By withholding the PA's tax revenues, the Israeli government is effectively stealing Palestinian money. So why won't the international community call it that? At the end of last year the Israeli government announced that it would stop transferring Palestinian tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority. The move was explained, explicitly, as a punitive measure for the Palestinian ascension to the International Criminal Court. Conveniently, it also happened to take place at the start of Israel’s fast-paced election season. [tmwinpost] The funds in question are tariffs and customs fees that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians, which the Palestinian Authority…Read More... | 4 Comments
Palestinian voters in the West Bank are casting their ballots for the first time in six years, as part of the occupied territories elect municipal council officials in nearly one-hundred towns and villages. HEBRON, WEST BANK - On Saturday, Palestinians went to the polls in an election that is being closely watched by the Palestinian Authority and by the international community. The vote for municipal councils is seen as a precursor for parliamentary and presidential elections, even though Hamas, the Islamic militia-cum-political party that controls that Gaza Strip, is boycotting the vote. Hamas insists the elections, which have been delayed…Read More... | 3 Comments
The Palestinian leadership's silence regarding the plight of national footballer Mahmoud Sarsak and other Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike derives from the fear that the more empowered Palestinians become in their opposition to Israeli occupation, the more likely they are to overthrow the Palestinian Authority. By Mosab Qashoo Anyone following the Palestinian struggle will have heard about Mahmoud Sarsak, the imprisoned Palestinian footballer who this week ended a hunger strike of over three months. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have been publicizing their upcoming meeting with the head of the Israeli Kadima party, Shaul…Read More... | 9 Comments
Palestinians poured into the streets of West Bank cities to watch and celebrate Mahmoud Abbas's speech before the United Nations General Assembly. Earlier in the day, clashes erupted at the Qalandia checkpoint and the Israeli shot dead a Palestinian man in the northern West Bank village of Qasra Ramallah - Carrying Palestinian flags and portraits of Abbas, Palestinians of all backgrounds, young and old, men and women, watched attentively in city's Yasser Arafat Square as PLO Chairman and PA president Mahmoud Abbas made the case for his people and their desire for state sovereignty in front of the UN's General Assembly. "Our…Read More... | 3 Comments
Palestinian activists in Ramallah have created a new song which mocks the PLO attempt for statehood at the United Nations later this week. The lyrics in English: The blue chair This is the story of a magical blue chair… A blue chair that will travel, soar and fly! It comes in dark blue…and in white, Palestine, is drawn (2X) This chair…is not just any chair (2X) This chair is an extraordinary and magical kind! This blue chair…can rise high This blue chair…can achieve It can a bring us a state This chair is one magical blue chair! This is the story…Read More... | 2 Comments
Last week, Maen Rashid Areikat, the Palestine Liberation Organization's ambassador to the U.S., was quoted by USA Today as saying total separation is needed between Palestinians and Israelis. The statement came during a press conference on the Palestinian statehood bid sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor in Washington. Areikat’s exact statement was, “I believe, as a first step we [Israelis and Palestinians] need to be totally separated” Notable neoconservatives such as Elliot Abrams quickly fired off a response arguing that Areikat’s comments were examples of anti-Semitism in action. Areikat was forced to step back from his comments, telling the Huffington…Read More... | 1 Comment
An unofficial copy of the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement is now on the internet. It looks close to the official text but there is no confirmation. The language of the agreement is vague making it difficult to extrapolate hard details about how this agreement is going to affect Palestinians politics in the coming months. However, two issues stick out; the legitimacy of PA president Abbas and the reformation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Let’s start with the first clause: Clause A. Election Committee: Both Fatah and Hamas agree to identify the names of the members of the Central Election Commission…Read More... | 4 Comments
This piece was originally published in Le Monde Diplomatique and co-written with Jesse Rosenfeld As protests multiply across the Arab world and grassroots resistance grows in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority faces popular anger for its investment in a failed ‘peace process’ The PLO leadership called for a Day of Rage across the occupied territories on 25 February, following the US veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution one week earlier condemning Israel’s continued settlement building. It sought thereby to deflect growing discontent at the Palestinian Authority (PA) and direct indignation at the US for protecting Israel. Though Hamas also condemned the veto,…Read More...
Roughly 400 people attended a demonstration in Ramallah's Manara square this afternoon calling on Palestinians to end division within the society under occupation. The demonstration was organized by PNGO (The Palestinian NGO network). While the demonstration was not held under the banner of solidarity with Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings, it is clear that the uprisings are starting to have an effect on the Palestinian street. Demonstrators specifically called on PA President Abbas and Hamas leader Haniya to end factionalism and division in Palestinian society. The Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the longest military occupation in modern history,…Read More...
The cables released last night by Al Jazeera, which form the Palestine Papers, have provided ultimate confirmation of what many on the ground have known for some time - Israel is not interested in an equitable two state solution. Instead Israel is interested in maintaining the status quo, which necessarily means that both Palestinian and Israeli society will be in a permanent state of war. Control of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and the separation of the West Bank from Gaza is the form of the Israeli-imposed one state solution. Crippling land annexation in the form of settlement…Read More... | 17 Comments
Protests erupted in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan today after a guard at an Israeli settlement opened fire at Palestinian residents, killing at least one. This is my photo essay from the scene of the revolt.Read More... | 7 Comments
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