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Aida refugee camp

  • WATCH: Israeli troops taking away 7 and 8-year-old Palestinian boys

    Video shows armed Israeli forces attempting to drag the children into their jeeps in a West Bank refugee camp. Israeli Border Police officers were filmed dragging very young Palestinian children into their jeep in a West Bank refugee camp on Tuesday. The footage, provided by Israeli human rights group B'Tselem and shot by one of its volunteers in Bethlehem, shows the officers detaining the three boys, aged seven and eight. [tmwinpost] According to the Israeli human rights organization, the children were playing at the time near their home in Aida Refugee Camp in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.…

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  • In Bethlehem, even running is a political statement

    Despite their difficult circumstances, Palestinians in Bethlehem find ways to remind the world that Israel's occupation cannot exist forever. The organizers of the Palestine Marathon, held annually in the West Bank city of Bethlehem since 2013, recently announced that its next run will take place on Friday 1st April, 2016. [tmwinpost] The event – one my most memorable highlights of 2015 – is a thrilling experience. The thousands that gathered in Manger Square, where the run kicks off, included Muslim and Christian Palestinians, internationals from dozens of foreign countries, and even some Israeli Jews. Some came to support the marathon’s…

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  • Addressing the root of the Palestinian refugee problem

    Cash shortages at UNRWA distract from the wider issue: it is the lack of a diplomatic solution, not funding, that leaves Palestinian refugees vulnerable. In the end, it was the catastrophe that wasn’t. For a nervy few weeks it seemed a severe funding shortage would delay the school year for half a million children reliant on the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Then, a predictable last-minute rush of donations closed the gap and Palestinian refugee children went back to school across the Middle East. The reasons for the funding shortage seemed clear: deepening crises across the Middle East, in particular the Syrian…

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  • 'Israeli army increasing use of live fire at West Bank protests'

    Despite being illegal as a crowd control weapon, eyewitness accounts and a new report by B'Tselem document the Israeli military's increased use of 0.22 caliber live bullets against Palestinians at West Bank protests and clashes. Photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler and Oren Ziv/ Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Two years ago this week, 15-year-old Palestinian Salih al-Amarin was shot in the head by Israeli forces with live ammunition. He died several days later. Al-Amarin, a resident of Azza Refugee Camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, was taking part in clashes with Israeli forces stationed on the separation wall…

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  • A West Bank water crisis for Palestinians only

    When Israel's national water company operates more than 40 wells in the West Bank, appropriates Palestinian water resources and controls the valves, is it any surprise that priority is given to Israeli settlements? By Stephanie Westbrook Qarawat Bani Zeid is a small Palestinian town of 3,500 north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. There are no Israeli settlements in the immediate vicinity. The route of Israel’s separation wall does not run through the area and Qarawat is in Area A — under the full control of the Palestinian Authority. And yet, Israel’s military occupation and discriminatory policies manage to cut into…

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  • PHOTOS: Palestinians mourn woman who died after inhaling tear gas

    The death of a 45-year-old woman in Aida Refugee Camp exposes the ongoing abuse of crowd control weapons that all too often become lethal in the hands of Israeli forces.  Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/ Family and neighbors buried Noha Katamish the day after she died from the effects of tear gas fired into her home by Israeli forces in Aida Refugee Camp Monday. The 45-year-old mother of one daughter suffered from asthma, which likely compounded the choking effects of the gas grenade that was fired through her living room window as soldiers invaded the camp. Ma’an News…

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  • Girls throw stones, too

    Bethlehem's Aida refugee camp is located right next to the separation barrier and the massive Israeli checkpoint known as 300. As Aida is subject to frequent raids by both Israeli soldiers as well as Palestinian Authority forces, it sees regular clashes. A young woman who lives in Aida told me that last week, when Israeli forces entered the camp, she and other girls threw stones at the soldiers. Before the soldiers had a chance to arrest or shoot at them, the girls scattered, running into any house they could. The young woman told me that while an elderly woman let…

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  • PHOTOS: This tear gas brought to you by the U.S.A.

    Text by Ryan Rodrick Beiler On the same day that Bethlehem's minister of tourism noted that the US government provided $400,000 to decorate the city for Christmas, local activists brought a few more US-sponsored ornaments to show to visitors in this West Bank town at the height of its tourist season. The activists delivered used tear gas grenades — that had been fired by Israeli forces at Palestinian youth less than two kilometers away in Aida Refugee Camp that same day — and hung them on a tree in Manger Square. One activist from Aida Camp was arrested for his participation in…

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  • Details emerge of Palestinian photographer's brutal arrest

    Palestinian photographer Mohammad Al-Azza was arrested earlier this week. He had spent months evading the same Israeli forces that had shot him in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet last April while he was covering an incursion into Aida Refugee Camp, where he lives. Journalist Amahl Bishara provides this detailed account of the ordeal Al-Azza and his family faced the night soldiers broke into their home: On it went, for over an hour, until the soldiers decided to search one room for a third time. Nisreen was stunned to see soldiers throw up the bed and find Mohammad al-Azza. Immediately, they began kicking him…

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  • PHOTOS: Israeli troops shoot Palestinian photographer in the face

    WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES Israeli soldiers target a Palestinian photographer who was taking pictures of them invading Aida Refugee Camp, shooting him in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet.  At about 5:30 p.m. Monday, Israeli soldiers entered Aida Refugee Camp through a gate in the separation wall dividing Rachel’s Tomb from Bethlehem. There were no clashes at the time, and their presence in the camp was not provoked, but was itself a provocation. Mohammad Al-Azza began photographing the advancing soldiers from the second-floor balcony of the Lajee Center, a children’s center near the camp entrance where he has long volunteered in…

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  • IDF busy classifying different types of bullets while children are being shot

    The IDF long ago banned the use of .22 caliber bullets for crowd control, but appears to have been used to shoot at a 13-year-old Palestinian boy earlier this week. The doctor treating him claims it was a dum-dum bullet, an expanding bullet illegal under international law. Mohammad al-Kurdi, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy from the Aida refugee camp just outside Bethlehem, is lying in the intensive care unit of a Beit Jala hospital due to internal injuries he suffered from IDF fire on Monday. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit would not confirm the exact incident in which Mohammad was shot, but…

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