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west bank

  • Abbas just shot the Palestinian cause in the foot

    He needs the world to win independence for his nation, and in the eyes of the world, Hamas, with whom he just joined forces, is anathema. I’m truly hoping that there’s some deep strategic genius on Mahmoud Abbas’ part that I’m missing here, because I keep turning it around and I can’t escape the impression that he has shot the cause of Palestinian independence in the foot by signing a reconciliation agreement with Hamas. And just when the Palestinians seemed ready to go on the march. The world, including even Washington, blames Israel for the failure of the Kerry peace…

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  • Getting the facts straight on law enforcement in the West Bank

    Law enforcement in the West Bank is a complex topic. Those who attempt to analyze it better get the background right. In his recent piece for the new, explanatory journalism website Vox, Zack Beauchamp attempts to analyze some figures on law enforcement in the West Bank, obtained by The Associated Press. He divides the number of arrests of Israeli citizens and Palestinians in the occupied territory by the size of each population, and reaches a surprising outcome: it is Israelis that are more frequently arrested than Palestinians, not vice versa. To his credit, he does point out that "[i]t's unlikely…

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  • 'Dad's in prison': A young Palestinian woman speaks

    I teach writing at a Palestinian university in the West Bank. Several of my students have been gracious enough to share their experiences with +972, albeit anonymously. This is the first of four short essays. It was a sunny day. I woke up at six o'clock to get ready for my new life because it day was a big day; it was my first day of college, so I was super excited and nervous at the same time. I wore my new clothes and asked mom for her blessing. When I arrived at the college I took some lectures and…

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  • Complicated justice: Must occupation be the litmus test for the Left?

    While many remember Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, who passed earlier this month, for concluding that there is no occupation of the West Bank, Ofer Sitbon says we must see Levy as an activist judge with a strong sense of justice for the underprivileged. By Ofer Sitbon Everyone had their own Edmund Levy. Since passing away at the age of 72 two weeks ago, the former Supreme Court justice has received myriad obituaries highlighting his extraordinary judicial personality. There were those who longingly emphasized his ruling regarding Israel's disengagement from Gaza, in which he wrote unprecedented political lines in Israel's legal…

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  • A Palestinian has been killed every 4.2 days in 2014

    Fourteen-year-old Yusef a-Shawamreh, who the IDF killed one week ago in the southern West Bank, was not vandalizing the separation barrier when he was killed, but was crossing it to pick plants on his family's agricultural land, B'Tselem reported Wednesday following its own investigation. According to the report, a-Shawamreh was shot when he and two friends, Zahi a-Shawamreh, 13, and al-Muntaser Beallah a-Dardun, 18, were going through a wide gap in the fence that has existed for at least two years; it is safe to say the IDF has known about the gap in the fence. The two surviving youths told…

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  • Israel’s ‘war between wars’ backfires

    A self-fulfilling prophecy is playing out in the north. After nearly eight years of quiet, Israel’s northern border got stormy over the past week. The culmination of the tit-for-tat violence was a bomb placed on the border with Syria that wounded four Israeli soldiers, one seriously, which was followed by an Israeli air strike on a Syrian military base that killed a soldier and wounded others. Amos Harel, Haaretz’s military affairs correspondent, wrote the following: There has been no such series of events in the north since the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The pace is starting to resemble the…

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  • Scarlett Johansson isn't naive: She prefers profits to human rights

    By stating that the illegality of settlements is 'very easily debatable' and that there is no 'right or wrong side,' the actress has proven she is not naive at all - but is rather choosing money over humanitarian concerns. By default, she is enabling the occupation. In her first explicit response since the Sodastream-Oxfam controversy, actress Scarlett Johansson told The Guardian Sunday that she stands by her decision to sign as brand ambassador with the Israeli company that has a factory in a West Bank settlement, stating, "I was aware of that particular factory before I signed it." Reiterating her original defense…

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  • Two journeys back in time to a place called home

    Sixty-five years after his family fled their beloved village, a Palestinian refugee gets to realize his dream and see what is left of his fantasy. By Assia Ladizhinskaya “It's good to see you've come back home,” sings the radio ever since Arik Einstein passed away, “Home – it says it all.” “What does it mean?” asked Waffa, as we sat on the balcony of his sister’s house, standing white and stony on the highest hill of Beit 'Anan in the West Bank. "Everything," I replied. Waffa and I have known each other for a decade. A tragedy brought us together,…

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  • Photos of the week: Palestinians mourn after week of violence in West Bank, Gaza

    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.org                            

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  • WATCH: Hebron man faces arrest for waving Palestinian flag on his roof

    A Palestinian resident of Hebron in the occupied West Bank was forced by armed Israeli soldiers to pull down a Palestinian flag from his roof on Saturday after an Israeli settler tried to climb onto his roof and  remove it himself. Video footage released by B'Tselem (here below) was filmed by Shadi Sidr, who lives in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron, caught a settler on tape trespassing onto his property to try and remove his Palestinian flag from the roof, but getting caught in the barbwire fence and eventually forced to retreat. Several minutes later, five armed Israeli soldiers come…

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  • Poisoned by tear gas in the comfort of their own home

    An IDF night raid on the West Bank village Qaddum left three family members in the hospital. Chances are we'll never hear about it in mainstream Israeli news outlets. By Yesh Din (written by Yossi Gurvitz) The security forces have a problem with the village of Qaddum - we're not quite sure why. Perhaps it is because the residents hold weekly demonstrations against the occupation. Whatever the reason, it is clear that the security forces have decided to teach the village a lesson. Recently, a mysterious officer, who according to testimonies of the residents calls himself Captain Sabri, walks around…

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  • Photos of the week: Border Police bloopers

    This week: Border Police bloopers in Bil'in, asylum seekers in Tel Aviv, Palestinian activists launch campaign in the Jordan Valley, anti-Arab graffiti in Silwan, ultra-orthodox Jews against the draft in Jerusalem, a far-right politician hands out award for McCarthyism in Israeli schools, and solidarity outside Holot 'open' detention center.                        

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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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