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  • WATCH: Bringing Israelis face to face with Gaza closure

    Although the Gaza Strip is only about 50 kilometers from the city of Hebron in the West Bank, few people are given permission to travel this short distance. One Israeli filmmaker decided to bring Gaza's separation policy to the heart of the Israeli mainstream. By Tania Hary Any illusions that Israel’s policy on Gaza is only about security surely should have been dispelled by the events of this week. Israel’s highest court struck down the petition of Gaza’s only Olympian runner, Nader al-Masri, who had asked to be able to travel to Bethlehem to race in the second annual Palestine…

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  • NGO Monitor steps up the absurdity of its attacks

    A lie travels around the world while the truth looks for a Wi-Fi connection. Sometimes, it finds it. This blog's favorite fibber organization, NGO Monitor - you may remember them from such classic favorites as distributing Hasbara lies about the UN Human Rights Commission, using a Trojan horse inside Wikipedia, as well as just stupid negligence - pounced on the tunnel that was found this week near Ein Hashlosha. The organization quickly took to twitter, saying "So, #Hamas terror tunnel was built w/concrete from #Israel, sent b/c of UN & NGO pressure. Thanks @Gisha_Access". Lies have the speed advantage: in a…

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  • Despite recent improvements, Israeli government can do more for Gazans

    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…

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  • Applying runners' wisdom to the fight for human rights

    +972 speaks with Gisha’s executive director Sari Bashi about changing the Israeli policy of restricting Palestinian freedom of movement, one legal victory at a time, and transforming Israeli public perceptions of Palestinians in Gaza. Behind her desk in her Tel Aviv office, Sari Bashi has two things hanging on her wall. On the left is a small, framed memento from her staff that includes a photo of her running, a map outlining the ultra-marathon she completed last year, setting a record for running the longest distance – 215 kilometers (134 miles) – of any Israeli woman, and a breakdown of…

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  • IDF: 'Forbidden zone' in Gaza three times larger than previously stated

    The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has clarified that the "forbidden" buffer zone in Gaza strip stretches 300 meters from the fence (the Israeli border), and not 100 meters as it previously announced. Civilians who enter the area risk being shot by the army. In the past, the killing of Palestinians who wandered into the forbidden zone has led to retaliatory rocket launching from the Strip into Israeli territory. The clarification was made following a request by the human rights organization Gisha. Gisha had noticed that the IDF Spokesperson’s messages stated a different distance than did the Coordinator of Government…

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  • Bethlehem and Boston: That amazing thing called running

    In Boston, the bombings brought out the most generous community spirit among strangers torn apart by violence. In Bethlehem, Israel restricted who could participate in the marathon. But as Gisha's Sari Bashi writes, dozens of Israeli runners expressed support for letting Gazans participate, emphasizing the hope and purity embodied in the marathon and speaking of their identification with people who challenge their human abilities by doing that amazing thing called 'running.' The first marathon was held in Bethlehem on Sunday, as my colleagues have reported (and photographed, beautifully). The marathon is moment of great personal achievement, but marathons also sometimes become a…

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  • On civilians and 'Israel's Gaza problem'

    Wednesday, November 14: Israeli forces have just killed a four-year-old and a seven-year-old in Gaza. Two children. Jeffrey Goldberg tweets*, correctly, that the fighting won’t solve anything. But his phrasing embodies everything that’s wrong with the mainstream media. It also points at the Israeli attitude towards both the Palestinians and the region: Prediction: Assassination of Hamas terror commander will not even partially solve Israel's Gaza problem. Israel’s Gaza problem? The fatalities suggest it’s the other way around. According to B’Tselem, 6500 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces from the start of the Second Intifada in September 2000 until to September…

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  • Government releases 'Red Lines' document detailing Gaza food restrictions

    After a three and a half year legal battle, Israeli NGO Gisha has obtained the state's 'Red Lines' documents, which detail Israel's severe restrictions on the amount of food that could enter the Gaza Strip between 2007 and 2010, including calculations of Palestinians' caloric needs.  The "Red Lines" document was based on research compiled by the security establishment and the Israeli Ministry of Health, and aimed to "identify the point of intervention for prevention of malnutrition in the Gaza Strip." According to Gisha, the document "includes tables calculating the food consumption needs of people in Gaza according to age and…

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  • Spotlight: The Paris Protocol and the Palestinian economy

    'There is no denying that we are a part of Israel’s economy. If Israel raises the price of cigarettes, our cigarette prices go up. If the price of gas goes up, so does ours. If things are expensive in Israel, they are expensive here too.' In April 1994, Israeli and Palestinian negotiation teams met in Paris to sign one of the most important annexes to the Oslo Accords – the Paris Protocol, the agreement which regulates the economic relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Today, 18 years after the protocol was signed, demonstrations against the agreement have spread across…

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  • IDF invokes 'security risk' to thwart rare win for Gazan travel rights

    The  NGO Gisha had reason to believe, some ten days ago, that it won a small victory: The High Court of Justice, which couldn't stomach the tricks of the security apparatus any longer, ordered it to explain why it rejects requests by four female students from Gaza to move to the West Bank to study there (we covered the case of a fifth student here). The HCJ rarely does that; when it does, it is generally a hint that the policy defended by the government is highly unreasonable. The problem is the policy of the IDF, practiced with various degrees of…

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  • Israel prevents young Gazan from studying law in West Bank

    By Tania Hary Last Wednesday morning, for just under an hour, Israel's High Court heard arguments about whether or not five women from Gaza should be able to travel to their studies at Birzeit University in the West Bank. In a watershed moment for Gisha, which has brought no less than three similar cases in its seven years of existence, and for the first time in 12 years since a ban on travel for students between Gaza and the West Bank was first imposed, the court actually instructed the state to reconsider its position. That is, reconsider it for four of…

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  • Israeli minister: Cut power supply to Gaza this summer

    Faced with a power shortage for Israelis, the environment minister offers to cut the life-saving power Israel is selling to Gaza strip. Israel's minister of environmental protection, Gilad Erdan (Likud), has demanded that the government stop supplying power to the Gaza Strip in order to prevent power failure in Israeli cities this summer. In an official letter addressed to all government ministers (below), Erdan notes that 4.5 percent of Israel's power supply is sold to Gaza. Erdan writes (emphasis in the original): The State of Israel is preparing itself for a power shortage during the summer of 2012. In order…

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  • Why I am proud of my work for J Street

    By Max Socol In 2010, less than a year after returning to the United States from Israel, I helped establish J Street DC Metro. Like Moriel Rothman, I was deeply disturbed by Cast Lead, which had defined my time in Israel. I felt strongly that an American initiative would be needed for the bloodshed to stop, and I also felt that, for better or worse, that initiative would have to be midwifed by the American Jewish community – the only American voting bloc with the credibility to speak about Israel, the political power to make a difference, and the generally liberal…

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