I will never forget the evening my friends and I were sent to kill Palestinian police officers in a revenge attack. We went from soldiers sent to defend our families to murderers of innocent people. By O.K. A month has passed since we were informed of the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel. Ever since, there has been unrest in the region. Along with their families, we all hoped for good news, and mourned with them when the teens’ bodies were found. However, over the past few weeks our computer screens and our streets have been filled…Read More... | 19 Comments
Like the failed peace process or the policy of severing Gaza from the West Bank, the plight of the Bedouin in Israel is one more long-term problem that there is just no time to solve. Two Israeli sisters, 10 and 13, were wounded yesterday by Hamas rocket fire in the Negev. One of them is in critical condition with stomach wounds and underwent emergency surgery in Be'er Sheva, according to Israeli news. Maram and Atir Wakili are Bedouin; their grandfather Ibrahim, interviewed on Channel 10, explained that they live in far-flung areas where they are unable to hear sirens. And if…Read More... | 6 Comments
At the time of writing, Israeli air strikes and shelling had killed dozens of Palestinians since the start of Operation Protective Edge. There had been no deaths on the Israeli side. Some of those killed by Israel were Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants, others were civilians, including women and children. The Israeli army has been bombing the family homes of militants, which it claims were also being used for military purposes. Many of the children killed thus far were related to individuals whose homes were targeted. All too often, casualties on both sides of this conflict are remembered only as…Read More... | 17 Comments
I have witnessed two wars and even more escalations, and yet I have never been ready for the trauma. By Abeer Ayoub GAZA - It’s 2 a.m. and the electricity is off for the night. I can’t sleep because of the extremely hot weather and my two sisters are lying next to me checking the news on their cellphones. My sisters and I were discussing whether there will be another Israeli offensive again after the recent attacks between the two sides. We tried to dismiss the idea but everything taking place around us indicates it’s possible. We decided to sleep…Read More... | 9 Comments
Kidnappings led to the largest military operation in the West Bank since the Second Intifada. Israeli military forces on Monday located the bodies of three teenage yeshiva students who have been missing and assumed kidnapped for over two weeks. The bodies of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel were found buried in a field near Halhoul, in the Hebron area. The three, two of whom are 16 years old and the third 19, were hitchhiking home from their yeshiva in a West Bank settlement when they were believed to have been kidnapped. The Israeli army had surrounded the homes of two of…Read More...
Eleven days later, Israel’s latest operation has been a costly, disruptive rampage that seemingly aims to incite rather than stabilize. By Julie M. Norman Israel’s "Operation Brother’s Keeper" is not working. It is also exploitative, legally questionable, and strategically absurd. Launched 11 days ago, the operation has yielded no new information regarding the location or well-being of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, the three teenagers who were kidnapped while hitchhiking in the West Bank last Thursday night. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintains that Hamas is responsible for the abduction, yet no evidence has been made public, and…Read More... | 35 Comments
Despite Netanyahu's claims of 'self-defense,' testimony by Israeli soldiers suggests that mounting Palestinian casualties are the result of intentionally provocative tactics. Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz and Oren Ziv/Activestills.org In response to the mounting numbers of Palestinian deaths, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered the excuse that Israeli military action in the West Bank “entails a certain friction with the civilian population,” and that “we have no intention of deliberately harming anyone but our forces are acting as necessary for self-defense and from time to time there are victims or casualties on the Palestinian side as a…Read More... | 14 Comments
Since the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers from a hitchhiking stop in the West Bank on June 12, 2014, the Israel Defense Forces has been operating all over the Palestinian territories, in Areas A, B and C. The following list attempts to provide some basic statistics on the toll it has been exacting. While Israeli media is portraying the operation as highly restrained, these numbers show the deep effect it has on the Palestinian population as of June 20, 2014. *Some numbers provided are estimates due to the difficulty in confirming exact numbers. Number of kidnapped Israeli teenagers: 3 Number…Read More... | 29 Comments
Providing context may be taboo at a time when the entire country is focused on the fate of three kidnapped Israeli teens, but it is part and parcel of the story. Since news broke Friday of the alleged kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers who study in a West Bank yeshiva north of Hebron the night before, media outlets and social media users have been gripping at straws to publicize new information on what has quickly become a national tragedy dominating Israel's public discourse. The kidnapping and reactions to it, however, cannot be viewed in a vacuum. The Israel Defense Forces…Read More... | 52 Comments
Adam Verete, the Israeli high school teacher who almost lost his job in January due to complaints by a student that he expressed "left-wing" views in the classroom, was fired by the school on Sunday. According to reports in Israeli media, the ORT school in Kiryat Tivon notified Verete that he was being dismissed due to budget cuts, which include cutting the subject he was teaching: Jewish thought/philosophy. Other teachers are reportedly being fired and some are having their hours scaled back due to the budget constraints. Back in January, Sapir Sabah, a student identified with the extreme right in…Read More... | 7 Comments
The raging debate about the death of the Beitunia teens will become eternally self-referential as each side pumps up its own greater narratives. Herein lies perhaps the greatest victory for the stronger side. Two Palestinian teens were killed last Thursday, Nakba Day. Until yesterday, it was also true that the Palestinian teens were shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces. There is excessive documentation – eyewitnesses, news outlets, still photos and 12 hours of video from the security cameras monitoring the shack-like structures where they were shot, owned by a private Palestinian. A week later, the IDF embraced different facts. It…Read More... | 44 Comments
Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Just about every article covering the social media meme supporting the Israeli soldier caught on video cocking and aiming his gun at Palestinian youths in Hebron includes a line something like, "soldiers are tired of having their hands tied" when dealing with Palestinians. To help relieve any confusion, this is what having your hands tied looks like: But wait for it--this sick joke has a punch line. As The Times of Israel reports: 'The IDF regrets the erroneous reports on the punishment of the soldier and emphasizes that his imprisonment stemmed from violence…Read More...
The Israel army almost automatically rejects building permits for Palestinians in 60 percent of the West Bank. One of the least sexy aspects of the conflict, a new court case aims to challenge the discriminatory regime of building permits and planning. The Israeli High Court of Justice on Monday will hear a petition asking to restore planning rights in Area C of the West Bank to Palestinian local and district planning committees, which were abolished by the Israeli military in 1971. The petitioners, local Palestinian leaders and Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations, hope to give Palestinians a say in…Read More... | 2 Comments
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UN shelter shelled. Reports of 'multiple dead and injured' http://t.co/qstwXTZVZL by @samwithaner
Palestinian SodaStream workers fired after complaining of receiving too little food to break Ramadan fast http://t.co/UXgo94qoKg
Israel during wartime: Loving our soldiers to death http://t.co/mda4598bZ5
RT @bencnn: BREAKING: Medical services reporting at least 30 dead in school where 1000+ had taken refuge in Bait Hanoun. +200 wounded. #Gaza
RT @haaretzcom: 10 killed in shelling of #UNWRA school in #Gaza, #Hamas says http://t.co/0E6pUAVcZh
Another week of violence in Israel and Gaza captured by @activestills http://t.co/EG7OllKvW1 http://t.co/zt0SqyV2EM
A ceasefire remains evasive, as the Palestinian death toll passes 700 http://t.co/5VfQuNb9zh