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…Read More... | 31 Comments
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…Read More... | 10 Comments
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…Read More... | 11 Comments
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…Read More... | 8 Comments
'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…Read More... | 1 Comment
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…Read More... | 1 Comment
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…Read More... | 18 Comments
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…Read More... | 3 Comments
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…Read More... | 11 Comments
Although Israelis spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Palestinians goods each year, these products are usually sold under Israelis labels, since Palestinian-marketed goods are a tough sell. Correction added on 7 March 2012. A video item on the Media Line today tells of a Tel Aviv trade fair designated to help open doors for Palestinian agricultural products such as olive oil, to break into the Israeli market - in their own name. It turns out that Israelis are happy to buy Palestinian goods, says reporter Arieh O'Sullivan (sales were reported at $300 million last year) as long as they're…Read More... | 15 Comments
So much for freedom of religious practice: Israel allows Christians from Gaza to travel to their holy sites, but rejects similar requests from Muslims When demanding to maintain its control over both East and West Jerusalem—and especially, over the city's holy sites—one of Israel's main arguments is that it allows freedom of worship in the city to members of all religions. The Knesset's Basic Law: Jerusalem from 1980 [Hebrew link, PDF] states that the holy sites will be guarded by Israel from any harm that might prevent access to them (btw, a 2001 provision to this law states that a…Read More...
A critical review of the protocols of the Turkel Committee, assigned to investigate the raid on the Mavi Marmara which left nine dead, reveals a deep pro-IDF and government bias by committee members One of the great favors the Obama administration did Benjamin Netanyahu last year (another one for which it received very little credit) was its support for an Israeli-led inquiry on the flotilla incident. The Turkel committee - led by a former Israeli Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel and joined by two international observers – was meant to prevent another Goldstone-style report. When the committee was formed, American…Read More... | 3 Comments
The Headlines: Freeze the Settlements, or Freeze the Peace Process? > According to reports, Netanyahu is planning [Heb] a comprehensive settlement freeze for three months, to be followed by nine months of restrained construction. This will take place while negotiations with the Palestinians move forward, and might require adding opposition party Kadima to the current coalition. Senior government ministers will discuss tomorrow the outlook for the Obama administration’s policy after the mid-term elections next week. Foreign Minister Lieberman (Yisrael Beitenu) is already preparing for the day negotiations fail, and the Palestinians will make a unilateral declaration of independence. He…Read More...
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'Wars on Gaza have become part of Israel's system of governance': An interview with filmmaker Yotam Feldman http://t.co/7dMiksBo9t
Israel officially drank the Kool Aid on the al-Dura affair http://t.co/MF3x14NKe4
On visiting the victims of occupation in the south Hebron Hills http://t.co/YO37AXd75k by @MairavZ (via @haaretzcom)
Court questions law enabling confiscation of Palestinian land in Jerusalem http://t.co/4oGUPJYILt
Israel's A-G laments: Nobody criminally investigates settlers for illegal building http://t.co/O6zmeYz8M1
On the al-Dura affair: Israel officially drank the Kool Aid http://t.co/MF3x14NKe4 (By Larry Derfner)
#Israel Extends Zone for Fishing Off #Gaza http://t.co/aQkRdGvs60 via @nytimes