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The images that defined 2012

Activestills photographers were on the ground in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Israel and beyond, capturing in stills the biggest stories of 2012.

Palestinian youth walk towards Israeli soldiers during clashes following a protest commemorating the Nakba, outside Ofer military prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 15, 2012. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)


BBC’s Jihad Mishrawi holding his 1-year-old son Omar, who died from his injuries, at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City, November 14, 2012. (photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)


Palestinian women mourn the death of Mahmoud Raed Saddllah, a 4-year-old child killed in a bombing attack on Jabalia, Gaza Strip, November 16, 2012. (photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)


Israelis protest against the Israeli attack on Gaza, in central Tel Aviv, November 17, 2012. (photo: Shachaf Polakow/Activestills.org)


A man from the Ivory Coast in his car after a mob smashed its windows following a protest against African refugees and asylum seekers in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood, May 23, 2012. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)


A protester being arrested by police after a march from Washington Square Park to the Financial District in New York, September 15, 2012 signifying Occupy Wall Street’€™s first anniversary. (photo: Tess Scheflan/ Activestills.org)


A cell in the new prison for asylum seekers- ‘Sadot’ – under construction near the current Saharonim prison in the Negev Desert near the Egyptian border, November 1, 2012. Israel is building a complex of prisons that will be able to house more than 10,000 asylum seekers. (photo: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)


Homeless refugees sleep under a nylon sheet providing some cover from the rain, in a children’s playground in Levinsky Park in south Tel Aviv, February 1, 2012. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)


Peri, who is almost totally blind, lived until May 2012 in an Amidar (an Israeli public housing company) apartment belonging to her partner who recently passed away. To her surprise, the apartment was cleared out last May while she was at the nearby center for the blind. The official reason for her eviction is a debt made up of interest accumulated on an absorption allowance she received upon immigrating during the 1990s. Peri was evicted without prior notice and has been forced to rent an apartment that she cannot afford. She relies on her monthly government benefits of NIS 2,200 to survive. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)


A letter left by 52-year-old Moshe Silman who set himself on fire during a protest for social justice in Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 14, 2012. Silman died of his injuries a few days following his self-immolation. (photo: JC/Activestills.org)


A Jewish settler from the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Yair chases the flock and threatens the shepherds of Gwawis. He is holding an M16 rifle, issued to him by the Israeli army, as part of his paid job as a security coordinator. The law states that he is not allowed to take any action outside the settlements’ borders. September 18, 2012. (photo: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)


A protester with a sling-shot during the weekly demonstration against the occupation, Kfer Qaddum, October 5, 2012. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)


Nariman Tamimi clings to her eldest son as she mourns the loss of her younger brother Rujdi Tamimi. Rujdi was shot with live bullets during clashes with Israeli forces during a Gaza solidarity protest in Nabi Saleh village. He was denied emergency medical help at the scene and later died of his wounds in hospital. November 20, 2012. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)


Former Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan participates in a demonstration in the West Bank city of Nablus in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners who are still on hunger strike: Samer Barq, Hassan Safadi, Ayman Sharawna and Raed Jamal, August 1,2012. (photo: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)


The mother of Hassan Safadi runs to greet her son as he arrives at the Jubara checkpoint near the West Bank city of Tulkarm after his release from Israeli military prison, October 29, 2012. Hassan was reportedly on an on-and-off hunger strike for 168 days in Israeli military prison, protesting Israel’s ‘administrative detention’ policy, under which Palestinians can be detained for prolonged periods of months or years without any charges brought against them. (photo: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)


A Palestinian boy stands in his home, the roof of which was destroyed by debris thrown into the air by Israeli bombings in the Al Shoja’iya area of Gaza City, December 2, 2012. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)


Palestinian Authority police (right) together with Israeli border police (left) control Palestinian access to Jerusalem, at the Bethlehem checkpoint on the last Friday of Ramadan, August 17, 2012. This Ramadan, Israeli authorities only allowed males under 12 or over 40 access without a special permit; females of all ages were allowed to pass freely. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)


A Palestinian youth throws a tear gas canister back at Israel forces who invaded the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh after the funeral of Rujdi Tamimi. November 20, 2012. (photo: Shachaf Polakow/Activestills.org)


Palestinians press their hands against riot shields held by Israeli soldiers during a weekly demonstration against the occupation and separation wall in the West Bank village of Al Ma’sara, December 14, 2012. The Israeli separation wall, if built as planned, would cut the village off from its agricultural lands. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)


Nabi Saleh children try to prevent Wa’ed Tamimi, inside the vehicle, from being taken away. The blonde girl with the ponytail is his sister. November 2, 2012 (credit: ActiveStills)


The National Day of Mourning protest marches through Plymouth, MA on November 22, 2012. Every year since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on this day at Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning at the same time the US celebrate thanksgiving holiday. (photo: Tess Scheflan/ Activestills.org)


Hundreds demonstrate against the arrest of 28 refugees and supporters that were arrested the same day in an action against the Nigerian Government Role in the brutal deportation of African Refugees. The protesters marched from the protest camp toward the detention center in which they were held and demand their immediate release. All detainees were release till the late evening. Berlin, October 15, 2012. (photo: Keren Manor/Activestills.org)


A member of €œFree Running Gaza, a group practicing Parkour on the beach every Friday in Gaza City, February 24, 2012. (photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)


A child from the community of the Arab al Jahalin stands next to the remains of her home demolished by Israeli authorities the previous night in the West Bank city of Anata, January 25, 2012. (photo: Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

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    1. rsgengland

      Pity there were no pictures of Syria.
      At least 40000 dead.
      Massacres, torture, random bombings by plane and artillery, murdering of prisoners,and so much more.
      Gaza had approximately 160 dead in the latest skirmish, of which Hamas admits 90 were combatants.
      A syrian missile attack against a bakery killed at least 60 civilians. Silence.
      In 2012 the UN approved 22 motions against Israel, and 4 against the rest of the world
      (including Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Congo, Somalia…..and the list is endless).
      The worlds obsessive interest and hatred against Israel is a little obscene.

      Reply to Comment
      • Rafael

        ‘Tis not a Syria blog. And give it a break, the “Assad is so much meaner than Israel” excuse is lame, and is not going to work on the readership of this blog.

        Reply to Comment
        • rsgengland

          You did not see pictures from Berlin and America amongst the above.
          It should have featured pictures of Syria, wih all its brutality very much part of the local landscape

          Reply to Comment
      • Enough Lies

        Yes there are atrocities committed the world over much worse than Israel. However, the US does not provide $3 billion + in aid to Syria, the US Congress does not blindly support Syria (the opposite). Israel calls itself the only democracy in the ME and calls the IDF the most moral army. In the face of these lies and hasbara Israel supporters should expect harsh criticisms of Israel. You can’t have it both ways.

        Reply to Comment
    2. @Rsgengland – It’s absurd to judge news by the number of corpses. Both Syria and the Palestinian issue could be important.

      972 is a platform for progressive writing (and photography) from (mostly) Israel/Palestine. If we had a blogger in Syria or a photographer there we would have been more than happy to publish his or her work. The fact that we don’t doesn’t mean that we should stop covering other issues.

      Reply to Comment
      • rsgengland

        I agree with you that body counts are irrelavent in Syria as in Gaza.
        But the numbers still resonate.
        Syria may not be Israel or Palestine, but its effects still affect the whole region.
        Lack of stability, abuse of minorities, break down of law and order.
        These are factors that will influence the thinking of the vast majority of Israeli citizens.
        The outcome in both Syria and Egypt has a pronounced and profound effect on the whole Middle East, Israel included.
        As a side note, I have always moved in ‘left wing’ circles in South Africa and Israel, but have always had many disagreements/differences
        with a lot of the EXTREME leftwing/right wing ideology(I have never found them to be that much different from each other) which always operates from such fixed points of view.
        I do enjoy reading +972, as it has some very interesting viewpoints.
        Keep it up.

        Reply to Comment
    3. ruth

      an important contribution. yashar koak

      Reply to Comment
    4. The range of photos is always of high quality, with framing and composition which sometimes becomes art; in general, they present reality in such a way that it refuses to be lost in snows of words. I dearly wish some of these could become the impetus for legal and political action, but that seems some time away. But each time you document a lived injustice, you make it harder for others to blot them out.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Barry

      And not one picture of the devastation in Southern Israel. How one sided can you be….news is news!

      Reply to Comment
      • JG

        You’re talking about destroyed Bedouin housings, don’t you?

        Reply to Comment
    6. […] blog comments—one of the most life-sucking responsibilities I’ve ever had. But a comment on a recent Activestills post on +972 (featuring our best photos of 2012) gave me hope for humanity by articulating the exact response I […]

      Reply to Comment