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Al-Aqsa

  • Rewriting the history of Hanukkah and intifadas

    In Hanukkah, we tell the story of a small, powerless people who, with religious zeal and courage, led a bloody guerrilla campaign against an occupying force and corrupt elite to assert control over the Temple Mount. By Yossi Bartal On Christmas Eve, Jews around the world began celebrating the eight-day Hanukkah festival. Family and friends will gather every evening before the hanukkiah, the nine-pronged candlestick, reciting a short prayer and lighting its candles. Each day, another candle is lit until the hanukkiah radiates in its full splendor on the last day. While the festival is very popular, it is, religiously…

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  • [VIDEO] Not an occupation? Whatever it is, it's disgusting

    Black-clad mounted Border Police galloping into and nearly trampling a crowd of unarmed civilians, old men and women lucky enough to meet the army's criteria to pray in Jerusalem mutely line up to pass through what look like cattle lanes. Notes on one scene of ugliness and occupation. Today, on the last Friday of Ramadan, thousands of Palestinians who live on the 'wrong' side of Israel's West Bank barrier queued up at Qalandiya Checkpoint near Jerusalem, waiting for hours under the relentless Levantine sun, in temperatures that soared above 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Farenheit) for an opportunity to attend…

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  • The incitement Netanyahu doesn't want to talk about

    The Israeli prime minister casts blame on Arab MKs and long-dead clerics but won't talk about the messianic incitement coming from his own government. And forget about a discussion on the occupation's role in inciting violence. Member of Knesset Basel Ghattas entered the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount on Monday in direct contradiction of instructions from Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister barred all MKs from entering the compound earlier this month in hopes of preventing provocations that are fanning the flames of violence that swept through Israel and Palestine over the past month. [tmwinpost] The provocations Netanyahu was hoping to prevent,…

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  • Jerusalem: Between killing and crying

    Calling the current events in Israel-Palestine a 'cycle of violence' is a misnomer — it is a cycle of rage, of which violence is just one part. In the middle of a recent conversation with a university lecturer, I mention an incident I witnessed while photographing a demonstration in the West Bank a few weeks earlier. I recount seeing a Palestinian teenager sobbing while watching her (unarmed, peaceful) father being hauled away by members of the Border Police, his hand reaching back towards her in desperation. Recalling my feelings of despair and fury at what I saw, I confide to the…

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  • The only thing scarier than terror is the leadership vacuum

    Israelis need to realize that neither Abbas nor the PA, nor Hamas are responsible for Israelis' security. Israeli leaders are — and they are failing miserably. The sense of terror and anxiety has become palpable everywhere. The fear is visceral. The consistent flow of news alerts and bloody videos informing of another attack and another attack is paralyzing. I'm practically living inside my Twitter feed, looking on in horror at the events. The Palestinians going out to stab Israelis every day — many of them teenagers — are on veritable suicide missions. It's like there's a zombie movie happening on…

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  • IDF kills 6 Gazans, wounds over 130 as violence spreads

    As violence continues to sweep across Israel-Palestine on Friday, protests in Gaza along the border fence turn lethal when IDF units open fire on demonstrators in the besieged territory. At least 14 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed since the wave of violence began. At least six Palestinians were killed and more than 130 wounded during protests along the border of the Gaza Strip on Friday, as violence and unrest continued to sweep Israel-Palestine. Widespread demonstrations had been expected following Hamas' call for a "day of rage" in response to the killing and wounding of Palestinians by Israeli security forces,…

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  • They weren’t born to be martyrs, they were born to live

    Fifteen years after Israeli police murdered 13 unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel, the sister of one of those young men asks whether the dominant national symbolism of martyrdom must trump the humanitarian aims and face of Palestinian liberation. By Siwar Hasan-Aslih If you ask Palestinians who lived through the the events of October 2000 what exactly happened and why, you would probably hear a range of answers reflecting a number of worldviews. Some might point to the martyrdom of Muhammad al Dura, others to Ariel Sharon’s violation of the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque. [tmwinpost] The first reflects a human —…

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  • East Jerusalem streets given Hebrew names amid tensions

    The city council pours oil on the fire by approving Hebrew street names in Palestinian neighborhoods as tensions run high. The move is part and parcel of efforts to 'Judaize' the eastern half of the city, which Palestine claims as its future capital. With all eyes on Jerusalem as tensions in the city continue to rise, the city council approved 30 Hebrew street names for roads in East Jerusalem's Palestinian neighborhoods Sunday evening. The decision, which was reported by Israeli news site Walla!, was criticized by Palestinian members of Knesset Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi and goes against the recommendation…

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  • Palestinians cease being 'threats' — for a month

    During Ramadan, Palestinians are no longer deemed 'security risks' or 'terrorists,' and are able to visit the holy sites in Jerusalem or the sea in Jaffa. This week marked the beginning of Ramadan, a month-long celebration during which Muslims the world over fast for 16 hours every day to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. That's right: 1.5 billion Muslims across the world choose to starve themselves. To all those who ask where we get our determination and tenacity from, they may find the answer this month. This is bad news for the Islamophobes of the world. The good news…

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  • PHOTOS: W. Bank mosque, Qurans set on fire in suspected hate crime

    'This is a direct continuation of Israeli policy at Al Aqsa [Mosque],' one resident of Al Mughayir says. New data shows that since establishment of a special police unit to tackle settler attacks, the number of failed investigations has actually increased. Text by Oren Ziv and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org A mosque in the West Bank village of Al Mughayir was set on fire and severely damaged in a suspected hate crime early Wednesday morning. The first floor of the mosque was completely engulfed but the flames also reached the second floor. A large number of Qurans were burned…

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  • The illusion of religious freedom in Jerusalem

    Official Israel loves to boast of the complete freedom of worship it grants to members of all religions. In reality, however, it’s just another deception brought to you by your local 'hasbara' dealer. By Orly Noy One of the main tools in the Israeli hasbara toolbox is the ‘religious freedom’ discourse. As subscribers of the “villa in the jungle” worldview, Israel advocates never miss an opportunity to emphasize the religious freedoms that Israel supposedly gives to believers of all faiths, unlike its Arab neighbors. Prime Minister Netanyahu, especially, loves to make this claim -- and he repeats it ad nauseam.…

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  • PHOTOS: Fierce clashes in East Jerusalem after police kill young Palestinian

    Sixteen-year-old Mohammad Sunuqrut died Sunday, a week after being shot by police. Following his funeral procession, clashes broke out throughout East Jerusalem between Palestinian youths and Israeli police. Hundreds of Palestinians took part in the funeral Monday evening of Mohammad Sunuqrut, who died on Sunday, a week after being shot by Israeli police during a protest in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz. Sunuqrut, 16, was allegedly shot with a new type of sponge-tipped bullet, which caused his injury and him to collapse. Police admit to shooting at him but claim that his death was caused when he fell and hit his head.…

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  • The West Bank may be on the verge of exploding

    Armed men roam the streets, enlisting people to the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, Fatah officials call for the end to security coordination with Israel and Mahmoud Abbas is seen as the enemy of the people. Is the explosion closer than we think? By Gershon Baskin I have just returned from a work visit to Ramallah. I am very concerned and disturbed by what I heard from friends and colleagues there. The calm appearance of the city hides the sizzling bubbling under the surface. The West Bank is on the verge of explosion. As an illustration of what I've heard from people…

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