During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israel grants hundreds of thousands of entry permits to West Bank Palestinians in order to pray in Jerusalem. It is estimated that as many as 1 million Palestinians entered Israel during Ramadan this year, many taking the opportunity to visit the beach and other sites they are normally forbidden from reaching.Read More... | 5 Comments
Why travel from Nablus to Ramallah only to get stuck at the Qalandia checkpoint for a couple of hours, pass through, take another bus to Jerusalem and then do all of it again in one day? What's the tradeoff for this humiliation? By Rafeeq Khazen Where are all the masses coming from? I asked myself as my eyes tried to cope with the great number of people heading east. Thousands of men, mostly bearded and wearing galabiyas (a traditional Arab garment) conquered the streets, some with pants underneath and some without, some leading one woman behind them and some with…Read More... | 5 Comments
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank who are normally barred from entering Israel got a glimpse of freedom during Ramadan as single entry permits were issued more liberally. Many also infiltrated without being caught. What does that tell us about Israel's security rationale regarding its permit regime and resumed construction of the wall? Frankly, it's quite hard to believe just how many Palestinians from the West Bank got the unique chance to visit Israel over Ramadan. Some went through the checkpoints with permits valid for just one of the holiday's Fridays. Haaretz reports that 300,000 entered Israeli…Read More... | 26 Comments
What could have been an inspiring display of purposeful collective action turned out to be the opposite. The Land Day commemoration at Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem was indicative of the state of the Palestinian cause, as supporters of different factions turned on each other in a ferocious rumble and the people were left protesting aimlessly. The annual demonstration, which takes place in different locations across the country, had a robust turnout at Qalandia but the lack of strong leadership and direction was noticeable. After the quarrel between supporters of Fatah, PFLP and Al-Mubadara (the Palestinian Initiative…Read More... | 13 Comments
More than 250 Palestinian and Israeli women and men were attacked by military forces at a demonstration at the Qalandia checkpoint. Several injuries were reported, including one woman who was hospitalized after being shot with a rubber-coated bullet. The demonstration started Thursday at noon, with some 200 Palestinian women marching from Ramallah towards Qalandia – the main checkpoint on the way to Jerusalem. Demonstrators chanted slogans and held tri-lingual signs linking the feminist struggle with the struggle against the occupation. The women were joined by an international delegation, including European Parliament Member and former Vice President Luisa Morgantini, and later…Read More... | 6 Comments
Across the West Bank, clashes took place between Palestinians and the Israeli military. Several people were arrested and injured and at least one Palestinian was killed. Clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli military erupted across the occupied territories over the weekend, from the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to the old city of Hebron, with scenes reminiscent of the start of the second Intifada. It is not exactly clear what caused the clash at the Al-Aqsa Mosque because of differing reports, however, violence ensued between Israeli forces and Palestinians inside and around the compound, with teargas entering the mosque. As news…Read More... | 4 Comments
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