COGAT’s new Facebook page will not hide the fact that with every 'like' it receives, the occupation becomes more permanent in our minds. A few weeks ago, the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit launched its own Facebook page. COGAT, which operates under Israel’s Ministry of Defense, controls the blockade of the Gaza Strip through the land crossings; it allocates land and resources to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank; it prevents Palestinian development in Area C and oversees demolitions against Palestinian homes; it accepts or rejects Palestinian permits to enter Israel; and it facilitates the…Read More... | 17 Comments
During Ramadan, Palestinians are no longer deemed 'security risks' or 'terrorists,' and are able to visit the holy sites in Jerusalem or the sea in Jaffa. By Samah Salaime This week marked the beginning of Ramadan, a month-long celebration during which Muslims the world over fast for 16 hours every day to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. That's right: 1.5 billion Muslims across the world choose to starve themselves. To all those who ask where we get our determination and tenacity from, they may find the answer this month. This is bad news for the Islamophobes of the world.…Read More... | 4 Comments
Israel's government, economy and citizens regularly exploit everything they can from the West Bank, leaving the Palestinians the bare minimum for survival. If Israelis want change, they'll have to come to terms with reality. Contrary to popular belief, the boycott is not the greatest threat facing Israel, at least not at the moment. However, now that BDS has become a household name, it is perfect opportunity for Israelis to have an honest conversation about the occupation. As opposed to the angle being peddled by Yedioth Ahronoth — which has been leading an open campaign against the BDS movement through a series of…Read More... | 23 Comments
Nearly 60 percent of the 96 Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank do not lead to Israel, but rather separate Palestinian cities and towns. Sometimes, checkpoints pop up in response to security incidents, other times there is no explanation at all. By Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org Israeli forces sealed the Nablus district and closed the city for 90 minutes on Sunday afternoon, after contact was lost with an Israeli truck driver who was initially feared kidnapped but who resurfaced a short time later. Soldiers blocked the main three entrances of the West Bank city of Nablus — the Huwwara checkpoint,…Read More... | 20 Comments
A solution to the problem of the occupation will be worthless if we do not gain the courage to take apart the human food chain that has become entrenched in this land since 1948. On Sunday night, I spoke at the annual protest march — this time in Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv where it is usually held — calling for an end to the occupation of the East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, despite the protests' emphasis on the occupation that began in 1967, I spoke at length about the need to shift our focus…Read More... | 7 Comments
Often times advanced medical care isn’t available in Palestine, and while the PA pays for many Palestinians to be treated in Israel, one crucial hurdle stands in the way of actually receiving treatment: getting from the checkpoint to the hospital. Social TV tags along with the Israelis who volunteer to drive Palestinian children to the hospital.Read More... | 3 Comments
The number of work permits the Israeli army gives to Palestinian workers nearly tripled, a new Bank of Israel report reveals. Did all those people suddenly become less dangerous, or do the permits serve interests other than security? The normative framework for viewing Israel's permit regime is that it stems purely from the state's security needs — a tool that allows the state to differentiate between those Palestinians who threaten Israel's security, and those who do not. This notion remains largely unchallenged despite the fact that, time after time, its arbitrariness is made clear: during every Jewish holiday the permits…Read More... | 8 Comments
In one of the first Palestinian protests of 2015, demonstrators call for 2015 to be the year of no occupation and no checkpoints. Dozens of Palestinian and international activists, some dressed as Santa Claus, protested at the Huwwara checkpoint near Nablus in the West Bank on the first day of 2015. Some of the demonstrators distributed flowers to people passing through the checkpoint. Signs carried by the demonstrators called for: A year without occupation; A year without checkpoints; and the realization of the Palestinian right of return. The Israeli army arrested one activist. A day later, Friday, the West Bank…Read More... | 8 Comments
Concessions in response to workers protest of overcrowding were short-lived, Palestinians say. A 38-year-old Palestinian laborer dies in Israel's Sha'ar Ephraim checkpoint in the West Bank. A Palestinian man died at the Sha'ar Ephraim checkpoint Wednesday, just a week after Palestinian laborers there staged a strike to protest overcrowding and poor treatment from guards. Ahmad Samih Abdir, 38, from the Tulkarem area of the West Bank, collapsed inside a turnstile in the checkpoint, according to his brother. Medics at the checkpoint declared him dead shortly thereafter. Abdir didn’t have any medical problems, according to his brother, and he leaves behind a wife…Read More...
Thousands of Palestinian laborers refused to pass through a West Bank checkpoint in protest of overcrowding and bad treatment from Israeli guards. A day later, their demands were met at the privatized checkpoint, but many believe the improvements won’t last long. The Palestinian laborers passing through the “Sha’ar Ephraim” checkpoint in the early morning are a strange sight by any standard. Those passing through before dawn mostly look stressed, busy, tired and retreated into themselves. “The hour or two spent inside the checkpoint are more difficult than an entire work day,” one of the workers told me Monday morning. But…Read More... | 21 Comments
By publishing false news stories that perfectly align with the government's agenda, the Israeli media is guilty of sowing violence in a city already on the edge. By Yael Arava "Trying to fan the flames? The Palestinian prime minister went to visit the grave of the terrorist from the [Jerusalem light rail] attack, and then entered a mosque in order to strengthen the ties between the Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the Arabs of Ramallah." These words were published by NRG, a website owned by the right-wing, religious Makor Rishon newspaper, which was recently bought out by Sheldon Adelson, earlier this week. The question…Read More... | 15 Comments
To pretend as though the events of recent days are extraordinary is to ignore the context that led to this ‘flare-up’ and is disrespectful to the millions of Palestinians who wrestle with the occupation every day, in both the West Bank and in Gaza. It’s Wednesday. The death toll in Gaza is in the dozens and rising as Layla*, a Christian Palestinian, gets into my car. We live in Bethelehem. She needs a ride to pick up her tasrich (permit) from the Civil Administration’s office in Gush Etzion, where Israel and the Western media claim that the current “flare-up” began.…Read More... | 21 Comments
In its invasion of the city, the army has not shied away from using live fire, blowing up the doors of homes and shops and maintaining a closure on thousands of people. The goal? Demonstrating its invincible power. By Akram Natsheh Nour al-Kawasma, an eight-year-old resident of Hebron, will never forget how Israeli forces suddenly declared war on his home. The young boy is still hospitalized with a head wound, days after Israeli soldiers detonated the front door of his house. Akram al-Kawasma, Nour's father, still carries an expression of bewilderment on his face. Nour remains in the hospital while his…Read More... | 114 Comments
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
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