Israelis refuse to understand what drives Palestinians to violence. After all, it is far more convenient to dehumanize them than face reality. There’s something self-righteous about calling Palestinians who violently resist occupation “terrorists,” while referring to the ones occupying them, also violently, as mere “soldiers.” It becomes even more grotesque when the people committing these desperate acts are minors, or even children. Even at the tender age of 11 and 13 they are still terrorists, even in so-called “liberal” newspapers like Haaretz. The fact minors that cannot be held criminally responsible for their actions is suddenly no longer relevant to these…Read More... | 5 Comments
The army says aerial spraying was meant to ‘enable security operations.’ Palestinian farmers say hundreds of acres of crops were damaged or destroyed. The Israel army has confirmed that it used crop-dusters to kill off vegetation — and perhaps inadvertently, agricultural crops — inside the Gaza Strip last week. According to Palestinian officials, over 420 acres of land were damaged by the spraying. For years now, the IDF has unilaterally maintained a lethal “no-go zone” on the Palestinian side of the border with Gaza. Now, it seems, it has also implemented a “no-grow zone.” [tmwinpost] “The aerial spraying of herbicides…Read More... | 10 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...
Three 'gestures' Israel can easily make that will radically improve the lives of at least thousands of Palestinians — all without compromising one inch on its own security concerns. By Amir Rotem In the hall of mirrors that is international diplomacy, all is being polished for the Netanyahu-Obama summit. Lists of gifts the two are expected to present each other are being leaked and commented upon. One of the things being said is that, on the advice of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Israel’s prime minister will offer up a number of gestures to Palestinian residents…Read More... | 26 Comments
For years I have been escorting Mohammed and Maha to an Israeli hospital and back to Gaza. That is, except for those times when Israel denies him an entry permit. This week, as the illusory stability of daily routine disintegrates around us, something feels different. By Deb Reich We had stopped in a giant shopping center near Ashkelon on the way south to find Mohammed a new pair of sunglasses, because some kid in Gaza stole his recently. We hadn’t found any that he liked in Jaffa, where we lunched together as usual after Mohammed’s clinic check-ups at Tel Hashomer Hospital…Read More... | 1 Comment
Mubarak Awad, one of the main organizers of nonviolent resistance during the First Intifada until Israel exiled him, talks about why only nonviolence can defeat the occupation, how Palestinians must convince Israelis that peace is their own interest, and his fears that without a new nonviolent movement more and more Palestinian youths will be drawn to armed resistance. By Waleed Shahid (First published in 'In These Times') The largest Palestinian uprising in the history of the Israeli occupation is largely forgotten today. In the 1980s, thousands of Palestinians took part in large-scale civil disobedience actions, strikes, pickets, boycotts and sit-ins…Read More... | 23 Comments
What do you call a situation in which one country's army controls a foreign population's imports and exports, border crossings and airspace, population registry, and even how much electricity it can produce? Israel pulled its troops and settlers out of the occupied Gaza Strip in 2005, during what became known as “the disengagement.” As a result of the disengagement most Gazans have almost no contact with Israeli soldiers these days. But does that mean the strip of land many call "the world's largest open-aired prison" is no longer occupied? Al Jazeera, with the assistance of Israeli human rights organization Gisha,…Read More... | 27 Comments
The recent escalation in violence has caused many in Gaza to support renewing armed struggle against Israel. Hamas, however, is wary of firing rockets, preferring to cheer on Palestinians from the sidelines. By Abeer Ayyoub GAZA CITY — While usually considered one of the most volatile places in Palestine, the Gaza Strip seems to be taking a “let’s wait and see’’ approach to the most recent round of violence with Israel. Since the start of the escalation earlier of this month, the besieged, Hamas-ruled enclave has not immediately reacted to the events at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Only on Friday, October 9…Read More...
By stalling while deepening the occupation, successive Israeli leaders — of whom Netanyahu is only the most recent — have dragged Israelis and Palestinians into a dance of death. Ingmar Bergman's classic 1957 film The Seventh Seal tells of a medieval knight who returns to Sweden from the Crusades, only to find that the plague has swept his country. At this point, Death (personified as a tall, pale figure in a black cowl) appears to the knight, informing him that his time on earth is up. Not wanting to face up to the inevitable, the knight challenges Death to a…Read More... | 1 Comment
Where are Jewish Israelis when Palestinians find themselves under attack? When entire villages are demolished? When health care is conditioned on providing intelligence? When people are imprisoned without even the courtesy of a conviction? By Tom Mehager For Palestinians, every day is a wave of terror. And every day Jews stand idly by. It's just that the majority of Jews view it as completely normal and logical that the state acts the way it does, or they prefer to bury their heads in the sand. I can think of three fundamental, day-to-day examples that I know firsthand and can happen…Read More...
A collection of oral histories offers a penetrating look at life in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Gaza could be uninhabitable by 2020. More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed in 2014 and more than 17,000 were injured. Israel arrests and detains between 500 and 700 Palestinian children every year. In August of 2015 alone, Israeli forces demolished nearly 150 Palestinian structures. When it comes to the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, there’s no shortage of statistics. But while numbers may tell, it’s the stories that show the deep impact the occupation makes on…Read More...
A year after Operation Protective Edge, I traveled from Israel to visit my family in the Gaza Strip, where Palestinians are suffering from high rates of unemployment, violence, and drug use. By Thair Abu-Rass This past week I experienced one of the most formative events of my life: a three-day visit to Gaza for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. Entering the "largest prison in the world," as Gaza's residents call it, came after the Israeli authorities' eased access for family visits between Israel and Gaza. [tmwinpost] I am a quarter Gazan:…Read More... | 5 Comments
The UN's Commission of Inquiry report on the 2014 Gaza war has been able to achieve what the Goldstone report could not in 2009: a new gateway for confronting the EU to demand accountability for the devastation of the war. Two weeks ago the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution to adopt the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, calling for the implementation of the report’s recommendations. In a move that some observers described as “unprecedented,” all eight EU member states on the Council – the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland,…Read More... | 2 Comments
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