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  • Gaza's humanitarian crisis began long before Hamas

    The deliberate suffocation of Gaza began in the 90s, when the first restrictions on the movement of Palestinians were introduced.  By Amir Rotem A macabre drama has been playing out every Friday along the border fence separating the Gaza Strip and Israel, complete with live broadcasts, press coverage, commentary, and even real-time spectators. An armed military stands on one side of the fence, a mass of angry residents on the other. The world, and let’s admit it, most Israelis, generally prefer not to see Gaza. When they do, it is almost always in the context of a violent escalation. [tmwinpost] The current wave…

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  • Seeing the 'other' on Yom Kippur, in Jerusalem

    On Yom Kippur in 1967, the Year of Forgetting, I put on my dark holiday clothes and walked to the Old City of Jerusalem. For a long time I stood in front of an Arab’s hole-in-the-wall shop, not far from the Damascus Gate, a shop with buttons and zippers and spools of thread in every color and snaps and buckles. A rare light and many colors, like an open Ark. I told him in my heart that my father too had a shop like this, with thread and buttons. I explained to him in my heart about all the decades…

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  • IN PHOTOS: A life of constant dread for one Palestinian village

    The West Bank village of Hizma, surrounded entirely by the separation wall, is the victim of daily harassment by the army and the police. That hasn't stopped the residents from opening their homes and businesses to Israeli Jews — even the settlers who live next door. Text and photos by Tamar Flesichman For the 7,000 residents of the West Bank village of Hizma, life has become an endless routine of harassment by the Israeli authorities. Land expropriation, home demolition orders, the total disconnect from East Jerusalem, the checkpoint that serves mainly settlers and forbids the owners of the land from crossing, and the constant…

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  • WATCH: Three days under military closure in Qabatiya

    West Bank town put under closure following last week's deadly attack on Israeli Border Police officers in Jerusalem's Old City. Photos and text by: Ahmad Al-Bazz / After three days of strict military closure, the Israeli army lifted its blockade Saturday evening on the town of Qabatiya in the northern West Bank. The blockade was put in place last week after three Palestinians from the town carried out a shooting attack at Jerusalem's Damascus Gate, killing one Israeli Border Police officer and wounding three others. The three Palestinians were immediately shot and killed by Israeli security forces. Many have…

  • What Netanyahu can easily offer Obama on Gaza

    Three 'gestures' Israel can easily make that will radically improve the lives of at least thousands of Palestinians — all without compromising one inch on its own security concerns. By Amir Rotem In the hall of mirrors that is international diplomacy, all is being polished for the Netanyahu-Obama summit. Lists of gifts the two are expected to present each other are being leaked and commented upon. One of the things being said is that, on the advice of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Israel’s prime minister will offer up a number of gestures to Palestinian residents…

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  • How Palestinians can prevent a new permit regime in Jerusalem

    The history of Israel’s permit regime in the West Bank should serve as a warning that even temporary closures on Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem can have in serious, long-term political consequences. By Yael Berda After a violent couple of weeks in Jerusalem, the Israeli government gave police discretion to impose a closure on certain East Jerusalem neighborhoods to monitor the movement of the city’s Palestinian population. The measures, which severely impede freedom of movement — preventing people from going to work, children from going to school, businesses from receiving supplies and equipment, and halting critical municipal services — are justified…

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  • A song was born: The tale of a controversial tune

    Six or seven years ago, I was sitting in Tel Aviv's Cafe Ginzburg with a man I admire deeply. Mikhael Manekin was then, along with Yehuda Shaul, one of heads of Breaking the Silence. BTS was still a budding organization at the time, made up entirely of Israeli soldiers who participated in the occupation and sought to document and inform of its atrocities. The organization was expanding its activities. Manekin came to Tel Aviv to brainstorm on organizing tours for Israelis and foreigners in Hebron. "I would like to bring authors there," he told me. "I feel that authors have…

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  • Who can travel from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank?

    Soccer players yes, poets nein The people of Gisha NGO translated their table showing who can and who can’t travel from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank. Here it is.   Note that for a person to be allowed to travel from the Strip in the first place, the IDF and the ISA (Shin Bet) have to consider that person to be of no security risk, and they have to pass severe security checks at the Erez Checkpoint. Thus all the arguments about “but they might be security risks!” is hogwash.

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  • A month since flotilla report legitimizing Gaza Strip blockade

    The Palmer Committee did not really investigate the IDF's attack on the Gaza Flotilla in May 2010; instead, it sought  diplomatic compromise By Eyal Clyne The release of the report of the UN-appointed Palmer Panel a month ago was nothing less than a source of pride for Israeli speakers, who repeatedly emphasised its ruling that the naval blockade on Gaza (unlike the closure on land) is “lawful”. Many journalists rushed to quote this bottom line from Israeli PR specialists, as if it were the legal truth; they never bothered to read the document itself. In doing so, they neglected some…

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