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Great Return March

  • Israeli conscientious objector sent to prison for seventh time

    Adam Rafaelov will have served a total of 87 days in prison for refusing to join the IDF over its 'continual, violent, and oppressive rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.' By +972 Magazine Staff An IDF disciplinary body sentenced Israeli conscientious objector Adam Rafaelov to 10 days in military prison last Friday for his refusal to be conscripted. Rafaelov, 18, from Kiryat Motzkin in northern Israel, has been sent to prison seven times since July when he was first sentenced. Upon completing his current sentence, Rafaelov will have served a total of 87 days behind bars. [tmwinpost] Military conscription is mandatory for most…

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  • The health system in Gaza cannot handle another war

    A new war would lead to the collapse of an already-debilitated medical infrastructure in Gaza, Palestinian health officials warn. By Amjad Yaghi GAZA CITY — Fear has been palpable across Gaza for the past couple of days, not only in homes but also in hospitals and medical clinics. For years, health professionals have warned of a looming collapse of medical services. If Tuesday’s nascent, Egyptian-brokered cease-fire doesn’t hold, a war would devastate Gaza’s medical infrastructure, Palestinian health authorities say. [tmwinpost] On Monday, Gazans experienced one of the most difficult nights since the war in 2014. After Israeli special forces bungled a…

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  • Why Gaza’s status quo is unlikely to change

    In Gaza, despite Hamas’ pacification, a shift to nonviolent protests, and UN warnings of collapse, Israel shows little intention of lifting the blockade. By Tareq Baconi Ceasefire discussions between Israel and Hamas appear to be progressing, following an increase in hostilities in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have agreed to adopt “new tactics” and curb potential militarization in the Great Return March protests, in exchange for an easing of the blockade. However, the coming days and weeks are likely to remain fragile. [tmwinpost] These ongoing developments in the Gaza Strip are testing the limits of the…

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  • Humanitarian aid to Palestinians ‘at an all-time low,’ UN warns

    The funding crisis is particularly devastating in the Gaza Strip, where humanitarian officials say basic services such as education, health, and food security have been reduced to a minimum. By Fidaa Shurrab Funding for humanitarian activities in the occupied Palestinian territories is “at an all-time low,” according to a UN agency responsible for humanitarian affairs in the West Bank and Gaza. [tmwinpost] According to a report published this month by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of a few weeks ago only $159 million of a requested $539.7 million had been secured for the 2018 Humanitarian Response…

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  • WATCH: Israelis and Palestinians meet face to face at Gaza fence

    Left-wing Israelis and Palestinian protestors on opposite sides of the Israel-Gaza fence get a rare chance to speak to one another face to face. For a few short minutes last week, a group of Israeli activists managed to have a face-to-face conversation with Palestinian activists in Gaza, albeit through a militarized fence. [tmwinpost] On Wednesday of last week, for the first time since the Great Return March began in March, a small group of Israeli activists approached the fence to speak with Palestinian demonstrators, standing just meters from them on the other side. The Palestinians who approached the fence had been taking…

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  • 'We all live under one undemocratic system, so we must struggle together'

    In a letter from prison, Israeli conscientious objector Hillel Garmi responds to Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the leaders of Gaza's Great Return March. 'Although we will not agree on everything, I discovered a vision for justice in your writing.' Read Abu Artema's open letter here. By Hillel Garmi Ahmed, I am writing to you from an Israeli military prison, after the open letter you published last week was read to me over the phone. It is not easy for me to write from prison, and at first I thought to wait until I am able to do so from the comfort…

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  • The case for a unified Palestinian protest movement

    The Arab Higher Monitoring Committee is calling for a general strike against recent Israel-U.S. attempts to further repress Palestinians. This is an opportunity to involve a younger generation of activists, and coordinate a joint struggle. By Rabeea Eid Palestinians across Israel, the West Bank and Gaza are banding together in a general strike on October 1, in protest of Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law and President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century.” The strike was announced this week by the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, an umbrella organization that represents Arab citizens of Israel. [tmwinpost] The strike is significant in its ability to bring…

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  • PHOTOS: Activists protest on Israeli side of Gaza fence in solidarity with Great Return March

    'We will continue to come here until Gaza is free.' By Oren Ziv Dozens of Israeli and international activists protested on the Israeli side of the Gaza fence on Friday, in solidarity with the Great Return March protests in Gaza. The activists, some members of organizations like Jews for Return and Coalition of Women for Peace, waved big Palestinian flags, chanted slogans, and carried posters supporting Palestinians’ right of return. They also held photos of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces during the Great Return March protests. From the Israeli side of the fence, activists could see the smoke from burning…

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  • 'Let us fight together for human rights, for a country that is democratic for all its citizens'

    Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the organizers of the Great Return March in Gaza, responds to Israeli conscientious objector Hillel Garmi, who said his decision to refuse the draft is partly inspired by Artema's acts of civil disobedience. By Ahmed Abu Artema Thank you, Hillel. You gave us hope. The morality of a position is not measured by how closely it reflects popular opinion, but by its unique advantage. Throughout history, those who did not compromise their morals were the ones who carried more weight and inspired others, even if they were alone to confront mainstream perspectives. When a person decides to take an…

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  • Gazans invite Israeli activists over for tea

    As Israeli soldiers shot at Palestinian demonstrators, Gazan and Israeli activists join each other — on two sides of the fence — for tea, a symbolic act of longing for a day without barriers and aggression. By Dalit Baum Last Friday at dusk, I shared a picnic blanket with dear friends, on a country hill, near a beautiful orchard, sipping tea in porcelain cups, mixed with tears and tear gas. [tmwinpost] In front of us, we watched how thousands of Palestinian demonstrators marched, as they have done every Friday for over four months now, trying to reach the fence that separates…

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  • Conscientious objector to mark Jewish new year in prison

    Hilel Garmi is in prison for the third time, for refusing to serve in the Israeli military. His decision was partly inspired by one of the lead organizers of the Great Return March in Gaza. By +972 Magazine Staff Conscientious objector Hilel Garmi was sentenced to 10 days in prison on Monday, after he again refused to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, in protest of Israel’s policies in the occupied territories. This is Garmi’s third detention, at the end of which he would have served 37 days in military prison. [tmwinpost] Garmi, 18, from Kibbutz Yodfat in northern Israel,…

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  • In Gaza, fears of a new war stir old traumas

    By Amjad Yaghi GAZA CITY – In the village of Abasan in the southern Gaza Strip, Hussein Shaheen’s family still lives in rubble. Their house was destroyed during Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza, and they haven’t rebuilt it since. Since Gazans started the Great Return March several months ago, Israel has been retaliating with force, and tensions are high once again. Israel and Hamas are reportedly in the advanced stages of negotiating a ceasefire, but the constant uncertainty of whether the situation will change for better or worse, of whether Gazans should prepare for easements or escalation, induces severe anxiety.…

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  • British Jews are speaking out on Israel. Will the progressive community have our back?

    We expected attacks on anti-occupation voices by Britain's Jewish communal leaders. Now our progressive Jewish institutions are turning their backs on us when we need them most. By Emily Hilton In May of this year, a group of U.K.-based Jewish anti-occupation activists held a demonstration in London’s Parliament Square, where we recited the kaddish, the Jewish mourner’s prayer, for the Palestinians who have been killed by the IDF during the Great Return March. The views on Israel and Zionism amongst the participants were diverse, but one thing unified all of us: we care about what being done in the name of Judaism, and…

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