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  • What’s an illegal settlement?

    The Israeli government is working tirelessly to retroactively legalize over 100 illegal West Bank outposts. They'll probably get away with it. Is that such a bad thing? The biggest story in Israel this past week — bigger than Trump or Aleppo — was the impending eviction of the illegal settlement outpost of Amona, and parallel efforts by the Israeli government to save dozens of others from the same fate. What is an illegal settlement, you ask? Aren’t all settlements illegal under international law? Aren’t all Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land? The answer to the last two questions is yes, but the…

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  • What makes Palestinian security officials turn on Israelis?

    The reality in the West Bank has pushed some Palestinians to enforce an occupation against their own people. On Sunday morning, 34-year-old Amjed Sakari, a member of the Palestinian security services, drove up to an Israeli checkpoint reserved exclusively for Palestinian Authority personnel. When asked to produce his ID, he stepped out of the car and opened fire, wounding three Israeli soldiers. In response, the IDF put Ramallah, the political and financial capital of the West Bank, under near-total lockdown. [tmwinpost] The driver and bodyguard of the Palestinian chief prosecutor, Sakari is only the second member of the PA security…

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  • Stop asking whether Israel is Jewish or democratic

    This isn’t a choice between 'Jewish or democratic' — the only question is whether Israel can still become a true democracy. For some years, the political center-left in Israel has committed itself to the idea of a Jewish and democratic state. For these mostly secular and traditional people, “Jewish” used to mean some sort of cultural character, and democracy meant free and fair elections. This political camp is deeply committed to the balance between those two ideas and believes that when one overtakes the other, we are lost. [tmwinpost] Thus if Israel is too “Jewish,” it risks becoming a halakhic…

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  • This is how settlers take over Palestinian land

    From audacious fraud and forgery to military seizures for ‘security needs’ and the ‘public good’ to dusting off antiquated Ottoman laws, the Israeli settlement enterprise has no shortage of tools for taking over Palestinian land in the West Bank. By Dror Etkes On February 9, 2004, Abdelatif Hassan Samarin, a resident of the West Bank village of Burqa, just a few miles east of Ramallah, woke up before dawn. After his morning prayers, Samarin drank two cups of sweet tea with mint, meant to combat the morning chill of winter, packed some clothing into a suitcase that his son —…

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  • Airbnb lets you vacation in illegal West Bank settlements

    Fancy a vacation with breathtaking views of the Holy Land? Airbnb will let you rent out luxurious cottages atop barren hilltops, making no mention of the fact that they are in settlements on occupied land. By John Brown* Airbnb, it has come to our attention, enables anyone to rent rooms and vacation homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Anyone who is not of Palestinian descent, of course. Without exception, the listings, some which appear to be luxurious cottages and others that are caravans sitting on barren hilltops, make no mention of the fact that they are in settlements on…

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  • Why is JNF UK throwing a Bedouin-themed party?

    The JNF has played a fundamental role in the displacement of the villagers of al-Araqib, an unrecognized Bedouin village that Israeli authorities demolished for the 90th time last week. Later this month the organization is holding a 'Bedouin Night' party in London. The Jewish National Fund in the United Kingdom (JNF UK) will be hosting a Bedouin-themed party catering to young professionals in London later this month. According to the invitation, the event — which is slated to take place on November 26th — will be held at a "secret Central London location" in a "unique Bedouin style venue," and will…

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  • Can we call it one state and be done with it?

    The debate over whether we are living in a single state is irrelevant – the answer is a resounding yes. The real problem is that freedom and equality are only extended to some of its subjects. “You’ve just crossed the Green Line.” I say it every time I take a friend or a group from abroad to visit Jerusalem, as we turned left from Jaffa Street down toward Damascus Gate in the Old City. Many of them do a double take, looking around for a sign or marker indicating the line’s existence – but there are none. The roads intersect, the…

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  • Why is a settler council reaching across the Green Line?

    Located inside Israel proper, a tent encampment belonging to residents of a yet-to-be-built Jewish town — meant to replace an existing Bedouin village — is being managed by a West Bank settler council. By Noam Rotem The state’s behavior in the saga of Umm el-Hiran, a small Bedouin village inside Israel’s sovereign borders, is in many ways reminiscent of the way it builds settlements on the other side of the Green Line, in the occupied West Bank. Expulsion orders, reneging on past promises, ignoring local leaders, ignoring the needs of the local population, and bringing in a Jewish population to…

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  • It's time to erase the Green Line

    If the Israeli government makes no distinction between Palestinians on either side of the Green Line, there is no reason for human rights activists to do so. By Neve Gordon Around 50 students sat on the concrete floor of a makeshift shack, absorbing the desert heat as they listened to Salim talk about the imminent destruction of Umm al Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages located 20 minutes from my apartment in Be'er Sheva. [tmwinpost] On May 6, the Supreme Court ruled that the villages could be destroyed, paving the way for the government to proceed with its plan…

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  • Fighting occupation must not blind us from remembering the Nakba

    A solution to the problem of the occupation will be worthless if we do not gain the courage to take apart the human food chain that has become entrenched in this land since 1948. On Sunday night, I spoke at the annual protest march — this time in Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv where it is usually held — calling for an end to the occupation of the East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, despite the protests' emphasis on the occupation that began in 1967, I spoke at length about the need to shift our focus…

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  • It's time for a one-state solution

    There is no use convincing the Jewish public to support the two-state solution, especially when over 500,000 settlers live beyond the Green Line and there is no guarantee that a Palestinian state will not be the source of terror against Israelis. The only way forward is to grant full equality to all. By Yonatan Amir Every time I say that the two-state solution is no longer realistic, and that we need to think about new approaches to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, center-left voters respond with anger, condescension and pity. They claim that this is a far-fetched idea, not to mention…

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  • WATCH: Police kill would-be attacker as he runs away

    Police shot and killed 22-year-old Khir Hamdan in the village of Kafr Kanna overnight on Saturday after he attempted to attack them with a knife. A security camera that captured the shooting show that Hamdan was fleeing from the officers when they shot him, which ostensibly means he posed no threat to the lives of the policemen at that moment. The video shows Hamda trying to attack a riot police unit (known in Hebrew as "Yassam") van that arrived in the village with what appears to be a knife. After several seconds, the policemen exit the vehicle and Hamdan backs…

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  • How does SodaStream treat its Palestinian workers when the media isn't looking?

    According to Palestinian workers at the West Bank factory, they were provided with meager and unsuitable food at the end of a day of fasting; those who complained were fired immediately. SodaStream: 'The termination process was done legally' By Niv Hachlili / Ha-Makom Wednesday, July 2, was especially tense. The funerals for the three murdered Israeli teenagers, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach had taken place the day before. Gangs of rioters were already roaming the streets of Jerusalem, and Ramadan was entering its third day. It was 8 p.m. and the night shift workers at the SodaStream factory in Mishor…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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