees that no one is more worthy of this land than the Christian Palestinians. Christian emigration from Palestinian cities has been a…Read More... | 11 Comments
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