Recent rockets fired into central Israel by armed groups in Gaza were not ‘mistakes,’ as both Hamas and Israel claim. The counter-intuitive context, Tareq Baconi explains, is a Hamas attempt to get Israel back onboard with a cease-fire agreement. Excerpts from The +972 Podcast. Hamas and Israel reached a cease-fire agreement last November following months of Egyptian-mediated negotiations. Under that agreement, Israel was supposed to ease restrictions on the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza. Hamas was supposed to curtail protests along the fence. Tareq Baconi, Ramallah-based analyst for the International Crisis Group and author of…Read More... | 4 Comments
Four years ago, the prospect of another Netanyahu government meant perpetuating the status quo. This time, the opposition is offering the status quo — and Netanyahu something far worse. The short distance between resignation and despair is the difference between knowing that things aren’t going to get any better and the fear that they could very easily get worse and there's nothing to do about it. In many ways, that feels like the theme of the upcoming Israeli elections — at least for the small minority of Israelis whose political identity and priorities are wrapped up in the fights to…Read More... | 19 Comments
Despite taking pride in bombing Gaza to the Stone Age, Benny Gantz is still portrayed by the Israeli media as a dove who wants to end the conflict. Nothing could be further from the truth. By Tom Mehager The partnership between the ruling Likud party and the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party is a prime example of how racism has been legitimized in Israeli public discourse in recent years. If in the past Likud had openly condemned Meir Kahane and his descendants, today those red lines no longer exist. [tmwinpost] Even Shas leader Aryeh Deri showed signs of partnering with Otzma's Itamar Ben-Gvir, something that…Read More... | 22 Comments
Women in Gaza rise above Israel’s blockade every day, and continue to thrive despite high unemployment rates and collapsing infrastructure. By Qamar Taha Over the past two years, I got to know dozens of extraordinary women from the Gaza Strip; entrepreneurial, creative, socially committed women who managed to build impressive careers despite the many difficulties and obstacles that life and the Israeli siege have subjected them to. [tmwinpost] Mariam Abu-Ata studied architecture. After years of failed attempts to find employment, she considered emigrating to another country. She eventually decided to stay in Gaza and serve her community, now managing projects…Read More...
Water scarcity in the Gaza Strip has transformed Wadi Gaza into an environmental disaster that affects hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Israel’s blockade makes its rehabilitation even more challenging. By Amjad Yaghi Ahmed Hilles, an expert with the Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority, makes sure to pinch his nose when crossing the bridge over Wadi Gaza. Also known as Gaza Valley, the wadi lies in the middle of the Gaza Strip. Almost two decades ago, Palestinians from Gaza would come here to enjoy the view, the natural habitat, and the wildlife. Today it’s a dumping site for construction debris and sewage, letting off pungent…Read More...
Israel recently published its catalogue of some 300,000 classified files, including thousands of documents from before the state was even founded. The very existence of the files had been kept a secret until recently. By Asaf Shalev Israel’s State Archives unceremoniously published the contents of its catalog of classified archive documents this past summer, posting them online in 363 separate spreadsheets. Buried in the catalog of classified archives were more than 100 files dating back to the 1800s, and more than 2,000 files that predate the founding of the State of Israel but which the archive has yet to declassify. [tmwinpost]…Read More... | 3 Comments
The medical care Ahlam Abu Musa needs isn’t available through Gaza's debilitated health system, but the Israeli army has denied all four of her exit requests. By Amjad Yaghi Ahlam Abu Musa was diagnosed with bone cancer last May. The 20-year-old from Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, has since tried to obtain an exit permit to receive treatment at Al Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem, but the Israeli army has denied her multiple requests. [tmwinpost] Ahlam sought care in hospital after hospital, but Gaza’s health system is dealing with severe shortages in supplies, and the lines of patients awaiting treatment…Read More... | 6 Comments
'As a Palestinian expelled from Jaffa to Gaza, as someone whose family and friends have repeatedly been on the receiving end of Israel’s brute force, like all Palestinians, I know that the more violence Israel uses, the more it destroys the very legitimacy it seeks.' By Hanine Hassan Freedom is hard-won, but it should never be the fruit of elimination and devastation. One would assume that these words carry logic – but not for the State of Israel. [tmwinpost] The freedom that European Jewish settlers sought in Palestine through the Zionist movement came at the direct expense of Palestinian lives. As they…Read More... | 1 Comment
The Great Return March signals a shift for the Palestinian people, says scholar Tareq Baconi. Palestinians are no longer fighting for a state, and are increasingly demanding their full rights — primarily the right of return. The leaders of the Great Return March surprised the world when they organized the first demonstration along the Israel-Gaza fence on March 30, 2018. Tens of thousands of Palestinians participated. Already in the inaugural protest, Israeli snipers opened fire; they killed 14 Palestinians and wounded around 1,200 more. [tmwinpost] The protests turned into a weekly demonstration as tens of thousands of Gazans showed up along…Read More... | 3 Comments
In an urgent letter to Israeli military officials, three human rights groups demand that Israel immediately stop spraying the dangerous chemicals into Gaza. The Israeli army is continuing to spray dangerous herbicides on agricultural fields inside the Gaza Strip, three years since +972 Magazine first reported on the practice. This week, three Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups sent a letter to Israeli military officials demanding they immediately cease spraying the dangerous chemicals into Gaza. [tmwinpost] The latest instance of spraying herbicides, using a reportedly carcinogenic chemical, took place in early December. A variety of crops inside Gaza were damaged as a…Read More... | 6 Comments
+972 Magazine’s story of the year for 2018 is the protest movements that managed to beat the odds by forcing governments to revisit and even change their policies. The story of African refugees stopping their deportation from Israel, and Gazans using popular protests to make sure the world doesn’t forget about them. By Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man The global rise of nationalist and right-wing governments has not been particularly good for progressive movements over the past year. But two grassroots movements in Israel and Palestine, respectively, managed to push back against oppressive policies and, at least temporarily, achieve real victories on…Read More... | 6 Comments
Photos and text by Samar Hazboun Nisreen Antone (right) lives in Gaza. She celebrated Christmas in Bethlehem this year, with her sister, whom she hadn't seen for three years. Nisreen and her family are among 590 Palestinians from Gaza who were issued permits to travel to east Jerusalem and the West Bank by COGAT, the branch of the Israeli military that administers the occupation. (Last year, the permit quota announced for Christmas was 700.) There are an estimated 400,000 Palestinian Christians worldwide: most live outside Palestine and Israel, around 123,000 are citizens of Israel, and about 50,000 live in the occupied Palestinian territories,…Read More... | 10 Comments
The right had a decade to annex the West Bank, quash Palestinian aspirations, and thwart Hamas in Gaza. Yet today, more than ever, its invincibility is anything but certain. By Meron Rapoport The past decade belonged to the Israeli right. Since 2009, the right-wing bloc easily defeated its opponents and won elections, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became its undisputed leader and the most important political figure in Israel. In the past six years, the Jewish Home party — the rightmost mainstream political party — has held key posts in the government. [tmwinpost] Political commentators are in near-total agreement that a…Read More... | 11 Comments
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