By destroying schools in Palestinian villages in Area C and elsewhere, Israel is forcing Palestinians to make a cruel choice — between their land and their children's futures. When the children of Beit Ta’mar, a village south-east of Bethlehem, left their improvised schoolhouse for winter vacation about two weeks ago, they did not know if the building would still be standing when they came back. To call the building a school is to exaggerate. It is comprised of five concrete rooms on the top of a hill, constructed by the village’s residents, who also built the road to the school. [tmwinpost]…Read More... | 3 Comments
The Bedouin community of Jabal al-Baba faces expulsion from their homes. The army eviction order says nothing about where they are supposed to go. U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel generated among many Israelis and Palestinians the fear that something terrible—a kind of political earthquake that could devastate the region—might come in response. Residents of Jerusalem know this quiet fear all too well. The wary looks on the light-rail, the absurd number of police in the streets, the increased security at every bus station. A city in eternal preparation for disaster, in which the terror…Read More...
Netanyahu vowed this week that Israel would not uproot any more Arab communities. He seemed to forget two Palestinian villages fighting for their existence at this very moment. On the way back from Susya, a small Palestinian hamlet in the south Hebron Hills, we pass by a major traffic jam caused by the 50th anniversary celebration of the occupation. It was at those festivities that Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed that he would not uproot any more communities — neither Jewish or Arab. Tell that to the residents of Susya, Mr. Prime Minister. [tmwinpost] Susya is one of two Palestinian communities…Read More... | 3 Comments
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
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