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  • PHOTO: Settlers build Star of David on Palestinian land

    Settlers built a Star of David made out of rocks on private Palestinian lands in the village of Shweika in the South Hebron Hills on Saturday. The settlers, who live in the illegal outpost Eshtamoa near the village, built the Star of David in order to obstruct Palestinian residents' sheep from grazing, and as a crude way of marking territory. The army prohibits Israelis from entering the valley below the outpost since it is recognized as private Palestinian land. Therefore, the fact that they were able to build this giant Star of David indicates that the IDF is clearly not enforcing…

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  • WATCH: Settlers assault, throw stones at Palestinian farmers

    The villagers of Ash-Shuyukh have been trying to reach their lands for 10 years — each time they are attacked by settlers. When they arrived there on Saturday, Israeli activists had cameras ready. Settlers attacked a small group of Palestinian farmers from the village of Ash-Shuyukh who came to work their land near the settlements of Pnei Kedem and Metzad on Saturday. As can be seen in video filmed by an Israeli activist with Ta'ayush, a direct-action solidarity group, the settlers threw stones and physically assaulted the farmers while a group of soldiers stood between the two and attempted to…

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  • WATCH: Settlers assault Israeli in West Bank, tell soldiers to shoot

    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…

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  • WATCH: Police brutality amid settler attack against Palestinians

    On Saturday morning a handful of Israeli Ta'ayush activists accompanied the Awad and Jabarin families to their farmlands, located where the illegal outpost Mitzpeh Yair now stands. Upon their arrival, Israeli soldiers were already waiting for them with a closed military zone order. The 20-30 Palestinian residents, many of whom were children, were already spread out over the area when settlers who had arrived at the scene began attacking them. According to a Ta'ayush activist named Maria who was there, around 10 settlers attacked the Palestinians and the Israelis. They stole her camera and smashed it to pieces. When she screamed out…

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  • WATCH: IDF bars Israelis from joining Palestinian protest against settler concert

    Fifteen Israelis tried to join Palestinians in the West Bank village Susya to protest a concert for Jews only in the adjacent settlement, but only seven were able to make it there. The IDF stopped them several times on the way, claiming there was a military order prohibiting their presence. The seven who managed to make it to the protest were surrounded by 100 soldiers and border policeman.  Israeli singer Ehud Banai gave a concert Monday night to an exclusively Jewish crowd in the settlement of Susya in the south Hebron Hills, after initially canceling the gig due to left-wing protests.…

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  • WATCH: IDF arrests Palestinian brothers, Israeli activists while grazing herds

    IDF arrests two Palestinian shepherds, four Israeli activists in Um al-Kheir, after declaring the site a closed military zone. In the same West Bank village where the IDF recently demolished an outdoor toilet built for a disabled person, the army arrested four Israeli activists and two Palestinian residents Saturday in the south Hebron hills, for "entering a closed military zone." The younger of two brothers from Um al-Kheir was grazing his herd of sheep and goats near the village, east of Yatta, accompanied by Israeli activists from Ta’ayush before the six men were arrested around 12 p.m. on Saturday, according to activist…

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  • For West Bank protesters, legal knowledge is power

    Anyone who’s been to a checkpoint or a protest in the West Bank knows how arbitrary military rule can be. For the activist on the ground, some specific knowledge of the occupation’s byzantine legal framework can make a real difference. By Raghad Jaraisy Youtube is rife with videos of daily life in the West Bank – home demolitions, violent suppression of protests, unchecked settler violence, arbitrary arrests, etc.  But this video, from the organization Ta'ayush, is a little different. If other videos play out like action films, this one is more of a drama. No fisticuffs, no bulldozers, no tear gas or rubber bullets.…

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  • In South Hebron, 'new rules' are rather like the 'old rules'

    Security forces are targeting Israeli activists and Palestinian shephards in new ways in the South Hebron hills. It’s as if they'd decided to circumvent the whole irksome apparatus of the courts and to resort instead to brute force. It’s much simpler, and maybe more effective.  By David Shulman Today we have the New Rules. In some respects they’re rather like the Old Rules. The aim and sole rationale remain the same: dispossession, expulsion, taking more land. The army has, it seems, given up on its favorite device of declaring Closed Military Zones, week after week; perhaps the outright illegality of this practice ended…

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  • WATCH: IDF soldier screams at Israeli activists: 'You are worse than the Arabs'

    Israeli Ta'ayush activists who were accompanying Palestinian shepherds in the southern West Bank village Umm al Amad on Saturday were confronted by a soldier who lost his cool, to say the least. According to Guy, the Israeli activist who filmed the video below, this is private Palestinian land (the Otniel settlement is nearby) that the IDF and settlers routinely try and keep the Palestinian residents out of.  In the video below, the soldier can be seen first approaching the Palestinian shepherd, screaming in his face in Arabic: "You better watch it!"  Then Guy tells the soldier not to scream at…

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  • WATCH: Israeli activists detained for filming illegal settlement construction

    In the video below (filmed by an Israeli Ta'ayush activist on Monday April 1 and subtitled quickly by yours truly) a policeman approaches Israeli activists who regularly go to the South Hebron Hills (he knows all their names already) and informs them they are being detained. For what? For filming illegal construction at an illegal outpost in the area called Avigayil on a different day. That's right. This was not an April Fool's joke, but the way the law is actually being enforced by Israeli authorities in the West Bank. They ended up being held for over 5 hours and questioned…

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  • WATCH: IDF does not want you to see what occupation looks like

    According to Guy, an Israeli Ta'ayush activist and documentarian of occupation in the South Hebron Hills area of the West Bank - there has been an increase in incidents over the last month in which Israel Defense Forces soldiers have been preventing him and other Israelis from filming what goes on. In this 7-minute video, edited together from footage taken just over the last few weeks, between February 23 and March 9, IDF soldiers - as well as high-ranking officers - are seen blocking camera lenses over and over by shoving their own smart phones in front of them. This…

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  • PHOTO: Why is a Border Policeman shaking hands with a masked settler?

    The photo below was taken by an Israeli Ta'ayush activist on Saturday March 2 at 10:30a.m, in Umm al Amad, a Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills close to the Otniel settlement. Shepherds from the village were trying to graze their sheep when according to the activist, Border Police officers showed up and simply expelled them. Masked settlers then came around to join in the intimidation and harassment. They were not questioned by the security forces or asked to identify themselves, but rather made nice. Although the settlers did not attack anyone in this incident, just a week and…

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  • IDF evicts Palestinians from their land, arrests 15, including mother with baby

    The Israeli army arrested 10 Palestinians and five Israelis in the South Hebron Hills today (Saturday) while they were trying to reach Palestinian-owned land next to the illegal outpost called Mitzpeh Yair, in the southern West Bank. According to Guy, an Israeli Ta'ayush activist who filmed the video below, the Awwad family from Umm al Ara'is was accompanied by Palestinians from Susya and Israeli activists to try and reach their land, since in recent months the army has been increasingly preventing them from doing so. As soon as they got there, the IDF soldiers declared it a "closed military zone" for reasons…

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