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  • U.S. warns Israel against evicting Palestinians from Susya

    Although Susya has been under constant threat of destruction for years, the State Department is now warning Israel that any demolitions in this tiny village in the West Bank would be considered a provocation. While the Iran nuclear deal captured most of the attention and highlighted continued tensions in the U.S.-Israeli relationship this week, the tiny rural Palestinian village of Susya also managed to get the U.S. State Department's attention. Israel has indicated that it plans to demolish parts of the West Bank village after Ramadan, which officially ended Friday, or after the current Muslim holiday of Eid el-Fitr. According…

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  • Bedouin village of Atir to be replaced with forest of ‘Yatir’

    Atir is hardly the first case in which forestation has been used by the Israeli government and the JNF as a method of displacement and land grabbing against Palestinians — on both sides of the Green Line. “Apparently in Israeli democracy, the state is permitted to uproot Arabs from their homes and plant trees in their place.” At first glance, Ali Abu Al-Qi’an’s comment would appear to be a joke or an exaggerated statement – but it is neither. In one sentence, Ali, an Arab Bedouin citizen of Israel, summarized the grim fate of his village of Atir, located in the…

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  • So we meet again, Prawer Plan

     In 2013, when the government shelved a plan to displace thousands of Bedouin from their villages, we rejoiced. Now, less than two years on, it's back on the table. And so is our struggle. By Huda Abu Obeid The following is what I wrote in December 2013, when then Minister Benny Begin suspended the Prawer Plan, a government-sponsored proposal to displace thousands of Bedouin citizens who live in "unrecognized" villages: [tmwinpost] "Our feeling today is of great relief. It's a victory nobody expected when we, a group of weak and disenfranchised people, faced up to one of the strongest countries in…

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  • Three Palestinian activists exiled from Jerusalem for five months

    Without explanation, three Jerusalemite Palestinians are given five-month bans from the city of their birth and residence. One is banned from the West Bank as well. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/ In early December, three Jerusalem-born Palestinians received orders from Israeli authorities banning them from the city for a period of five months. Majd Darwish, Saleh Dirbas and Daoud Al-Ghoul first received phone calls saying that they were banned from entering the Old City. When they reported to the police station as requested they were given military orders banning them from all of Jerusalem until April 30, 2015.…

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  • PHOTOS: Gaza's children face an uncertain future

    Israel's latest offensive on the Gaza Strip killed more than 500 children. Those who survive must endure ongoing trauma and displacement. Photos by Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/ Text by Anne Paq I visited Al Nada towers in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip after they were destroyed by Israeli strikes. The towers had 90 apartments, home to many families. Mohammed, an 11-year-old child, was sitting on top of rubble, waiting to go to school. As I was working on a series of images of destroyed bedrooms, I asked him to bring me to his home to show me…

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  • PHOTOS: Living in the ruins of a shattered Gaza neighborhood

    Palestinians struggle to survive among the rubble of their neighborhood, Shujaiyeh, which was leveled by Israeli shelling during last month's offensive. Photos by: Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/ Text by: Anne Paq A group of Palestinian men sit in one of the completely destroyed streets in Shujaiyeh, a neighborhood of east of Gaza City. In front of them, a huge area has been reduced to rubble. Water is flowing into the street as one of the pipes has been damaged. Some tried to dig to fix the pipes but did not manage. Palestinians are very ill-equipped to even clean the rubble,…

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  • PHOTOS: Losing your home twice in one war

    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…

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  • PHOTOS: Gaza's half-million internally displaced

    Photos by: Basel Yazouri and Anne Paq/ Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler The most commonly cited statistic from Gaza is the death toll, now rising past 1,814, according to UN figures. Such numbers can be numbing, as absorbing the reality of so many faces and names is impossible. Yet another staggering figure that is difficult to comprehend is the number of people displaced from their homes, which the UN estimates at 520,000. Gaza's half-million displaced residents are one of the most obvious refutations of the the accusation that Hamas uses "human shields." The Guardian has reported "large numbers of people fleeing…

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  • Contemplating Jehad: How Gaza goes unnoticed between wars

    “Thank you for asking about us,” he says. “It seems the rest of the world only cares when the bombs are falling.” His name means “struggle.” From his apartment window in Gaza City, Jehad films the flames consuming flesh. As we speak, concussive boom-after-boom carries his voice to a shrill, and we are both short of breath. I try to change the subject. “Remember the orange trees, Jehad?” But this, too, is on-topic. The trees came from Shejaiya, the neighborhood now framed by Jehad’s lens. He is live streaming, and the news can’t catch up with the scene – five…

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  • PHOTOS: On Easter, Palestinians resurrect their destroyed village

    The Palestinian village of Irqit was depopulated in the 1948 war and then almost entirely razed. Now new generations of its original residents are trying to resurrect the town and realize a decades-old High Court ruling recognizing their right to return. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/ It would seem that Israeli authorities conspired to intertwine the story of Iqrit with the Christian narrative. As the season of Advent approached in November 1948, the Israeli military forced residents of Iqrit and the neighboring village of Kufr Bir’im—all citizens of the newly created state of Israel—to leave their homes near…

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  • Sweeping the sand out of the desert: From Verwoerd to Prawer

    The Prawer-Begin Plan was shelved. But the idea that you can forcefully transfer an indigenous population and determine where it can legally reside -- looks and smells like a plan pulled from the dusty drawer of Hendrik Verwoerd, architect of Apartheid South Africa. And that didn’t work out so well. By Hilla Dayan Sadly, it was too early to celebrate the downfall of the Prawer-Begin Plan. The victory of suspending the Knesset vote following the the “day of rage” protests on November 30 was short lived. The dark threatening cloud of ethnic cleansing still hovers over the Negev's Bedouin population. Nevertheless,…

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  • Anti-Prawer 'day of rage': Chronicle of a violent confrontation foretold

    Heavy clashes at anti-Prawer protests were anything but unforeseeable. Unfortunately, the way the media and politicians are responding is only likely to make things worse. HURA -- "Can you please explain what it is you're so angry about?" That was the question an Israeli reporter with a camera crew posed to several Bedouin at the Hura anti-Prawer "day of rage" demonstration Saturday evening. The dark desert evening in the picturesque background of the television news spot was illuminated by burning tire barricades on the roads and police flares and stun grenades. Clashes between local youth and police had been going on…

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  • Israel's High Court sends South Hebron Hills evictions to mediation

    The High Court of Justice declines to make a ruling on the evictions of over 1,000 Palestinian villagers from what Israel calls 'Firing Zone 918.' Villagers' attorneys say referral to mediation process is a sign the court wasn't satisfied with the state's arguments. International writers sign petition against evictions. Israel's High Court of Justice referred to mediation a petition against the eviction of dozens of West Bank Palestinian families to make room for a military training area in the West Bank on Monday, pending the State's acquiescence to the suggestion. The courtroom was packed with representatives of the Palestinian villagers,…

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