Shattered televisions, clothes and food scattered everywhere, clogged toilets, walls covered in drawings, stolen jewelry. These are the scenes that awaited Palestinians in Gaza upon returning to their homes that were used as IDF military posts. By Alexandr Nabokov The devastation is total. Furniture is overturned, clothes are torn out of the closets and scattered around. Though I try to avoid it, I trample on them as I walk over broken glass, food scraps and cartridge cases. The walls are scribbled with Hebrew writing; large maps of the surrounding houses, along with guard schedules. I am inside a house that…Read More... | 22 Comments
In an overnight raid in the West Bank village of Qabalan, Israeli forces kill 24-year-old Palestinian Zakaria Al-Aqra and injure six others. They then bulldoze part of his family's house. Photos and text by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org At about midnight on August 11, the Israeli army raided the West Bank village of Qabalan near Nablus. As clashes erupted with the local residents, the military focused its operation in the eastern part of the village on a hill called Al Qantara. Locals reported that they heard fierce exchanges of gunfire at about 2:00 a.m. as the army surrounded two houses of the Al-Aqra…Read More... | 18 Comments
War brings out the best in Israel, and the worst. But it’s the worst qualities that allowed this war to happen in the first place, and that are preparing the ground for the next one. I’ve always thought, and still think, that if I were in real trouble somewhere, if I were being mugged in Miami, say, and I could choose the nationality of the nearest bystander, I would choose Israeli. They are brave, and they don’t hesitate to help someone in danger, even at risk to themselves. It’s a worn-out cliché, and I’ve found it to be very true.…Read More... | 11 Comments
This is the watchword in Israel today, no matter the price. Late last night (Monday), I was driving home from work and listening to the talk show hosted by Jojo Abutbul, who is sort of an old-time folk hero in this country – a Mizrahi Jew with down-to-earth wisdom. An Israeli common man. He speaks mainly to an older, Likud-oriented Mizrahi crowd, which is still very reflective of Israeli mainstream views, and is disproportionately represented in Sderot and some of the other towns near the Gaza border that have taken the brunt of Hamas’ rockets. Jojo Abutbul and his callers…Read More... | 41 Comments
There were non-lethal ways to preempt Hamas’ underground attacks, but the Netanyahu government rejected them all. Here is the current, ostensibly airtight rationale for whatever the IDF chooses to do in Gaza: armed Hamas militats are coming up out of tunnels that start in Gaza and end not far from kibbutz and moshav communities on the Israeli side. So if the IDF doesn’t go as far into Gaza as necessary to destroy the last of these underground passages, sooner or later Hamas will succeed in carrying out “catastrophic” terror attacks, as Netanyahu puts it. The army has stopped several of…Read More... | 57 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
This week: Families mourn six Palestinians killed by the Israeli army across the West Bank, clashes with stone-throwing youth; Palestinian and Israeli women protest occupation and siege on International Women's Day; African asylum seekers bring culture to the Holot open detention center; Israelis refuse to serve in the army; and settlers set their sights on a new building in Hebron. Photos by: Ahmad al-Bazz, Keren Manor, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Yotam Ronen/Activestills.orgRead More... | 2 Comments
The army admits its observers noticed the masked Israeli bandits descending on Qusra – and did nothing. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz A case of man bites dog: on Tuesday, January 7, in the village of Qusra, Palestinians united in order to defend themselves from a group of Israeli marauders, taking the latter captive, and turning them over to the authorities. The rare event drew significant media attention. However one point did not get the attention it required: The IDF told Haaretz newspaper (Hebrew) that "an observation post identified the settlers, some of whom were hooded, descending towards…Read More... | 6 Comments
Weeks after an Israeli couple is injured in a firebomb attack, soldiers and civilians arrive to cut down Palestinian-owned olive trees in what one settler news outlet is calling the army’s own ‘price tag’ attack. Israeli civilians accompanied by the military damaged or destroyed some 60 Palestinian-owned olive trees Monday in the West Bank village of Tuqu’. A headline on the Hebrew-language settler website Hakol Hayehudi stated: "The IDF does a 'price tag' of its own." Palestinian landowner Abed Rabo Jedua was among area residents who converged on the scene to confront the settlers, soldiers and presumed contractors cutting the trees. Israeli authorities…Read More... | 11 Comments
The reaction to this week's killings of two IDF soldiers showed that Israel's moral condemnation of deliberate civilian killings is a tactic, no more. The most powerful argument Israel makes in its campaign to paint the Palestinians as the bad guys and itself as the good guy is to point out that Palestinians deliberately kill innocent civilians, which Israel doesn’t do, at least not as policy. Although this claim conceals much more than it reveals (for example, that Israel doesn’t have to target civilians because its policy of aggression makes killing them inevitable), it is true as far…Read More... | 36 Comments
Something so basic, so normal, so human — like going home late from work, visiting family or a loved one in another town — becomes an overwhelming and frightful task in the face of the occupation. Last night, when I was headed from Ramallah to Bethlehem, I went through a checkpoint. As the service taxi I was on slowed down and approached the checkpoint, I saw an unusually large number of soldiers. There were two armored jeeps and a police car. I counted more than 10 soldiers. They were searching a small car. A man, presumably the driver, was on…Read More... | 8 Comments
Israeli teenager Natan Blanc was sentenced to a tenth prison term of 28 days for refusing to serve in the Israeli army last week. With the latest sentencing, he has been sent to prison more times than any previous conscientious objector in Israel. Earlier this year, supporters and activists held one of many regular support vigils on a hilltop overlooking the IDF's Prison 6, where he is currently being held.Read More... | 4 Comments
Just over a year ago I started filming for a web series produced by National Geographic. My goal was to highlight the conflicting narratives and the different points of view while inspiring hope. As Obama is visiting the region, I no longer believe that he or other leaders will bring an end to this conflict. It must be people who lead the leaders. However, I have found that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians are indifferent and ineffective. Indifference is the greatest enemy to peace and justice. In this series, I try to understand why this conflict is still going on.…Read More... | 29 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
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