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  • The Palestinian struggle is shifting to a civil rights movement, and Gaza is leading the way

    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…

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  • The grassroots movements in Israel-Palestine that won 2018

    +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…

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  • Don't believe the hype: The Israeli right is weaker than it seems

    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…

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  • Mahmoud Abbas and the veneer of democracy

    Abbas' decision to dissolve the parliament and hold elections within half a year is an attempt to present a friendlier, more democratic face to Palestinians in the West Bank, many of whom lost faith in their leader long ago. By Menachem Klein Mahmoud Abbas’ decision last week to dissolve the Palestinian parliament and hold elections within half a year are meant to give the Palestinian president a veneer of democracy and the rule of law. Abbas’ decision appears to be a response to a ruling handed down by the Palestinian Constitutional Court, yet it is clear to all that the decision to dissolve the Palestinian Legislative…

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  • Top court gives Israel even broader powers to use torture

    Nearly 20 years after it banned torture, Israel's High Court is finding new ways to justify using physical force in the interrogation of security suspects. Israel’s High Court of Justice last week ruled that Israeli authorities’ torture of a Hamas suspect was not illegal and that the Shin Bet interrogators do not need to be prosecuted. The ruling also broadened and effectively removed the strict limitations imposed by a landmark decision by the same court nearly two decades ago, which carved out a “ticking bomb” exception to the prohibition on torture. [tmwinpost] “The ruling shows that in the eyes of the High Court,…

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  • The Israeli army is putting humanitarian workers at risk in Gaza

    According to the Israeli media, the soldiers who took part in a botched intelligence operation in Khan Younis earlier this month were dressed up as humanitarian workers. If the details are true, it could put countless people in danger. By Yael Marom Israeli troops impersonated humanitarian workers in order to carry out an intelligence operation deep inside the Gaza Strip, according to details of the botched operation leaked by Hamas and reported by the Israeli media. If true, the operation could put bona fide humanitarian operations and employees at risk in the coastal strip, where two-thirds of the population is…

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  • Netanyahu is stuck with Hamas, and he likes it that way

    Netanyahu understands that keeping Hamas in power comes at a heavy political price. But as long as it thwarts the possibility of a Palestinian state, it’s worth it for him. By Meron Rapoport Weak. Giving into to terror. Those were the words Avigdor Liberman used to describe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his press conference on Wednesday announcing his resignation as defense minister. The severe remarks came a day after Netanyahu agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas, following the most violent flare-up on the Gaza border since the 2014 Gaza war. [tmwinpost] Liberman’s resignation, first and foremost, stems from political…

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  • Israel's next elections will be about who is more violent to Palestinians

    The resignation of Defense Minister Liberman could very well trigger elections as early as next March. Many will be going the polls with one question in mind: how much force should we use against Palestinians? Israel appears to be going to early elections. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday announced that he is resigning from his post, and that his party, Yisrael Beytenu, will leave the ruling coalition over what he called Netanyahu's "surrender to terrorism." The surprise resignation came just a day after Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, ending the most violent flare-up the Gaza border has seen since the 2014 war.…

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  • Hamas didn't start this fight, but it won't win it either

    If Hamas allows Israel to drag it into another lopsided fight, it will not only cost the lives of countless innocent civilians in Gaza, it will also distract from ongoing mass resistance to the siege. Israel’s killing of Hamas commander Nour Baraka on Sunday and the predictable response from the Islamist movement have sparked fears of renewed hostilities between the two sides. Although it remains unclear whether Baraka’s killing was planned or the result of a botched Israeli “intelligence-gathering” operation, many observers see parallels with Israel’s 2012 assassination of Ahmad Al Jabari, then the head of Hamas’ military wing. That…

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  • The thousands of undocumented Gazans living in limbo

    By Amjad Yaghni Wafaa Abu Hajjaj has been active in the media industry in Gaza for the past eight years, working as a correspondent for various local and regional television news outlets. But she has also been deprived of dozens of job opportunities abroad because she doesn’t have a Palestinian identification card. Without it, she can’t be officially employed or access government services. [tmwinpost] Abu Hajjaj appealed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to obtain residency and a passport in 2015, but to no avail. Her 70-year-old father, Abdel Mun’em Abu Hajjaj, suffers from heart disease; he too has been denied…

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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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  • Palestinian Authority, Hamas use torture to silence dissent, report finds

    A new report by Human Rights Watch documents dozens of cases whereby the Palestinian authorities in both the West Bank and Gaza use arbitrary arrest and torture to repress critics. A new Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation published Tuesday draws on 86 cases of arbitrary arrest, abuse, and torture by Fatah and Hamas authorities in the West Bank and Gaza to call for an International Criminal Court probe, as well as a suspension of aid to Palestinian security forces. According to the report, acts of repression by the two Palestinian authorities against Palestinians engaged in peaceful speech and nonviolent protest “may amount to…

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  • What it takes to organize a film screening in Gaza

    Getting an entry permit from the Israeli army, securing permission to screen the film from Hamas, and how to prepare for inevitable power cuts are only some of the hurdles. Imagine what it takes to coordinate humanitarian aid. By Jen Marlowe We had been talking about organizing the Gaza premiere of Naila and the Uprising for months, but it wasn’t until mid-summer that my colleague in Gaza, Fadi Abu Shammalah, and I began the preparations in earnest. [tmwinpost] Fadi and I discussed the merits of the two potential venues that could accommodate a film screening of the scale we were anticipating. The first…

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