For the vast majority of Palestinians in Israel’s military courts, keeping defendants in prison until the end of legal proceedings is the rule, not the exception. By Yael Stein A visit to Israel’s military court at Ofer Prison can be confusing. A sense of injustice pervades the place, but it is sometimes hard to put the finger on it precisely. This is because, for all intents and purposes, the Israeli military court appears to be a court like any other. There are prosecutors and defense attorneys. There are rules of procedure, laws and regulations. There are judges who hand down…Read More... | 13 Comments
the only democracy in the middle east
COGAT’s new Facebook page will not hide the fact that with every 'like' it receives, the occupation becomes more permanent in our minds. A few weeks ago, the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit launched its own Facebook page. COGAT, which operates under Israel’s Ministry of Defense, controls the blockade of the Gaza Strip through the land crossings; it allocates land and resources to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank; it prevents Palestinian development in Area C and oversees demolitions against Palestinian homes; it accepts or rejects Palestinian permits to enter Israel; and it facilitates the…Read More... | 17 Comments
The 'boycott law' won't put an end to the BDS movement — its real importance lies in the criminalization of all opposition to the occupation. A few months ago, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called for a boycott of businesses owned by Arab citizens of Israel. Such remarks — blunt racism directed at 20 percent of Israelis, regardless of their actions, opinions or political affiliations — are now well-embedded within the Israeli mainstream. Liberman himself is a legitimate coalition partner as far as either Labor or Likud are concerned. Meanwhile, the call to boycott those who profit from the occupation…Read More... | 9 Comments
Photos and text: Anne Paq, Basel Yazouri / Activestills.org Tens of thousands of Palestinians returned to their homes across the Gaza Strip on July 26, after a 40-hour humanitarian ceasefire was agreed to between Israel and Hamas. Over 200,000 Gazans have been displaced since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, due to Israeli airstrikes across the Strip. The ceasefire came to an end on Sunday morning after rockets exploded in Israeli territory overnight, and Israel's refusal to agree to an extension offered by Hamas. The airstrikes destroyed homes, UN schools and hospitals last week, leaving a trail of devastation and…Read More... | 10 Comments
An autopsy of Nadim Syam Nuwara, one of the two teenagers killed last month during the Nakba Day protests in Beitunia, reveals that that the teen was killed by live fire, according to a report by Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem. According to B'Tselem, Nuwara’s body has been well-preserved, making the point of entry and exit, as well as the route of the bullet, easily identifiable. Although the report is slated to be released in the next several days, doctors have rejected the possibility that the cause of death was rubber bullets, and are fairly confident that the bullet entered…Read More... | 8 Comments
Netanyahu is pushing a new bill to allow the force-feeding of Palestinian hunger strikers. The prime minister is in good company. American practices at the prison at Guantanamo Bay are giving Benjamin Netanyahu ideas. Earlier this week, a draft bill authorizing the force-feeding of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners passed the first of three readings in the Knesset. Of the roughly 300 prisoners presently fasting in protest of Israeli administrative detention, at least 70 are hospitalized around the country, shackled to their beds. If the bill becomes law, dozens of them may be forced to undergo the procedure. Netanyahu is personally pressing…Read More... | 26 Comments
This week marks 47 years since the start of Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights, the product of the Six-Day War that took place June 5-10, 1967. That is almost half a century, and nearly three-quarters of Israel's entire existence. Like every year, the tiny Israeli left plans to hold a protest march down the streets of central Tel Aviv. The demonstrations are never very large, at best several thousand attend (last year's demonstration barely reached 1,000 participants). But this year, for some reason, the police decided that even that is too much. According to…Read More... | 1 Comment
Between shootings, beatings and arrests, Palestinian journalists are subject to violence and restrictions that their Israeli counterparts generally avoid. Last week at a protest in the West Bank city of Beitunia, a group of Palestinian protestors attacked Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff and photographer Daniel Book. According to Issacharoff, he was told to leave the protest by Palestinian journalists, and when he refused he was surrounded by a group of angry Palestinian protesters, who he says wanted to "lynch" him. Eventually, he was escorted out of the area with the help of two Palestinian officers. Such incidents are depressing, especially for…Read More...
A couple of West Bank incidents from the last few days, and one final thought: 1. Israeli singer Ehud Banai, who was due to perform in the archaeological, Jews-only site of Susya in the south Hebron Hills, cancelled his gig following left-wing protests, then canceled the cancelation, stating that his decision (not to perform) “fanned the flames of hatred for nothing.” His performance is due to begin as I write this post. In his statement, Banai used the Jewish expression of Sinat Hinam (שנאת חינם, “hatred for nothing”), which in Jewish tradition refers to the internal quarrels that brought about…Read More... | 8 Comments
A country can, at least in theory, be 'Israeli and democratic.' It cannot and will never be 'Jewish and democratic.' Early into his second term as prime minister, as he was presenting his conditions for negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a new demand for any final status agreement, one which was absent from every previous round of talks, both formal and informal. Unlike his predecessors, Netanyahu wasn't satisfied with Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel, something the PLO did in 1988, and once again as part of the Oslo Accords. He wants them to…Read More... | 44 Comments
After a stormy night session, the coalition was able to pass the necessary amendments and election laws that would make it more difficult to topple a government and eliminate small factions. Left-wing and Palestinian members of Knesset protested the legislation in 'silent speeches.' Ultra-Orthodox MK Eichler spoke to the Arab public in Arabic, saying 'we are with you.' (video below) During the last session of the Knesset before its summer recess, the coalition was able to pass a first reading of the “governance legislation,” - an amendment to Israel's Basic Laws - which would make it more difficult for the…Read More... | 33 Comments
With arbitrary arrest and detention, forcible transfer, withholding of basic human rights, the imposition of birth control measures and now an arms-for-asylum-seekers deal which amounts to little more than human trafficking, Israel has become a theater of horrors for Africans. Sudanese immigrants pose in front of an enlarged photo of the Saharonim Prison, in which 2,000 African immigrants are being detained, during the International Refugee Day event in Tel Aviv on June 20, 2013. (Photo by: Keren Manor/Activestills.org) A report in yesterday's Yedioth Aharonoth (originally in Hebrew, and translated into English for their website) revealed that the Israeli government is on the…Read More... | 5 Comments
New database will allow immediate access by security forces, without court order, to the face scan and finger prints of every Israeli. After several delays, the Interior Ministry on Monday will commence the two-year pilot stage of Israel's National Biometric Database Program. When completed, the database will include the biometric information - a face scan and fingerprints - of all Israeli citizens, accessible without court order to the police and security forces, including the army, the military police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). In addition, a court could also order the transfer of individual biometric information, and even…Read More... | 12 Comments
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
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