The rail line, which is almost unimaginable today considering the blockade and permit regime, ran for just under a year — until the outbreak of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It’s been nearly 45 years since you could hop on a train in Gaza City and ride all the way to Tel Aviv, a situation that is almost unimaginable considering the blockade and severe restrictions on movement enforced by Israel today. The rail line, which ran for just under a year, was operated mostly for Palestinian laborers coming to work in the central Israeli city. The following photos, from the…Read More... | 5 Comments
freedom of movement
From the church bombings in Egypt to the restrictions on movement in Palestine to an exodus from Iraq, Christians of most Middle Eastern countries are at serious risk. By James J. Zogby This year there will no Easter celebrations for Coptic Christians in Upper Egypt. Out of concern for their security and out of respect for the 45 Christians who were victims of two horrific suicide bombing attacks on Palm Sunday, their bishop declared that Easter services would be limited in his diocese to mass, "without any festivities." [tmwinpost] That Holy Week began for Egyptians with news of those bombings…Read More... | 28 Comments
The Palestinian health system is fragmented into three segregated territories — East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank — and Israel controls access to and from each of them. By Dana Moss While discussions over health in Israel often focus on the healthcare provided to Israeli citizens, Palestinians in the occupied territories struggle to secure even the most basic components of their right to health. On World Health Day, it is important to remember that the obstacles to healthcare faced by Palestinians are a more silent side of the occupation, less visible than the construction of settlements or the razing…Read More... | 8 Comments
Abed al-Karim Abu Haloub has been in a coma in Gaza for over 40 days, requiring treatment in the West Bank. Israel repeatedly refused to allow him to leave. Israeli authorities repeatedly refused to allow a Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment in the West Bank, denying his travel permit on security grounds, despite the fact that he has been in a coma for over a month. [tmwinpost] Physicians for Human Rights—Israel (PHR) attempted to intervene on the Abed al-Karim Abu Haloub's behalf, twice appealing the decision to reject his permit request to no avail. The fact that…Read More... | 1 Comment
The very nomenclature of ’48 Palestinians and ’67 Palestinians shows how the Nakba remains at the root of Palestinian fragmentation. Roads function as a prime instrument of separation between the two. By Amahl Bishara Israeli policies preventing Palestinians from entering Israel and limiting Palestinian movement within the occupied territories have shaped Palestinian society, and the economy and politics in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for decades. What Israel terms “closure” is made material not only in checkpoints and roadblocks but also in the green license plates of cars registered to holders of Palestinian Authority identity cards (’67 Palestinians). However, less often explored are…Read More...
Not only are these borders artificially drawn, they highlight the utter insanity of fencing an entire population in the world’s largest open-air prison simply because of Israel’s need to maintain a Jewish demographic majority. By Jehad Abu Salim Summer days are long, but in Gaza, they are longer than one might think. They get even longer when the electricity and the internet are shut off, which is most of the time. This had been my daytime nightmare ever since Israel imposed its siege on the Gaza Strip in 2007. To escape it, you could read or visit a friend to talk to, but when…Read More... | 4 Comments
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…Read More... | 4 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...
Upon our visit to the Qumran Caves we appeared to be strange and unusual creatures, as Palestinians do not usually come here. The Israeli family that we met did not even understand why we are not allowed to visit the Dead Sea. By Bassam Almohor On the banks of the Dead Sea is an ancient village belonging to a tribe that abandoned their lives and the commotion above, descending to the lowest place on earth, as if they had descended below the earth to the home of Hades, god of the underworld. They retired to a life of simplicity, humility, and purity, carving…Read More... | 9 Comments
The Palestine Cup final, which was originally scheduled to take place Saturday, was delayed due to an Israeli-imposed travel ban on 11 players from Gaza. Petition to boot Israeli settlement teams collects 150,000 signatures. By Yoni Mendel Seventy-two hours after Israel refused to allow 11 Palestinian soccer players travel from Gaza to the West Bank to participate in the Palestine Cup, Israeli authorities reversed a travel ban on six of the players on Monday. The approval, which followed a Palestinian complaint to FIFA, international soccer’s governing body, paves the way for the final game to go forward on Tuesday. [tmwinpost] The game…Read More...
For the second time in a week, Israeli authorities place travel restrictions on players meant to participate in Palestine Cup matches. A motion to expel Israel from FIFA last year was withdrawn after Palestinians received assurances on freedom of movement. The Palestinian Football Association said it will escalate its complaint with FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, over Israel’s refusal to allow Palestinian soccer players to travel between the West Bank and Gaza for games in the Palestine Cup over the past week, Palestinian news site Sawa reported Saturday. The complaint comes as the Israeli military has refused to allow seven players from Gaza-based Shabab Khan Younis to exit…Read More... | 4 Comments
A recent poll finds that 72 percent of Jewish Israelis believe Israel's control over the Palestinian territories does not constitute occupation. So what do you call military rule over a captive population that didn't vote for the army to be there? Depending on who you speak to, the word "occupation" is either the most loaded or the most ignored term in Israel-Palestine. For some, it's a canard bandied about by traitorous leftists who want nothing more than to destroy the country by smearing it into oblivion; many believe that Israel cannot occupy territory that the bible says was promised by…Read More... | 8 Comments
A woman from Gaza is told during a visit to Israel that she must terminate her advanced pregnancy. The Israeli army and courts effectively refuse to allow her to mourn with her husband by her side. By Nomi Heger Over the last two weeks, while everyone in Israel was talking about the segregation between Palestinian and Jewish women in post-natal care, we here at Gisha (an organization that promotes the freedom of movement of Gaza residents) provided legal assistance to one pregnant woman, who just happens to be Palestinian and could not care less who was lying next to her,…Read More... | 2 Comments
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