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  • For Israel's military gov't, PR trumps freedom of information

    When Israel's military government needs to provide Palestinians with crucial information about the rules that affect their lives, money and Arabic-speaking staff are apparently in short supply. When it comes to PR, resources are seemingly on tap. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman this week announced his new "carrot and stick" plan for Palestinians living in the West Bank, which roughly works out as: if you behave, we will give your towns and communities economic benefits; if you don't, there will be more demolitions, more arrests, more raids, more canceled permits. Within Liberman's plan is a proposal for an Arabic-language news website to…

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  • Why won't Israel's military gov't translate its policies into Arabic?

    The inaccessibility of Israel's military procedures means Palestinians are often forced to navigate the labyrinthine bureaucracy of the occupation in the dark. The Civil Administration, the arm of Israel's military government that rules over 2.8 million Palestinians in the West Bank, has once again broken its own commitment to publish all its policies and procedures in Arabic. After being slapped with a near-unprecedented rebuke by a Jerusalem District Court judge in May over its continuing failure to make these procedures available, the Civil Administration was ordered to finish translating and publish all of its regulations within six weeks of the…

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  • Israel's military gov't ordered to publish regulations in Arabic

    Israel's military government is once again rebuked in court over its continued failure to meet the bare minimum of its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, and moreover must compensate the NGO petitioning to bring it to account. Israel’s military government, which rules over millions of Palestinians, was hit with a nearly unprecedented court ruling and rebuke this week for flouting its obligation to publish regulations in Arabic. The Civil Administration — which is a part of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), itself part of the Defense Ministry — now has six weeks in which to…

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  • Indignity, grief and mourning on the Gaza border

    A woman from Gaza is told during a visit to Israel that she must terminate her advanced pregnancy. The Israeli army and courts effectively refuse to allow her to mourn with her husband by her side. By Nomi Heger Over the last two weeks, while everyone in Israel was talking about the segregation between Palestinian and Jewish women in post-natal care, we here at Gisha (an organization that promotes the freedom of movement of Gaza residents) provided legal assistance to one pregnant woman, who just happens to be Palestinian and could not care less who was lying next to her,…

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  • PHOTOS: Thousands take part in Palestine Marathon for free movement

    Israel denies permits to over 100 runners from Gaza. ’Freedom of movement is not only a right in itself, but is essential for the enjoyment of many other human rights,’ the United Nations says of the fourth annual marathon. Photos by Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org Text by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man Thousands of Palestinian and international runners from 64 countries participated in the fourth annual Palestine Marathon in the West Bank city of Bethlehem Friday morning. The run was held under the banner of the right to freedom of movement, a theme that was accented by Israel’s concrete separation wall along which much of…

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  • How Israel's military gov't keeps Palestinians in the dark

    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…

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  • Israel's military gov't stopped publishing info in Arabic

    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…

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  • Israel preventing Gaza woman from attending her own wedding

    According to the Israeli army, Palestinians from Gaza can attend a relative's wedding — just not their own. The Israeli army is denying a 23-year-old Palestinian woman from traveling through Israel to reach her own wedding ceremony in Jordan. [tmwinpost] According to Israeli human rights group Gisha, the petitioner has been engaged to her fiancé — a Palestinian from Gaza with Spanish citizenship — for the past year and a half. Their wedding date has been delayed twice already due to fact that Israel will not let her leave the Gaza Strip, the second time after the couple had already…

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  • What Netanyahu can easily offer Obama on Gaza

    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…

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  • Is Gaza still occupied? New video aims to settle the debate

    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,…

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  • On second thought, no: Gaza students denied exit permits

    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…

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  • Israel's truthiness on Palestinian academic freedom

    In denying that Israel limits academic freedom in Palestine, the Israeli embassy in Washington seems to forget about the Palestinian students and academics whose movement it restricts. By Sari Bashi The Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. recently decried as baseless "the accusation that Israel arbitrarily limits the entry of foreign nationals who seek to lecture, teach and attend conferences at Palestinian universities." The embassy appears to be responding to protests and calls by American academics to boycott Israeli academic institutions, in response to restrictions on students and scholars accessing Palestinian universities. And yet in explaining Israeli travel policy, the embassy's…

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  • Palestinians ruled by secret regulations even the army can't explain

    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 [4], pg. 2204-2205) No one knows why, but Israel has a regulation that prevents Palestinians…

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