Israel ramped up its practice of demolishing Palestinian structures in the West Bank this year, destroying more than twice as many as it did in 2015. The number of Palestinian structures Israel has destroyed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has passed the 1,000 mark for the year, according to data from the UN humanitarian agency. As of the end of November, Israeli authorities had demolished 1,051 structures, displacing 1,569 Palestinians. [tmwinpost] This represents, with a month of the year left to go, a doubling of the equivalent number from 2015, during which Israel demolished 544 Palestinian structures in the West…Read More... | 2 Comments
The Israeli army's new tourism campaign wants you to visit Palestine — just don't call it that. The Israeli military launched a truly bizarre rendition of a Visit Palestine tourism campaign over the weekend. Except the army couldn’t bring itself to say Palestine, the West Bank, or even mention that Palestinians live there. The video was published on the Facebook page of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli military government that oversees the occupation of the Palestinian territories. The video mentions sites like Wadi Qelt, the Mar Saba Monastery and Nabi Musa, sites in the…Read More... | 5 Comments
While leaders around the world coordinated their visits with the Foreign Ministry, the Palestinian president was forced to ask permission from an occupying army. The irony. As a matter of diplomatic protocol, visits by heads of state are handled by the Foreign Ministry. The issue is so immutable that when the Israeli Foreign Ministry staff went on strike a few years, even a strategically important visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had to be canceled. Therefore, when former Israeli President Shimon Peres died earlier this week, the Israeli Foreign Ministry opened an emergency situation room to handle the expected flood of foreign leaders and…Read More...
When Israel's military government needs to provide Palestinians with crucial information about the rules that affect their lives, money and Arabic-speaking staff are apparently in short supply. When it comes to PR, resources are seemingly on tap. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman this week announced his new "carrot and stick" plan for Palestinians living in the West Bank, which roughly works out as: if you behave, we will give your towns and communities economic benefits; if you don't, there will be more demolitions, more arrests, more raids, more canceled permits. Within Liberman's plan is a proposal for an Arabic-language news website to…Read More...
How the Israeli media reports a story spoon fed to it by the security services. And are government officials and the courts capable of acting any differently? The story of a Gaza man indicted for diverting millions to Hamas from a major international charity for terror activities is roiling headlines in Israel. The incident is important both for how it is being portrayed, and used, and what it says about the actual situation. [tmwinpost] Mohammad el-Halabi worked for World Vision, an evangelical Christian charity that collects funds from the U.S., UK, and Australia among other countries for humanitarian projects in dozens of the world’s…Read More...
The inaccessibility of Israel's military procedures means Palestinians are often forced to navigate the labyrinthine bureaucracy of the occupation in the dark. The Civil Administration, the arm of Israel's military government that rules over 2.8 million Palestinians in the West Bank, has once again broken its own commitment to publish all its policies and procedures in Arabic. After being slapped with a near-unprecedented rebuke by a Jerusalem District Court judge in May over its continuing failure to make these procedures available, the Civil Administration was ordered to finish translating and publish all of its regulations within six weeks of the…Read More... | 1 Comment
If Liberman truly wants to keep Israelis safe, he will to do whatever he can to ensure that Gaza's residents can lead normal lives. By Noam Rabinovich What will Avigdor Liberman’s first week as defense minister look like? One might imagine he would begin by introducing himself to the staff, getting acquainted with the office, making some coffee (or tea, to each their own) and going over some emails. Then, one might assume and hope, he will get down to the business of security and managing the occupation. After all, the defense minister’s job description includes ensuring the well-being of…Read More... | 10 Comments
Israel's military government is once again rebuked in court over its continued failure to meet the bare minimum of its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, and moreover must compensate the NGO petitioning to bring it to account. Israel’s military government, which rules over millions of Palestinians, was hit with a nearly unprecedented court ruling and rebuke this week for flouting its obligation to publish regulations in Arabic. The Civil Administration — which is a part of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), itself part of the Defense Ministry — now has six weeks in which to…Read More...
A new Israeli policy makes it nearly impossible for Palestinian citizens from visiting their ailing relatives in the Gaza Strip. All in the name of security. By Michal Luft In a press release published July of 2015, Commander of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, announced a new policy intended to reduce entry into the Gaza by Israeli civilians, thereby further undermining the already limited ability of thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel to see their relatives who live in the Strip. [tmwinpost] The decision came about after it was made public that two Israeli citizens had recently disappeared in…Read More... | 1 Comment
Senior army officer testifies to Knesset committee that building enforcement is 'far more severe against Palestinians' than Jews. There are over 11,000 Israeli demolition orders pending against Palestinian-owned structures. The Israeli army demolishes Palestinian homes in the West Bank at disproportionately higher rates than it demolishes Jewish settler homes, a senior Israeli army officer told a Knesset sub-committee on Wednesday. The admission demonstrates yet another way in which Jews and Palestinians are held to different legal standards, and often different legal systems in West Bank. “Our enforcement against Palestinians is hundreds of percentage points higher [than against Jews],” Maj.-Gen. Yoav…Read More... | 4 Comments
Over 500 Palestinians have been displaced by the demolitions since the start of 2016, the vast majority of them in the West Bank. Israel demolished 313 Palestinian structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem between January 1 and February 15 2016, more than half the total such number in all of 2015. More than a third of those demolitions were carried out within the space of a week, between February 9 and 15, according to the UN's humanitarian agency, OCHA. [tmwinpost] The intensive rate of demolitions since the start of the year is in marked contrast to a relative…Read More... | 36 Comments
Dozens of Palestinians active in joint peace groups will no longer be able to cross into Israel to give workshops on reconciliation and dialogue. The Israeli army's Civil Administration, formerly known as the military government, recently informed dozens of joint Israeli-Palestinian peace organizations that it would retroactively revoke entry permits for Palestinian peace activists from the West Bank into Israel. The change will affect veteran Palestinian activists, many of whom work or even manage peace organizations alongside their Israeli counterparts, and who have led workshops on peace, reconciliation, and dialogue in Israel for many years. [tmwinpost] In early January, Lt.-Col.…Read More... | 4 Comments
An Israeli judge rebukes the state over its failure to publish all protocols and procedures that govern the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A long-running legal battle over the transparency of Israel's military government took another step on Wednesday when a Tel Aviv District Court judge rebuked the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) over its continued failure to publish and publicize all of its policies and procedures. COGAT is obligated to publish these policies under Israel's Freedom of Information Act [Heb]. [tmwinpost] COGAT, which is part of the Ministry of Defense, oversees Israeli policy…Read More... | 2 Comments
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