For 50 years, the Israeli government has treated Jerusalem as a national symbol instead of as a city. Its residents, both Palestinians and Jews, are paying the price. By Efrat Cohen-Bar As far back as the 1970s, the Israeli government set a goal to maintain a Jewish majority of at least 70 percent in its "united" capital of Jerusalem. The goal was set more or less in accordance with the size of the various populations that lived within the new expanded municipal boundaries of the city, established at the end of the war in 1967. Thus, from the first days…Read More... | 1 Comment
Dkaika, a tiny Bedouin-Palestinian village in the south Hebron Hills, is under threat of demolition. The state hopes to expel its residents to a nearby village — which is also under threat of destruction. By Eli Bitan Israel's High Court of Justice is set to decide the future of a small Palestinian village in the West Bank next week. Dkaika, located on the edge of the South Hebron Hills in Area C, is living under the shadow of demolition, with the state threatening to uproot its villagers by March 2018. The village's 300 residents are to be expelled to the nearby village…Read More... | 4 Comments
For over a week, Jewish activists from across the globe have joined Palestinians in an effort to rebuild a depopulated village in the West Bank. By: Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills.org It has been over a week since 250 Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jews came together to establish the "Sumud Freedom Camp" on the site of Sarura, a former Palestinian village in the West Bank, whose residents were expelled by Israeli forces between 1980 and 1998 ("sumud" is Arabic for steadfastness). Organizers announced that the “camp will stand until the families can return to the homes.” In the daytime, activists worked together to…Read More... | 12 Comments
Netanyahu's goodwill 'gestures' to the Palestinians are nothing more than a way to appease President Trump on his visit. So why is the media playing along? In the run-up to President Trump's visit to the region, the Israeli government adopted a number of modest goodwill gestures vis-a-vis Palestinians in the West Bank, which the Israeli media immediately dubbed "trust-building" measures. Local newspapers reported that none of the steps taken had anything to do with security, but rather revolved around civilian issues. This included making sure the Allenby Bridge — which connects the West Bank to Jordan — stayed open for longer; easing construction in Area C; and…Read More... | 7 Comments
Not content with ongoing demolitions in Umm al-Kheir and the destruction of its taboun, settlers in nearby Carmel have resorted to piping their waste onto the land belonging to the village. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din The usual problem with reporting on what happens in the West Bank is lens width, an essential physical problem: you want to focus on the details, and hence need to narrow the lens. Yet the details themselves are part of a greater picture, demanding a wider lens. [tmwinpost] On the face of it, what happened in Umm al-Kheir in the south Hebron Hills in December…Read More... | 18 Comments
Anyone who condemns Israel's new law authorizing the theft of private Palestinian land, while forgetting the mass theft engendered by the settlement enterprise as a whole, is doing an injustice to the fight for equality in this land. The Knesset on Monday night passed the “formalization law” (also translated as the "normalization law"), which retroactively legalizes dozens of settlement outposts in the West Bank — almost 4,000 housing units. The law essentially formalizes settler theft of private Palestinian land, allowing the state to force compensation on Palestinians for land they own that has been taken over by settlers. [tmwinpost] The…Read More... | 13 Comments
Twelve homes in a West Bank village are handed demolition orders. Meanwhile, construction continues unabated in West Bank settlements. Photos and text by Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills.org Twelve Palestinian homes and structures in the West Bank village of Shufa are currently under the threat of demolition, after Israeli authorities handed out seven demolition orders on January 29. The orders previous come on the heels of five demolition orders handed out in the village earlier this month. The orders were given under the pretext of illegal construction in Area C, which is under full Israeli military and civil control. Residents of the village…Read More... | 78 Comments
An increase in building permits for Palestinian structures in Area C of the West Bank is not what it seems. It is, in fact, part of the Israeli government's process of concentrating Palestinians in order to make room for settlements to expand. By Alon Cohen-Lifshitz It's the responsibility of anyone who wants to build a house to follow the law. For any type of construction work to be carried out, one must request a permit in accordance with a detailed, approved master plan. In fact, illegal construction goes on in all areas under Israeli control. The majority of these offenses — around…Read More...
Threatened with their village's destruction, Palestinians in Susiya live in a political and psychological limbo. While working, studying and trying to lead a normal life, the residents are also fighting to stop their home from disappearing. By Max Schindler When asked what her family will do if the army demolishes her village, Soraya, 16, hesitates: “We’ll go to Yatta,” she says, gesturing towards the nearby West Bank market town. “No,” her mother interrupted. “We’ll stay here. Don’t say that.” It’s a question on the mind of every resident of Susiya, a Palestinian village made up of tarpaulin huts and sheep pens…Read More... | 4 Comments
Ninety-one Palestinians in the Jordan Valley were forced to leave their homes while the army trained near their homes. Military officials have previously admitted that 'firing zones' are being used to expel Palestinians from areas of the West Bank. By Keren Manor / Activestills.org For the past week, the Israeli army has been training in areas designated "firing zones" in the Jordan Valley, in the northeastern edge of the West Bank. As a result dozens of families belonging to the A-Ras al-Ahmar community, as well as three families from Khirbet Humsa — a total of 91 people, of them 15 children…Read More... | 14 Comments
Next door to the plush Israeli settlements of the Jordan Valley live small Bedouin communities who must struggle for even the smallest bit of water. By Eitan Kalinski More than 90 percent of the West Bank's Jordan Valley region are Palestinians. Less than 10 percent are Israeli settlers. Yet when it comes to water distribution, it turns out, we see a different distribution: settlers are entitled to between eight and nine times more water, while Palestinian communities are subject to a policy of water deprivation. In fact, this is a policy of ethnic cleansing, whose goal is a Jordan Valley bereft…Read More... | 1 Comment
Israel's National Water Company, Mekorot, supplies water to Israeli settlements in Area C of the West Bank while Palestinians are denied access to wells and pipes that run through their land. Watch Israeli and international activists show solidarity with Bedouin living on the edge of the village of Fasayil in the Jordan Valley.Read More...
Israeli authorities have demolished more Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank thus far in 2016 than in any other calendar year in the last decade. Israeli authorities destroyed 33 structures, 20 of them homes, across the West Bank since the beginning of August. The demolitions have left 53 people, including 25 minors, homeless, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The demolitions began on August 4th in the Al-Mu’arrajat community in the Jordan Valley, where four homes were destroyed and 14 people were left homeless. On August 8 authorities bulldozed two homes in the village Fasayil in the Jordan Valley,…Read More... | 1 Comment
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