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Israel to pay photographers attacked by IDF soldiers in Nabi Saleh

Two photographers, one Israeli and one Palestinian, were attacked and had stones thrown at them by Israeli officers and soldiers in 2015. Despite sending one the officers to jail, the state had said the journalists ‘led a riot,’ a claim it retracted as part of the settlement.

Israel has agreed to pay compensation to two photojournalists who were attacked by two Israeli soldiers, including a commissioned officer, in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh four years ago. The state had initially claimed that the pair had led violent riots that day, despite clear video evidence to the contrary, first published by +972 Magazine, and despite the fact that the army convicted and punished the two officers involved back in 2015.

As part of the settlement, the state has retracted its claims that the two were involved in any riot.

That day, on April 24, 2015, two photojournalists, Israeli Haim Schwarczenberg and Palestinian photographer for AFP, Abbas Momani, were covering the weekly anti-occupation protests in the village at the time.

In a video of the event, first published on +972 Magazine, a soldier can be seen throwing a stone at the two photographers as they attempt to comply with soldiers’ orders to leave the area.

As he walked away, an officer ran after him and pushed Schwarczenberg to the ground. When he got up and moved further away from them, the officer threw another stone at Schwarczenberg and the AFP photographer.

Schwarczenberg told +972 Magazine and Local Call at the time that he was standing on a hill photographing Palestinian stone throwers when Momani told him to get close to the ground because soldiers were shooting live bullets at the stone throwers.

“One of the soldiers suddenly appeared from behind us and shouted, ‘get out of here before I shoot you’,” Schwarczenberg said at the time. “Abbas and I got up to go but then the soldier shouted, ‘lay down!’, and pointed his weapon in our direction [at the stone thrower behind us].” The stone thrower escaped.

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“At that point [the soldier] began pushing me and Abbas, another soldier joined him and threw a stone at us that didn’t hit me,” he continued. “Right after that he threw me and my cameras to the ground.”

The day of the incident, an Israeli...

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Meretz facing internal pressure to become Jewish-Arab party

As the Zionist left struggles to stay relevant, some members of Meretz are proposing a new way forward.

Top members of the Zionist left-wing Meretz party are trying to transform their party into one based on full Jewish-Arab partnership, just a month after it passed the election threshold thanks in large part to increased support from the Arab vote.

The demand, put forth by an internal Meretz group known as the Forum for Jewish-Arab Cooperation, calls on the party leadership to either formally join with Hadash-Ta’al — a union of the Arab-Jewish Hadash party and Ahmad Tibi’s Ta’al party — or transition into a fully-fledged Jewish-Arab party with an Arab party chairperson alongside a Jewish one.

Meretz received more than 30,000 votes from the Arab sector in the last elections, after MK Issawi Frej and Ali Salalha were voted into the party’s top five in the primaries. Many credit the Arab vote for pushing Meretz past the election threshold. Now some party members want to make the union official.

At a meeting of the Forum for Jewish-Arab Cooperation held at the end of April, members passed a motion demanding the party immediately establish a joint Jewish-Arab parliamentary faction between Meretz and Hadash-Ta’al, which would also be open to all left-wing parties. The meeting included 40 Meretz members, including Frej, former MK Mossi Raz, prominent human rights attorney Gaby Lasky, and longtime party activist Nir Cohen.

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The motion, published in Arabic and Hebrew, also calls for internal changes inside the party should the unification motion with Hadash-Ta’al fail to pass. “The Forum will present an amendment to the constitution at the party conference to define Meretz as a Jewish-Arab party,” according to the motion’s wording. “This definition will include two chairpersons, one Arab and one Jewish, in every official party institution, including the party leadership, as well as an obligation that any official publication on behalf of Meretz be published in both Hebrew and Arabic.”

“We are opening the ranks to holding conversations and examining possibilities,” said Frej, who won the fourth spot on the Meretz parliamentary list in its last primaries. “I cannot dictate how far we will get, but the basis [of the party] should be Jewish-Arab so that we include everyone who views this partnership as the basis for a shared future of hope.”

“Meretz is in a difficult position politically, and its...

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Court overturns Palestinian's incitement conviction over poem

Dareen Tatour sat in prison and was put under house arrest for a poem she published on Facebook. Now an Israeli court has decide to partially overturn her conviction.

An Israeli court partially overturned the conviction of Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour on Thursday, ruling that a poem she wrote, which landed her in prison last year, does not constitute incitement to violence.

The Nazareth District Court accepted an appeal by Tatour, who spent four months in prison and nearly three years under house arrest for a poem she wrote during the so-called “Knife Intifada” in 2015. The court accepted that the poem, “Resist My People, Resist Them,” which she published on her personal Facebook page, did not constitute incitement, despite the discomfort it might cause the public. Meanwhile the court let stand her conviction over two other social media posts, which included support for Islamic Jihad, a proscribed group.

The court also recognized Tatour as a poet, as she published the poem under her Facebook page titled “Dareen Tatour the Poet,” which she used until it was shut down following her arrest. Tatour did not appeal her sentence, which she has already served.

“This verdict is important because it tells the authorities not to interfere in creativity, not interfere with art,” Tatour’s attorney, Gaby Lasky, said after the hearing. “We are free, thinking people and your job is to allow creativity and expression, not make us censor ourselves and constantly fear persecution.”

“There is no doubt that Dareen’s case, along with others, is proof that we are entering a dark era for freedom of expression,” Lasky added.

Tatour was arrested in October 2015, after which she spent three months in jail before being placed under house arrest for nearly two-and-a-half years. Her house arrest, which began in January 2016, included various restrictions. At first she was held at her brother’s home who lives in Kiryat Ono, a suburb of Tel Aviv. Only after a legal struggle was she permitted to return to her parents’ home in Reineh. Her family was forced to disconnect the internet at home and Tatour was forbidden from using a computer. For months she was forced to wear an ankle monitor.

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She was convicted in May 2018 of incitement to terrorism and violence and sentenced to five months in prison. She was released on September 20, 2018.

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Hundreds in Tel Aviv mark year since Gaza border killings

Israelis and Palestinians commemorate a year since Israeli troops killed over 60 Palestinian demonstrators in a single day during the Great March of Return. Some protesters call to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Tel Aviv.

Hundreds of Israeli and Palestinians marched in Tel Aviv on Tuesday to mark a year since Israeli troops shot dead over 60 Palestinians and wounded thousands more on the Israel-Gaza border as part of the Great Return March.

The Great Return March, which began in March 2018, included mass protests on the Gaza-Israel fence. On May 15, 2o18, Israeli snipers opened fire on Palestinian demonstrators marking Nakba Day, killing 64.

Tuesday’s demonstration, which included a number of MKs from the left-wing Hadash party, set out from Habima Square and ended in central Tel Aviv’s Meir Park, and included a pre-recorded message from Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the central organizers of the Great Return March in Gaza. “I am addressing you from Gaza where 2.2 million Palestinians live in one of the most densely populated areas in the world,” Abu Artema said.

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“When the residents of Gaza decided to participate in the March of Return, they wanted to express their desire to live in dignity, and they wanted to say no to a slow death… that they deserve to live a normal life like everyone else. We were not armed, our only weapon was our belief in our rights, and we never posed any threat to Israeli soldiers.”

“For 70 years, the Palestinians have been fighting for freedom, a life of dignity and human rights,” Abu Artema said. “We cannot imagine that occupation and discrimination will continue forever, we are fighting to liberate our people, the Palestinian people, from occupation and suffering, and at the same time we are fighting to free Israelis from fear and from walls. This is our common struggle. Let us stand on the right side of history.”

The majority of the protesters refrained from mentioning the Eurovision Song Contest, currently being hosted in Tel Aviv, although a small group of independent activists did march with signs calling on artists to boycott the competition.

Left-wing and BDS activists have called on artists and broadcasters to withdraw their participation the in contest, calling Israel’s hosting of the contest a form of “culture washing” of Israeli human rights violations in the occupied territories.

Shahaf Weisbein, one of the Israeli activists behind the actions to protest Eurovision, said that the fact that the competition...

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What happens when you call a right-winger a 'fascist' in Israel

A known right-wing activist tried to sue left-wing academic Anat Matar for calling him an ‘arch-fascist’ on Facebook. It blew up in his face.

A prominent right-wing activist published a statement last week acknowledging that he shouldn’t file lawsuits to resolve political arguments, as part of an agreement to settle a lawsuit he filed. Left-wing activist Anat Matar, whom he sued for calling him an “arch-fascist” in a 2017 Facebook post, agreed to publish a statement expanding on all the reasons why she labeled him a fascist in the first place.

(Full Disclosure: Anat Matar is the mother of Haggai Matar, the executive-director of “972 — Advancement of Citizen Journalism,” the NGO that serves as the publisher of both +972 Magazine and Local Call.)

Shai Glick is the founder of an organization called BTSALMO (a riff on Israeli human rights organization B’tselem). Through BTSALMO, he has demanded that Israeli government ministers and heads of local authorities pressure venues to pull funding from or not host events by left-wing groups critical of the occupation.

The expanded text Matar agreed to publish as part of the settlement, explaining her decision to describe Glick as an “arch-fascist,” was taken from her reply to his lawsuit filed with the court. In it, Matar addresses the central role of “informants” in fascist regimes or regimes with fascist qualities, while explaining why a person who acts to silence others can be termed a fascist.

Following the hearing last Tuesday, Glick posted a status on Facebook: “On July 16, 2018 I filed a lawsuit against Dr. Anat Mater for calling me an arch-fascist. After a hearing and statements read in court, I understood that I should not file such lawsuits and that such arguments should be arbitrated in the public sphere.”

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“This man is a fascist, it’s just that simple,” said Michael Sfard, Matar’s attorney. “There are those who will say he is not — that is a legitimate opinion. He is an arch-fascist. This is the opinion of a person who specializes in the field. Mr. Shai Shamai Glick is a fascist on several levels: he is a fascist in the public political sense, and he is a fascist in his discourse.”

In her original post, published September 2017, Matar addressed attempts to get the state to pull its funding from the Arab-Hebrew...

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Left-wingers are busing Arabs to the polls in droves — for real this time

Playing on Netanyahu’s warning about Arab citizens of Israel voting in the last elections, a grassroots campaign raises tens of thousands of shekels to bring Bedouin from unrecognized villages to the polls — not quite in droves, but mini-bus by mini-bus.

On Election Day in 2015, Benjamin Netanyahu sent a video to his supporters warning that “Arabs are heading to the polls in droves, and left-wing organizations are bringing them in buses.” This Tuesday, his then-baseless exhortation will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

More than 1,400 Israelis have donated tens of thousands of shekels to a crowdfunded initiative to bus to the polls Bedouin citizens of Israel who live in unrecognized villages in the Negev desert (Naqab, in Arabic).

Get-out-the-vote efforts are par for the course for nearly every party in nearly every democratic country these days. In the United States, both major parties field volunteers to drive voters to the polls. Even Netanyahu’s warning about droves of Arab voters was a scare tactic meant to push his voters off the couch and to the ballot box. Turnout is almost always a deciding factor in elections, and motivation to vote is a driving force in turnout.

The campaign to bus Bedouin voters, however, was designed to solve a different problem. So-called unrecognized Bedouin villages, where tens of thousands of Israeli citizens live, do not have the most basic infrastructure most developed nations afford their citizens. They do not have running water, electricity, sewage, paved roads, public transportation — and no polling places.

Anyone living in an unrecognized Bedouin village who wants to vote must travel significant distances in order to do so in most cases. And without a car, it’s extremely difficult if not impossible to pull off.

The initiative, which is being fully funded by a crowdfunding campaign run by “Zazim,” an Israeli grassroots organizing group akin to MoveOn, and the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages of Negev, is expected to bring between 6,000 and 10,000 Bedouin voters to the polls on Tuesday.

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According to Zazim’s website, as of Sunday morning the campaign had raised enough money to hire at least 40 mini-buses and all-terrain vans that can ferry as many as 15 voters at a time between their villages and polling places.

“A high percentage of people in unrecognized villages don’t show up to...

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Germany puts BDS activists on trial for disrupting Israeli MK

Two Israelis and a Palestinian activist are standing trial for interrupting a talk by Israeli member of Knesset Aliza Lavie at a Berlin university in 2017. 

Three BDS activists, two Israelis and a Palestinian, are on trial in Germany after being charged with assault and trespassing during a lecture by an Israeli member of Knesset in June 2017. The activists, Stavit Sinai and Ronnie Barkan from Israel, and Majd Abusalama from Gaza, interrupted MK Aliza Lavie of the centrist Yesh Atid party as she spoke at Humboldt University in Berlin. The activists accused Lavie of having “the blood of Gaza” on her hands, and accused her of representing an “apartheid regime.”

Sinai, Barkan, and Abusalama succeeded in halting the lecture for several minutes, until both members of the audience and university security guards forcefully removed them from the room. Lavie’s lecture was titled “Life in Israel: Terror, Prejudice, and the Chance of Peace,” and delivered alongside Holocaust survivor Deborah Weinstein. The event was organized by the German-Israel Society branch in Berlin as part of a delegation of Yesh Atid’s youth chapter to promote Israeli hasbara on campuses across Germany. At the time of the presentation, Lavie was the chairperson of the Lobby for the Struggle Against the Delegitimization of the State of Israel.

Shortly after the talk began, the activists stood up and shouted, “While you take pride in LGBTQ rights in Tel Aviv, Israel is forcing Palestinians out of the closet,” and demanded Lavie speak about the “crimes you committed in Gaza.” Following the event, which was covered by both the Israeli and German press, the German-Israel Society filed a criminal complaint with the German authorities, who launched an investigation and charged the activists with assault and trespassing. Their trial opened on March 4 in Berlin, where over 100 supporters from various left-wing organizations, including Jewish ones, were in attendance.

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Charges of anti-Semitism were quick to follow. After the talk, Lavie published a statement in which she claimed her lecture quickly “turned into a violent and anti-Semitic demonstration of hatred by BDS activists, including Israelis who did not let me speak.” German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel published an article on the incident under the headline “Anti-Semitism in Berlin,” while Israeli pro-settler news site Arutz 7 emphasized that this was the same university where Jewish books were burned in 1933. Even German intelligence mentioned the incident in a report published last year, in which it established that the BDS movement is part...

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Israel trying to deport stateless Palestinian journalist from Jerusalem

Mustafa al-Haruf has spent the last 20 years living in East Jerusalem, where he has a wife, daughter, and works as a photographer. Now Israel wants to deport him to Jordan, where he has no family or legal status.

Mustafa al-Haruf, a stateless Palestinian journalist who lives and works in Jerusalem, has been in an Israeli detention facility for the past month, fighting a deportation order to Jordan, a country he has no ties to. Al-Haruf, born in Algeria to a Palestinian father, has lived in East Jerusalem since he was 12, and is married to a Jerusalemite Palestinian woman, with whom he has a small child.

His story is a complicated one. It also encapsulates the problematic situation for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, who are residents of the city, but not citizens of the State of Israel. Their residency can be taken away from them at any given moment — even if they were born or raised in Jerusalem.

Al-Haruf, 32, is the son of an Algerian mother and a Palestinian father from East Jerusalem. His family moved to East Jerusalem shortly after his twelfth birthday. Like many other Palestinians, it took years for his father to formalize his status, since he had been living abroad for so long. After finally receiving status, al-Haruf’s father attempted to formalize that of his children. Mustafa’s request was rejected since he was 18 and four months, and therefore too old according the Israeli authorities.

According to al-Haruf’s attorney, Adi Lustigman, who is representing him on behalf of Israeli human rights organization Hamoked, the family went to the Interior Ministry office on Jerusalem’s Nablus Road, which is known for its endless lines. “There were no procedures for a parent who wanted to register his or her children. Therefore, by no fault of their own, it took the family a long time to request residency for the children,” says Lustigman.

“In all my 18 years of work, I have not seen a single case in which Israel arrested someone who came to Jerusalem as a child for being undocumented. Mustafa has no other place where he can legally be,” says Lustigman.

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After being rejected by the Nablus Road office, Al-Haruf turned to the Interior Ministry’s humanitarian committee, which also refused to accept his request. Eventually, he was granted a B1 visa, most often given to foreign workers...

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German bank to determine whether Jewish peace group is anti-Semitic

Bank für Sozialwirtschaft says it will conduct a ‘scientific review’ of Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East after the group was accused anti-Semitism by a leading Jewish organization over its support for the BDS movement.

A German bank is trying to determine whether a German-Jewish group that supports Palestinian rights is anti-Semitic.

In December of last year, Bank für Sozialwirtschaft (Bank for Social Economy) said it would conduct a “scientific review” of German-Jewish group Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East after the latter was accused of anti-Semitism by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, one of the most well-known Jewish human rights organizations, placed the group at number seven in its annual “Top 10 Most anti-Semitic Incidents List” over its support for the BDS movement.

The list, published late last year, includes the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and the appearance of swastikas across university campuses in the U.S. It also lists Bank für Sozialwirtschaft for providing services to Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East, which operates in Germany. The bank decided to appoint an expert on anti-Semitism to determine whether the Jewish organization is in fact anti-Semitic.

The pressure on both Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East and Bank für Sozialwirtschaft, began in 2016, after the Jerusalem Post published an article on several Jewish German groups that had demanded the bank shut down the organization’s account over the latter’s support for BDS. The bank gave in and the account was shut down — the first time a German bank had shut down a Jewish organization’s account since the fall of the Nazi regime — only to be re-opened in 2017.

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The pressure from pro-Israel groups, however, did not cease.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list includes not only anti-Semitic incidents, but also organizations, figures, and political decisions — including Airbnb’s decision to pull listings in West Bank settlements, UNRWA’s activities in the Gaza Strip, and UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. According to the list, Bank für Sozialwirtschaft earned the number seven spot because it “insists on doing business with the radical ‘Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East,’ which strongly endorses boycotting the Jewish state.”

Jewish Voice for a Just Peace...

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14 Israeli citizens killed by police in five years, not a single indictment

Over the past five years, police have shot dead 14 Israeli citizens. The department tasked with investigating the killings has closed all but two of the cases. Almost all the suspects were people of color.

The police killing of 24-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli Yehuda Biadga last month sparked outrage among the Ethiopian community in Israel. Many believe that were it not for the color of his skin, he would still be alive today. Biadga, who suffered from PTSD as a result of his army service, was shot while wandering around his neighborhood in the city of Bat Yam while holding a knife. Instead of using a taser or firing warning shots, the officer shot Biadga in the head.

Local Call, +972 Magazine’s Hebrew-language sister site, examined all deadly police shootings in the past five years (the full list is below). An analysis of data, provided by the Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department (PIID) shows that almost all suspects killed by police in that time period were people of color. Since 2014, police killed 14 people inside the Green Line in incidents not categorized as nationalistically-motivated or terrorism related. Nine were Palestinian citizens of Israel, three had Mizrahi last names, one of Russian origin, and one Ethiopian.

According to the Police Internal Investigations Department, it has not filed a single indictment against officers involved in any of those deadly shootings. In two of the cases, the PIID did not even open an investigation, while in 10 incidents the department closed the cases without an indictment. Only two of the cases are still open — one of them is Biadga’s.

More broadly, the chances of a complaint against a police officer resulting in an indictment are very low. A report by the State Comptroller from 2017 found that of the approximately 6,300 complaints of violence that reached PIID in 2015, only around 200 (3.2 percent) officers were prosecuted.

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The PIID said that in all of the cases where officers killed suspects, it determined the officers acted legally in self-defense. While every police killing automatically leads to a PIID investigation, injury cases are usually opened after the victim submits a formal complaint.

“The police’s culture of violence and lies in the occupied territories trickles into Israel and affects Arabs first and foremost, but it also affects Ethiopians, Russians, and Mizrahim,” says...

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Palestinian company says ex-IDF chief stole footage of Gaza destruction for campaign video

Gaza-based ‘Media Town’ claims Benny Gantz, who many see as Netanyahu’s only credible opponent in the upcoming elections, cribbed aerial footage of destroyed neighborhoods in Gaza following Operation Protective Edge.

A Palestinian media company is claiming that former Israeli army chief and aspiring politician Benny Gantz stole their footage for a campaign video boasting of the death and destruction he wrought on Gaza in the 2014 war.

Israeli social media lit up last week after Gantz, who many view as the top contender to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming elections, published a number of highly controversial campaign videos on his Facebook page.

Between 2,125 and 2,310 Gazans were killed and over 10,600 were wounded — including 3,300 children — during Operation Protective Edge. According to UN estimates, more than 7,000 homes were destroyed, while another 89,000 homes sustained damage. Rebuilding costs were calculated to run from $4-6 billion over the span of 20 years.

“Media Town,” a Gaza-based Palestinian media company, is claiming Gantz used its footage for his election campaign without permission. The company published a post on Facebook accusing Gantz of stealing their footage and publishing it on his social media accounts. Media Town further claimed they were the only company to have flown a drone over Gaza during the war.

“It is difficult to see a video in which Gantz takes pride in destruction and killing,” said Ashraf Mashrawi in a phone call. “It has nothing to do with where I am from, it has to do with basic humanity. A moral person must want to build and create life, not the opposite.”

Mashrawi, who lives in Gaza, films videos in conflict zones the world, including in Turkey, Libya, Yemen, and Syria. “Our footage has been stolen before, but this is the first time that a political campaign has taken our footage without permission,” he says. “It’s not nice when your work is stolen, it’s copyright infringement. Anyone who respects other people’s labor must first ask us for permission.”

Media Town sent the original footage, which was first published by the BBC in 2014, to Local Call for verification.

Mashrawi says that Media Town works with many international outlets, but always under limited licensing, which forbids outlets from selling the footage to third parties. “Try to ask the BBC to buy the same video, they will immediately send...

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Activists shut down traffic on new West Bank 'apartheid road'

Activists say the highway, which separates Israeli and Palestinian traffic with an 26-foot concrete wall, will ‘strengthen Israeli rule, including by shutting out entire Palestinian areas.’

Dozens of Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists Wednesday morning blocked a highway many have dubbed the “apartheid road,” Route 4370 in the occupied West Bank, which separates Israeli and Palestinian traffic with an 26-foot concrete wall.

The activists managed to shut down the highway for 20 minutes before Israeli Border Police officers suppressed the demonstration with stun grenades and arrested two.

One side of the road, which stretches between Route 437 and Route 1 just east of Jerusalem in the West Bank, is designated for Israeli citizens and the other, separated by the concrete wall, for Palestinians. The Israeli side allows easy access to central Jerusalem, while the other side is designed to funnel Palestinians through an underpass, so as to not disturb Israeli traffic into the city.

“We came here to protest against yet another apartheid road,” said Sahar Vardi, one of the organizers of the protest. “There are a number of such roads that separate Israelis and Palestinians, but on this road you see a wall in the middle, symbolizing the polices of the occupation.”

The official reasoning for opening the road was to alleviate traffic for Israeli settlers commuting to Jerusalem, as well as creating a new way for Palestinians to travel between the northern and southern West Bank. According to Vardi, the true goal of the highway is to help the settlers and “strengthen Israeli rule, including by shutting out entire Palestinian areas.”

Palestinians and human rights activists say the highway is part of plan to create territorial contiguity between Jerusalem and its surrounding settlements, particularly the highly-contested E1 area, the 12 sq. kilometer area located between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. For decades, Israel has hoped to build up the area with settlements, connecting the settlement to Jerusalem and effectively bifurcating the West Bank.

“Every effort to improve the lives of Palestinians is done first and foremost for the sake of control and the settlers. This is what we are witnessing,” Vardi said.

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“This is a clear example of apartheid,” said Israeli activist Karen Isaacs. “Aside from the physical separation between Palestinians and Israelis, the goal is to annex this entire area to Jerusalem....

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Israeli activist who slapped Ahed Tamimi's prosecutor wants a political trial

Yifat Doron says she slapped the IDF prosecutor to defend her friend. ‘We are not punished the same way the Palestinians are for the same actions.’

A few minutes before an Israeli military court sentenced teenager Ahed Tamimi to eight months in prison, an Israeli activist, Yifat Doron, approached the military prosecutor, shouted “who are you to judge her?” and slapped the lieutenant colonel across the head.

Doron was released on her own recognizance just two days after being arrested for slapping the prosecutor in March of last year. Tamimi had been denied bail for four months while awaiting trial, also for slapping an Israeli soldier a few months earlier.

Ahed is Palestinian. Yifat is Israeli. Ahed was put into Israel’s military court system. Yifat —despite slapping a military officer in the occupied West Bank, just like Ahed — was charged in a civilian court inside Israel.

When Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, it applied military law to the territory. Technically, military law and the military court system have jurisdiction over Palestinians and Israelis alike in the occupied territory. In practice, a Palestinian and an Israeli who commit the exact same crime in the exact same territory are subject to different laws, different legal procedures, are tried in different courts, and are given different rights and protections.

Unlike Ahed’s slap, which was the subject of headlines around the world, and seemingly embarrassed the Israeli military establishment and national pride, there was no video documentation of Doron’s act.

Her trial, for assaulting a public servant under aggravated circumstances, began at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court last Tuesday. The prosecution is asking for prison time.

Outside the courtroom in Jerusalem last week, Doron said that she wasn’t trying to make a political statement when she slapped the Israeli officer last year: “The way I see it, this was in reaction to seeing my friend in distress.” Nevertheless, she added, what followed was an example of apartheid.

“We are not punished the same way the Palestinians are punished for the same actions,” she explained.

Doron is representing herself in the trial.

“Because the arrest happened in a political context, I have no interest in entering into all kinds of legal arguments,” she said of her decision to decline counsel. “I’m going to represent myself politically — I understand politics.”

The legal system is one of the primary tools Israel uses to oppress Palestinians, Doron added,...

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