A new Israeli policy makes it nearly impossible for Palestinian citizens from visiting their ailing relatives in the Gaza Strip. All in the name of security. By Michal Luft In a press release published July of 2015, Commander of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, announced a new policy intended to reduce entry into the Gaza by Israeli civilians, thereby further undermining the already limited ability of thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel to see their relatives who live in the Strip. [tmwinpost] The decision came about after it was made public that two Israeli citizens had recently disappeared in…Read More... | 1 Comment
Senior army officer testifies to Knesset committee that building enforcement is 'far more severe against Palestinians' than Jews. There are over 11,000 Israeli demolition orders pending against Palestinian-owned structures. The Israeli army demolishes Palestinian homes in the West Bank at disproportionately higher rates than it demolishes Jewish settler homes, a senior Israeli army officer told a Knesset sub-committee on Wednesday. The admission demonstrates yet another way in which Jews and Palestinians are held to different legal standards, and often different legal systems in West Bank. “Our enforcement against Palestinians is hundreds of percentage points higher [than against Jews],” Maj.-Gen. Yoav…Read More... | 4 Comments
Over 500 Palestinians have been displaced by the demolitions since the start of 2016, the vast majority of them in the West Bank. Israel demolished 313 Palestinian structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem between January 1 and February 15 2016, more than half the total such number in all of 2015. More than a third of those demolitions were carried out within the space of a week, between February 9 and 15, according to the UN's humanitarian agency, OCHA. [tmwinpost] The intensive rate of demolitions since the start of the year is in marked contrast to a relative…Read More... | 36 Comments
Dozens of Palestinians active in joint peace groups will no longer be able to cross into Israel to give workshops on reconciliation and dialogue. The Israeli army's Civil Administration, formerly known as the military government, recently informed dozens of joint Israeli-Palestinian peace organizations that it would retroactively revoke entry permits for Palestinian peace activists from the West Bank into Israel. The change will affect veteran Palestinian activists, many of whom work or even manage peace organizations alongside their Israeli counterparts, and who have led workshops on peace, reconciliation, and dialogue in Israel for many years. [tmwinpost] In early January, Lt.-Col.…Read More... | 4 Comments
An Israeli judge rebukes the state over its failure to publish all protocols and procedures that govern the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A long-running legal battle over the transparency of Israel's military government took another step on Wednesday when a Tel Aviv District Court judge rebuked the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) over its continued failure to publish and publicize all of its policies and procedures. COGAT is obligated to publish these policies under Israel's Freedom of Information Act [Heb]. [tmwinpost] COGAT, which is part of the Ministry of Defense, oversees Israeli policy…Read More... | 2 Comments
The Israeli army unit that administers the occupation has not updated its website for over five months. Instead, it religiously updates its Facebook page with impressive stats and jazzy graphics — in English only. What's going on? "Last week there were a total of 6,735 crossings between Gaza and Israel," COGAT, the administrative arm of the Israeli occupation chirped on its official Facebook page last Sunday.It is a standard social media update for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a unit of the Israeli Defense Ministry that oversees the occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. (COGAT controls movement in…Read More...
By dreaming up an association between Hamas and Islamic State, Netanyahu hopes Israel will have it easy the next time it goes to war against Gaza. The head of Israel’s military government in the territories, Maj.-Gen. Yoav “Polly” Mordechai, spearheaded the latest round of Israel’s fantastical, anti-intellectual conflation between Hamas and ISIS this past week. Taking advantage of the horrendous attacks by an ISIS affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Mordechai told Al Jazeera Arabic that Hamas is aiding the world’s most terrifying terrorist organization—by bringing its wounded fighters into Gaza for medical treatment. The attempt to make a connection between the…Read More... | 79 Comments
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. 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. The good news…Read More... | 4 Comments
The ease with which Israel can give and take away, allow and deny, isn’t just disturbing and depressing, it’s also further proof, in case anyone needed any, that Israel’s control over daily life in Gaza is immense. By Amir Rotem Early last week, the Palestinian media reported that the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee had reached some new understandings in its talks with Gaza District Coordination Offices (DCO) officials and that, among other things, for the first time in 15 years, Gaza residents would be allowed to travel to the West Bank for academic studies. On Wednesday, the Israeli Coordinator of…Read More... | 17 Comments
Whether they want to attend family gatherings, open a business or visit sick relatives, Palestinians under occupation must adhere to military regulations, the vast majority of which are hidden from public scrutiny. By Maayan Niezna "There are no secret laws in Israel. […] Legislation that is passed secretly and kept away from the eye of the public is one of the characteristics of a totalitarian government, and is not in line with the rule of law" (Judge Cohen, Civil Appeal 421/61, State of Israel v. Haz , pg. 2204-2205) No one knows why, but Israel has a regulation that prevents Palestinians…Read More... | 11 Comments
The increases in movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza should serve as a reminder that Israel recognizes the need for civilian access, that the army can facilitate access when it is instructed to do so, and that more even more can be done. By Tania Hary The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which, among other things, oversees what and who comes in and out of Gaza, recently published its monthly report for July. The numbers published in the report reveal that, given the closing of tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border and a subsequent drop…Read More... | 6 Comments
Israel approves Arab Idol winner Muhammad Assaf's request to change his residency to the West Bank without a hitch. Meanwhile, over 500 Palestinian residents of the West Bank are still waiting in fear. By Itamar Sha'altiel More than 500 Palestinian residents of the West Bank are waiting today, just like they were yesterday. Some are afraid to leave their homes, others avoid crossing Israel’s checkpoints. They know that if a soldier happens to check their ID card, they might be removed to Gaza. The fact that they have family or a job in the West Bank won’t matter. The fact that…Read More...
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