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Great Return March

  • Are Israeli Jews beginning to accept the right of return?

    A number of new surveys shows that at least a fifth of Israel's Jewish citizens are open to the idea of Palestinian refugees returning to their homes. So how do we reconcile this with the violence being meted out to Palestinians on the Gaza border? By Eléonore Bronstein and Eitan Bronstein Aparicio What is it about Gaza’s “Great Return March” that so threatens Israelis? What is it that Israelis are so actively preventing? The Gaza fence symbolizes the essence of the Jewish state, which was founded through the dispossession of the Palestinians, expelling the majority of them beyond its borders. Walls and fences…

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  • Palestinians in Gaza are reminding us that they exist

    Reality is stronger than any propaganda campaign. It will ultimately break through and penetrate public awareness. By Hagai El-Ad Two million people live in the Gaza Strip. That’s a statement of fact, not opinion. Two million people live like prisoners in a prison built by Israel, and it seems that Israel’s sole vision for their future is to keep them jailed there forever. What happens when the prisoners stage a protest? We’ll just shoot them from the other side of the fence. And if the gunfire looks bad on TV? We’ll send in the prime minister’s advisers in fancy suits…

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  • Dozens of American Jews arrested protesting Gaza violence

    From Boston to San Francisco, young activists from IfNotNow demonstrate outside the offices of prominent Jewish institutions and senators, demanding they condemn Israel's violence against Gaza protesters. Thirty-seven American Jews were arrested across the United States last week in a series of actions outside the offices of major Jewish institutions and elected officials to protest the ongoing violence against Palestinians at the Israel-Gaza border. [tmwinpost] The actions, organized by the Jewish-American group IfNotNow, took place in Boston, New York, Twin Cities, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and Washington DC, where young Jews demanded statements condemning Israeli violence against the unarmed protesters taking part in the "Great…

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  • Rights groups: Gaza protests aren't combat, IDF must stop shooting protesters

    Israeli human rights organizations demand High Court order the state to revoke the rules of engagement that permit shooting unarmed demonstrators. After three weeks in which Israeli army snipers have killed dozens and wounded well over 1,200 protesters inside the Gaza Strip, four prominent human rights organizations petitioned Israel's High Court of Justice on Sunday, demanding that the court order the state to revoke the rules of engagement that permit shooting demonstrators who pose no danger to human life. [tmwinpost] The overwhelming majority of those who were killed and wounded by Israeli forces over the past three weeks were unarmed participants in the "Great Return March," a 45-day series…

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  • Israeli soldiers open fire on Gaza protesters third week in a row

    Several thousand Palestinians protest as part of the Great Return March, now in its third week. Over 100 injured by Israeli sniper fire. Update: 6:35 pm The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza is reporting that 701 people have been injured during the Return March protests. 17 of those injured are said to be medical personnel. Update: 5:30 pm The Palestinian Ministry of Health is reporting that over 500 Palestinians have been injured during today's protests, 122 by live fire. [This post is being updated as events unfold.] Israeli snipers opened fire on thousands of protesters participating in the Gaza…

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  • PHOTOS: Life inside Gaza's Return March protest camp

    This is what happens at the protest camp when the IDF isn't shooting — and when the world isn't looking. Photos by Mohammed Zaanoun (Activestills.org), text by Mohammed Zaanoun and +972 Magazine Staff On Fridays, the Gaza tent encampment near the Israeli border fence is a deadly zone. Israel snipers have opened fire on Palestinian demonstrators for two consecutive weeks, killing more than 30 people and wounding over 1,000. But during the middle of the week, the protest camp, part of the Great Return March, is something entirely different — a peaceful, colorful staging ground for a range different activities that draws entire…

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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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  • 'Israel's nightmare? Mass nonviolent protest on the Gaza border'

    Dr. Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and one of the most well-respected Palestinian analysts, talks about the strategy of the Gaza return march and what to expect in the coming weeks.  By Meron Rapoport Gaza’s “Great Return March” has the potential to change the Palestinians' strategy. If Hamas can ensure that the protests remain nonviolent and bring 100,000 people to the border to demand freedom and an end to the siege, it will be a nightmare for Israel — and a serious challenge to the status quo. [tmwinpost] This is what Dr. Khalil Shikaki, director…

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  • A state-sponsored mass shooting

    On a day when military snipers shot hundreds of unarmed demonstrators, the army declares that 'the circumstances in which journalists were wounded are unknown.' The circumstances couldn't be clearer. Israeli army sharpshooters and snipers have shot over 1,000 unarmed Palestinian protesters inside the Gaza Strip in the past week, killing more than 30 people. This past Friday, at least six Palestinian journalists were reportedly among those shot at the Great Return March. One of them, Yasser Murtaja, a photographer for “Ain Media” who was reportedly wearing a helmet and vest clearly marked “PRESS” when he was shot, later died of…

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  • B'Tselem to Israeli soldiers: Refuse orders to shoot Gaza protesters

    Israeli soldiers have a legal obligation to refuse manifestly illegal orders. In a new campaign, the Israeli human rights group says shooting unarmed civilian protesters is just that — unmistakably and patently illegal. Israeli human rights group B'Tselem will launch a campaign on Thursday urging Israeli soldiers to refuse orders to open fire on unarmed demonstrators. The campaign, titled "Sorry Commander, I cannot shoot," comes on the heels of last Friday's events on the Gaza border, in which Israeli snipers shot dead at least 17 Palestinians and wounded hundreds during The Great Return March. [tmwinpost] The campaign, which will appear…

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  • A week of unbearable heartbreak in Israel-Palestine

    From unarmed protesters gunned down in Gaza to hope snatched away from refugees, the human suffering this past week has been overwhelming. This past week has been one of the more heartbreaking recent periods in Israel-Palestine. First, and this seems surreal to write for the umpteenth time, the Israeli army dispatched 100 snipers to open fire into a crowd of unarmed protesters last weekend, shooting over 700 people, killing at least 16. Some were shot in the back while running away. [tmwinpost] Not only have the country’s leadership, its military, and its cheerleaders been completely unapologetic and dispassionate about what…

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  • Israeli activists plan protest in solidarity with Gaza return march

    The Coalition of Women for Peace is calling on Israeli activists to join their solidarity protest near the border fence with Gaza on Saturday.  By Yael Marom Despite the army’s attempts to stoke fear among Israelis and Palestinians alike, a group of Israeli women will join the Palestinian protesters in Gaza on the other side of the border fence during the “Great Return March.” The Coalition of Women for Peace is calling for demonstrators to rally on Saturday in the area near the Gaza border “to show support and solidarity with the residents of Gaza, to oppose violence against the…

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  • How Israel is predetermining a violent outcome for Gaza return march

    Security officials have launched a public campaign painting the 'Great Return March' as a violent, Hamas-sponsored event. Israel has never needed excuses to violently suppress Palestinian protests, which makes this a priori justification of violence all the more worrying. Israel’s senior-most defense policy official once famously told American diplomats that “we don’t do Gandhi very well.” Israeli security forces, Defense Ministry policy chief Amos Gilad was explaining, don’t really have the means or patience to suppress mass, nonviolent Palestinian protests without employing disproportionate violence themselves — nor are they willing to allow such protests to occur without being suppressed. [tmwinpost]…

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