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From Israeli elections to Palestinian mourning: A week in photos

Palestinians mourn youth killed by Israeli forces, activists resist house demolitions in the West Bank and separation wall construction in Jerusalem, and life goes on in Gaza. Activestills photographers present the stories of the week from their unique perspective.

A banner with the portrait of Salih al-Amarin, age 15, hangs from his home in Azza Refugee Camp in anticipation of his funeral, January 23, 2013. Salih al-Amarin was shot in the head with live ammunition by Israeli forces on January 18, 2013 during clashes in Bethlehem’s nearby Aida refugee camp. The exact time of his death is in dispute. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)


Palestinian women holding pictures of Sameer Awad, during a protest against the occupation, Budrus, Januay 18, 2013. Sameer Awad was killed by two bullets to the chest and two in the legs that were fired by Israeli forces near the Separation Wall in his village, Budrus, on January 15, 2013. (Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)


Bulldozers accompanied by Israeli soldiers demolished around 70 structures, among them: residential structures, animal sheds and other shelters in the area of Al Maleh and Al Mayta in the northern part of the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 17, 2013. (Photo by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/ Activestills.org)


Supporters of Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home gather at the party headquarters at the end of election day, January 23 2013. Jewish Home was able to capture 12 seats, and will likely be one of the more influential parties in the next coalition. (photo: Oren Ziv)


An Israeli soldier threatens to punch a Palestinian activist during a weekly nonviolent demonstration against the Israeli separation barrier, Al Ma’sara, West Bank, January 18, 2013. If completed as planned, the wall would cut off the village from its agricultural lands. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)


On election day in Israel, a live interactive performance challenges the concept of democracy and the legislative structure. The performance/intervention was conducted outside polls in Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv and involved the general public. January 22, 2013. (Photo by: Keren Manor/Activestills.org)


Next to the Israeli military terminal at the entrance to Shuafat refugee camp, a group of Palestinians and Israelis protest against the separation wall and the new permanent military terminal that divide more than 20,000 Palestinian Jerusalem residents from East Jerusalem. (Photo by: Keren Manor/Activestills.org)


Female Shas supporters look on during the party’s post-election celebration. Shas managed to capture 12 seats in the upcoming Knesset, two more than in the previous election. (photo: Oren Ziv)


The Freedom Bus ensemble performs in Fasayil Al Foqaa, Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 17, 2012. The people of Fasayil Al Foqaa shared personal stories about life under Israeli occupation. The Freedom Bus ensemble turned each story into a piece of improvised theater. The Freedom Bus, an initiative of The Freedom Theater, uses interactive theater and cultural activism to bear witness, raise awareness and build alliances throughout Palestine and beyond. (Photo by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)


Activists help rebuild a Palestinian house in Fasayil Al Wusta, demolished by the Israeli authorities a year ago. Jordan Valley, January 18, 2013. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)


Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich casts her vote in the 2013 Knesset elections. Labor received 15 seats in the upcoming Knesset, disappointing many supporters and surprising many analysts. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)


View of the Separation Wall and an Israeli military tower, burned a few days before during clashes between Palestinian youth and the Israeli army, Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem, January 19, 2013. The previous day, Salih al-Amarin, 15, was critically injured when he was shot in the head by the Israeli army in the camp. He later died of his injuries. (Photo by: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)


Deir al Balah refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, January 22, 2013. (Photo by: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

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    1. The soldier with the fist facing the seemingly calmer terrorists is very good.

      Always good to see the Freedom Bus.

      An impressive mix all around.

      Reply to Comment
      • Tomas

        And why did you assume that he’s a terrorist, may I ask? The guy is not armed and protesting the building of a separation wall (in his country).
        That unless you consider all arabs (or the ones who speak out to discrimination and apartheid regimes) are terrorists then I guess you have a problem of your own to deal with

        Reply to Comment
        • directrob

          That is the problem with this conflict, nobody recognizes irony in over the top comments or even sarcasm. Read a few more of his mails.

          Reply to Comment
          • Tomas

            Well this is the first time I read this blog so..

            Reply to Comment
          • Yes, I was being sarcastic, to show how broad the label “terroist” has become. On one comment on this site someone basically said that living in the Bank was a form of terrorism.

            Perhaps that soldier with the fist told himself he faced terrorism. Perhaps he had so much adrenalin going he didn’t think much at all and just didn’t want to make a mistake. Perhaps the two Palestinians were hoping he would see what he was doing.

            I see people trapped in labels, with no one letting them out. Except some Palestinians are finding a way out of the labels imposed on them.

            Reply to Comment
    2. We just launched a petition for the EU to work effectivily for a just peace and end the occupation. We admire the courage and the dignity of the Palestinian civilians. We join them in their search for peace and democracy.

      Reply to Comment
      • rsgengland

        Whilst you are organizing a petition against occupation, don’t forget other occupations such as, but not limited to
        TURKEY IN CYPRUS and

        Reply to Comment
        • I follow a few English-language Tibetan blogs. Never once have I seen any commenter respond to someone’s activism with, “I hope you don’t forget other occupations, such as…” Pointing at other injustices in the world on a blog specifically about Israel/Palestine is only a way for you to try and deflect criticism from Israel. It’s a tired cheap tactic, and also hypocritical, because the people who bring up Syria/Tibet/wherever else with such unflagging energy never seem to be involved in any practical activism for those places themselves. They’re only interested in them insofar as injustices there can be used as a smokescreen for Israel.

          Reply to Comment
          • rsgengland

            Israel is a Parliamentary democracy, and all the activists and the press are protected by the law.
            In the other occupations, the chances of you surviving your activism with your life are not great.
            That is the reason I brought them up.
            And actually it is totally relevant to discuss those other situations.
            Otherwise why are your lot always comparing Israel to ‘apartheid South Africa’ and worse.
            So please keep your charges of hypocracy etc under wraps.

            Reply to Comment
        • Tomas

          Lol, Millions of jews ethnically cleansed by arabs before and after 1948.. Strong words my man. 1- before 1948 jews were not ‘ethnically cleansed’, they actually lived side by side in what is called now palestine and other countries of the Levant (Lebanon, Syria etc). One example is the lebanese jews who used to live in my city, Beirut. Jews lived a better life here than the one they had in europe at the time. Actually what happened is that Arabs paid the price of European bigotry. They were ethnically cleansed in Europe, not in arab countries. Now what happens after 1948 is simple a reaction of what happened on 1948.

          Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        What is the exact definition of “just peace”?

        Reply to Comment