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  • East Jerusalem hit by wave of home demolitions

    Nine families are made homeless in a series of demolitions in East Jerusalem. The pace of demolitions so far in 2017 outstrips that in 2016, currently the worst year on record. By Aviv Tatarsky Israeli forces conducted a wave of demolitions in East Jerusalem on Thursday, destroying four homes in al-Walaja, one house and four apartments in a-Tur, one apartment in Sur Baher and three garages in Issawiya. Nine families lost their homes as a result. [tmwinpost] It was an especially difficult day, but one in keeping with an ongoing phenomenon over the past two years. Israel has significantly stepped…

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  • One destroyed village and the ghosts of the past

    For decades, Jews and Palestinians alike would wander through the abandoned village of al-Walaja, encountering ghosts of the past, and facing the intimacy of a stranger’s home. By Natasha Dudinski A spring walk in Nahal Refaim. Blue sky, cheerful sun, red anemones, white almond trees, and the rocky green Jerusalem hills. It is the most beautiful part of the year, filled with hopes for something new; groups of weekend hikers dot the valley’s trails. I follow my own unbeaten path, zigzagging between the present and the past. [tmwinpost] The three stone houses along the road are there regardless of the season.…

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  • Dispelling the myths about building in Jerusalem

    In Jerusalem, construction of Jewish neighborhoods continues unabated, while Palestinians are still struggling for basic infrastructure. By Aviv Tatarsky There is no construction freeze. As opposed to declarations by right-wing politicians such as Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat or Education Minister Naftali Bennett, construction in Jerusalem was never frozen, while the cranes and bulldozers keep working tirelessly in the city's Jewish neighborhoods located beyond the Green Line. Thousands of housing units in Gilo, Har Homa, Ramot, Pisgat Ze'ev, and Ramat Shlomo. These not only provide housing for Israelis — they establish facts on the ground in order to make partitioning the…

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  • Jerusalem demolishes Palestinian homes beyond the wall for first time

    Israeli authorities destroy three homes in al-Walaje, a village that was partially annexed to Jerusalem, yet has been totally neglected by the municipality. By Aviv Tatarsky Israeli authorities demolished three homes in the Palestinian village of al-Walaja on Tuesday. Bulldozers accompanied by Israeli soldiers raided the village at approximately 4 a.m. and began demolishing a home with two units that have yet to be occupied, a family home of five, and a home of Mahmoud, a young man who just got engaged. [tmwinpost] The demolitions in the village are part of a larger wave of home demolitions across the West…

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  • PHOTOS: Nakba commemorations from Gaza to the Galilee

    Photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz, Mustafa Bader, Keren Manor, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Yotam Ronen, Omar Sameer, and Oren Ziv Palestinians from Nablus to the Gaza Strip Israel/Palestine marked Nakba Day, to commemorate the events of 1948. Nakba, Arabic for "catastrophe," is the term given to the forced displacement of some 750,000 Palestinian refugees from 500 communities by Zionist forces before, during and after the 1948 War. The commemoration began last week on Israel's Independence Day, when Palestinian citizens of Israel held an annual "march of return" to the destroyed village of Lubye near the Sea of Galilee. Most of the former residents…

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  • WATCH: Separation wall engulfs village of Al-Walaja

    Between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Israel is building the separation wall on land confiscated from residents and village of Al Walaja. The village’s farmers are not willing to give up on the little land they have left but the state is planning to build a national park on the site. Social TV joins a group of activists who went to work the land in solidarity with Al Walaja’s residents. Related: WATCH: Al Walaja - The story of a shrinking Palestinian village PHOTOS: In fight against the wall, does Cremisan have a prayer? A letter from al-Walaja: Wars, walls and now roads

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  • WATCH: Al Walaja - The story of a shrinking Palestinian village

    Beginning with the 1948 war and continuing with the the illegal annexation of land to Jerusalem, the canton-like divisions created in the Oslo Accords and now with the separation barrier, Israel has, piece by piece, chipped away at al-Walaja's village lands for 65 years. This is the story of how it happened. By Julie Land and Alison Morgan Related: A letter from al-Walaja: Wars, walls and now roads The Wall, 10 years on / part 7: A village turned prison Supreme Court ruling turns village into open-air prison Julie Land is an artist and sociologist from Krakow, Poland. She runs a…

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  • A letter from al-Walaja: Wars, walls and now roads

    A new Israeli-planned road, ostensibly meant to give the Cremisan Monastery access to Israel and Jerusalem, will cut off the Bethlehem-area village of al-Walaja from its lands. Its lands were taken and villagers displaced in first in 1948; in recent years Israel began completely surrounding it with the separation wall, taking even more land. Village resident Hisham Abu Ali is done being silent. Text by: Anne Paq and Hisham Abu Ali In September 2013, inhabitants of al-Walaja witnessed the start of the building of a new road on their lands. The road is said to ensure access to Jerusalem from the…

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  • PHOTOS: Palestinian activists dismantle Israeli roadblock

    Palestinian activists, accompanied by international supporters, descended on an Israeli military roadblock in the Palestinian village of Al Walaja at noon Thursday, quickly dismantling it before Israeli forces could arrive on the scene. The activists used a sledge hammer to break the lock on a steel gate blocking the road between Al Walaja and the bordering village of Beit Jala. The gate had been installed by the Israeli military in the past year to prevent movement between the two Palestinian villages at the location where the Israeli separation wall will eventually be built. Activists used the leverage provided by the…

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  • The Wall, 10 years on / part 7: A village turned prison

    There is no place quite like it in the entire West Bank. Residents of the village of Walajah petition the courts, demonstrate, initiate protest theater and music shows - yet still see the wall is expanding and surrounding them from all directions. Project photography: Oren Ziv / Activestills The last time I visited Walajah I left only in the late afternoon, around dusk. It was a Friday, and the car was going downhill towards the checkpoint into Jerusalem, a breathtaking view all around, when suddenly I saw tens of Palestinians carrying bags and walking in the opposite direction. At first…

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  • Report: Busload of Harvard students detained in West Bank

     Activestills photographer Anne Paq has just released the following information: A bus full of US students from Harvard University were stopped by the Israeli army and police during their visit to Al-Walaja, led by Shereen Al Araj, member of the popular committee against the Wall and the local council. The bus with Israeli soldiers who boarded on it was escorted by Israeli military jeeps to a checkpoint where they are all detained now, including Palestinian Shereen Al Araj. This is a clear attempt to stop the solidarity visits to Al Walaja. The bus was stopped in front of the house…

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  • Supreme Court ruling turns village into open-air prison

    The Supreme Court gave the state a green light to continue walling in a village split between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, blocking the villagers on all four sides The Supreme Court turned down yesterday a petition against the construction of the separation wall between the village of Walajeh, so close to Jerusalem it can essentially be seen as an inlet, and the city itself. The opposition to the wall came from an unusual amount of quarters, including the villagers themselves (arguing the wall would block them from their fields, olive groves and the village water spring, as well as…

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  • Rick's Weekly Wrap-Up: Apartheid, anyone?

    While we should congratulate J14 for another successful week of anti-government demonstrations, let's not forget that an all-too-similar Palestinian protest in annexed East Jerusalem was met with IDF violence Raging Rick Berman gives you this week's news as it ought to be told By Rechavia "Rick" Berman Welcome to another edition of the Weekend Holyland Wrap, this week going on a field trip to strange and mysterious realms beyond the mountains of darkness, or in other words, an hour and a half down the freeway. For the first time in a month there was no protest rally in Tel Aviv…

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