In the village of Salem, as elsewhere in the West Bank, Palestinians are forced to harvest their olives according to the whims and restrictions of Israeli authorities. Photos and text by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org As every year in October, Palestinian families in the West Bank head to their groves in order to begin the olive harvest season. The harvest for any given family might take a few days or several weeks depending on the number of olive trees they have. In the village of Salem, near Nablus, the daily olive harvest routine is for families to go out at 6:00 in…Read More... | 34 Comments
The olive harvest is historically a period when settler violence against Palestinians and their trees increase. The name of a local settlement from which two youths were arrested last week is spray painted onto the mosque's wall. A West Bank mosque was set on fire and vandalized early Tuesday morning in what on the surface appeared to be a hate crime attack by Jewish settlers. A local Palestinian official, Hamza Dereya, said that Israeli settlers entered the village of Aqraba before dawn, according to official Palestinian news agency WAFA. The vandals set fire to the village’s mosque and spray painted…Read More... | 7 Comments
Gaza is unlivable and Tel Aviv is surreal. Then there's all the rest. I spent today at a meeting of Israelis and Palestinians in East Jerusalem, planned well before the current escalation. Around 7:30 a.m., I was showering when sirens went off, followed by three low booms. Since the shower is about the only comfortable place in the sticky coastal area these days, I didn’t move. It no longer seemed interesting enough to post on social media. At 8:30 a.m. I picked up two colleagues and we drove 38 miles (60 kilometers) from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. With a bit…Read More...
In an attempt to downplay the severity of nationalist crimes by Israeli citizens, the media refers to the offenses as 'graffiti.' Here are the facts – and it’s not just graffiti. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din In recent weeks the “Hilltop Youth,” Israeli citizens in general, and their lobby in the Knesset and the media have been experiencing a sense of crisis. The events surrounding Yitzhar and the comments by a resident of the settlement justifying attacks on soldiers have put them on the defensive. In their responses in online comments and in sympathetic articles, they have presented the argument that “Price…Read More... | 2 Comments
On the occasion of 10 years since the founding of Breaking the Silence, a former IDF soldier talks about how he came to understand the immorality of the mission his country sent him on, and Israeli society’s silence surrounding it. By Shay Davidovich The drive down Highway 5, heading east into the Occupied Territories, can be deceptive. The wide road and pastoral landscape almost succeed in obscuring the barbed wire fences and heavy military presence. I know this road quite well. It leads to the settlement of Ariel, where I grew up and lived most of my life. Much of…Read More... | 110 Comments
Those who care about ending the occupation, in Israel and outside it, are faced with real, difficult choices. I believe these choices matter. That is why I oppose BDS. Larry Derfner's recent article in support of BDS is well-written, passionately argued and compelling. Nonetheless, I find myself in strong disagreement with its key assertions and conclusions. As I see it, the article rests on the following argument: first, the evacuation of settlements necessary to end the occupation would be very difficult for Israel. Second, Israelis do not currently incur any significant cost for the continuation of the occupation. Third,…Read More... | 66 Comments
A group of 10 settlers assaults two Palestinian farmers, with IDF troops standing by. Just another day of occupation. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz The media is in the habit of reporting "price tag" attacks: they're rather easy to report. There's often arson, and the arsonist generally leaves a clear message. It's very photogenic and allows the common Israeli to dismiss those nutcases who use wild violence, not orderly violence like the army does, mutter something about the government being unable to deal with them, and move on. Those who are familiar with the subject of settler violence,…Read More...
In 1994, the Israeli military responded to a massacre by a Jewish settler by restricting the movement of Hebron's Palestinian residents. Two decades later, the restrictions are more severe and some of Israel's most extreme settlements continue to grow in the heart of the West Bank's largest city. Photos by: Anne Paq, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Yotam Ronen, and Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Twenty years ago, on February 25, 1994, American-born doctor and Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein walked into Hebron’s al-Ibrahimi Mosque and opened fire with his military issued rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers and injuring 125. Goldstein himself was eventually overcome…Read More... | 7 Comments
On Saturday morning, Israeli Ta'ayush activists accompanied Palestinian residents of the village of Shweika in the South Hebron Hills to their grazing and farm lands in a valley near the illegal Eshtamoa outpost. According to Guy, a veteran activist and documenter, settlers and Israeli soldiers have been obstructing or preventing access to the land in recent weeks, despite the fact that Israeli authorities recognize the valley as private Palestinian land and have restricted any Israelis from entering it. Just before 11 a.m., 10-15 settlers came down from the outpost into the valley - most of them with their faces covered…Read More... | 43 Comments
Unlike any other aspect of the occupation, settler violence is something nobody outside the radical fringe in Israel will defend. This, alone, they’ll denounce. And yet, nobody -- in Israel or internationally -- has found the political will to put a stop to the decades-long phenomenon, even when the victims are U.S. citizens. By Larry Derfner Photos by Mareike Lauken, Keren Manor and Activestills.org Kamal Shaban, a farmer in the West Bank village of Sinjil, is watching workmen repair a local family’s house that had recently been firebombed by settlers in the middle of the night, forcing the parents and five…Read More... | 49 Comments
IDF soldiers do not use any crowd dispersal means to stop settlers throwing stones toward Palestinians in the West Bank village of Burin; several reportedly injured. Over 20 masked settlers armed with slingshots invaded the West Bank village of Burin on Tuesday afternoon, a field worker from human rights organization Yesh Din reported. The settlers, some of whom appear to be minors, hurled a large amount of rocks at Palestinian residents who were working on a house on the edge of the village. This area has been attacked by settlers many times in the past. In the photo above, Israeli…Read More... | 21 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
The West Bank Palestinian village of Urif is no stranger to incursions and attacks by Israelis - both military and civilian. Most of the time, however, the two come separately. A series of videos released by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem on Wednesday show what appear to be masked Israeli settlers entering the Nablus area village and throwing stones on Monday. According to B'Tselem witnesses, they threw the stones toward a Palestinian school, all while being escorted by Israeli soldiers. The following video is a compilation of four sequential video clips. They can be viewed separately here: 1, 2, 3,…Read More... | 5 Comments
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