On Wednesday the Israeli military closed its investigation into four cases of mass killings of Palestinian civilians during the 2014 Gaza war. The military report found that in the four cases, which included the deaths of 49 people, the Israeli strikes were legal due to either mistakes, Hamas being responsible or an attack not happening at all.
Category Archives: Features
In the village of Bil‘in in Ramallah, Israeli forces suppressed a weekly protest held in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners. The protest was suppressed; but weekly protests in Bil’in have now been going on for 11 consecutive years.
Middle East Monitor reports: New data released by a United Nations agency and an Israeli NGO has confirmed that Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip actually tightened during July.
Ma‘an reports: Israeli forces expelled a Palestinian family of 10 from their home in the village of Harmala in the southern occupied West Bank Saturday evening, in order to use the house as an Israeli military post.
Marc Ellis says that following the release of the Movement for Black Lives platform the Jewish establishments have taken out their chalkboard to lecture African Americans on their place in society and global discourse. The accusation, with a long tradition, is that African Americans should stick with Black issues – as defined by the Jewish establishment. Ellis doubts it will work this time. “The Movement for Black Lives has placed Jews on notice that we have arrived at the end of ethical Jewish history,” Ellis writes.
250 Palestinian worshippers, all above the age of 50, traveled to Jerusalem via the Erez crossing between the besieged enclave and Israel to attend prayers, before immediately returning to the Gaza Strip. The number of Palestinians permitted to worship at Al-Aqsa was reduced by Israel in recent weeks
Last week the head of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, Moti Dotan, said he didn’t want Arab citizens of Israel using community swimming pools because they have a different “hygiene culture” that is “not like ours.” A Haaretz editorial says Dotan isn’t a racist outlier, but a reflection of the Israeli mainstream: “Dotan’s statement is fed by a leadership that has made the exclusion and isolation of this country’s Arab citizens the backbone of Israeli patriotism.”
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Ma‘an reports: Ten new Palestinian prisoners on Sunday joined a mass open hunger strike in solidarity with prisoner Bilal Kayid, according to Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, a day after reports emerged that Kayid’s health had sharply deteriorated after almost 50 days without food. Qaraqe says that around 100 Palestinian prisoners began solidarity hunger strikes in different Israeli prisons in support of Kayid.
Ma‘an reports: Israeli forces demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev region of southern Israel for the 101st time on Wednesday morning. The demolition followed several weeks of Israeli bulldozers entering the community to level lands, which escalated to Israeli police conducting raids on the community and detaining several Bedouins after locals attempted to stop the bulldozers. The first demolition of al-Araqib took place a little over six years ago on June 27, 2010.
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Ma’an reports: “Israeli forces shot and injured at least five Palestinians and detained three others in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron overnight Saturday, as Israeli forces continued to impose a strict siege on the village of Sair after an Israeli man was shot and injured while driving his car around midnight near the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Teqoa.”
UN: “In early July 2014, the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Gaza’s struggling health sector was near to collapse due to the severe shortages of medicines, medical disposables and fuel, and the lack of capacity to expand services to meet population needs. In the days and weeks following that warning, the health sector was confronted with over 11,200 injuries, among them more than 3,800 children, which is the highest number of injuries for such period of time it had ever faced. The challenge to the health system posed by the 2014 hostilities has extended into the present; approximately 900 of those injured sustained some form of permanent disability and require continued attention, while a significant part of the health infrastructure was damaged.”
Marc Ellis reflects on the flawed witness of Elie Wiesel. Ellis says Wiesel was deeply corrupted by his use of the Holocaust he suffered so deeply from, but he was hardly alone: “Elie Wiesel was hardly alone in becoming so stuck in Holocaust suffering that he failed to realize or care about what Jewish power was and is doing to the Palestinian people. We, the Jewish people, averted our eyes. We, the Jewish people, became corrupted through our use of unjust power against others.”
Israel and Turkey reached agreement to normalize ties, ending a rift over the Israeli navy’s killing of 10 Turkish pro-Palestinian activists who tried to sail to the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2010. The Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, which organized the flotilla to Gaza, rejects the agreement between Turkey and Israel stating, “The blockade of Gaza is unlawful and a crime against the humanity. The blockade has to be lifted”
Ma’an News: 15-year-old Mahmoud Rafat Badran and his family had been driving home from a swimming pool late Sunday night when Israeli forces showered their car with gunfire, killing Mahmoud, and seriously injuring his two brothers 16-year-old Amir and 17-year-old Hadi, as well as Daoud Abu Hassan, 16, and Majd Badran, 16.The Israeli army later admitted they “mistakenly” opened fire on the innocent bystanders after Palestinian youth were reportedly throwing stones at Israeli settler vehicles nearby. Israeli media initially reported that Mahmoud and his teenage companions were “terrorists.”
Susie Day imagines a series of satirical letters from Hillary Clinton’s most ardent admirer: “As Senator, you masterfully voted for the war in Iraq, and have for years expertly supported just about every U.S. military intervention – without losing an ounce of your femininity. As Secretary of State, you deftly orchestrated the bombing of Libya. And when Muammar Gaddafi died, sodomized with a bayonet blade, you wittily quipped on TV news: “We came, we saw, he died.” You even got the State Department to approve $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments gave big bucks to the Clinton Foundation. Take THAT, sexism!”
On Monday, Israel extended the administrative detention of Muhammad Faisal Abu Sakha, a 23-year-old Palestinian circus performer, in spite of widespread outcry from activists and rights groups around the world demanding his release. A statement released by the Palestinian Circus School, where Abu Sakha worked, said the Israeli occupation is “a system that knows no humanity,” whose only goal is “to break the spirit of an entire nation.” “You (the Israeli occupation) only make our resistance stronger. And the resistance of the Palestinian Circus School has always been and will continue to be injecting hope, love, and happiness in the hearts and minds of all Palestinians and all people that cross our path worldwide.”
On Thursday, Israeli bulldozers demolished the Palestinian Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert for the 99th time. A local resident told Quds Press that several Bedouin families became homeless again after Israeli bulldozers escorted by police forces stormed the village and razed all their homes.
During his trial for murdering a Palestinian in Hebron, Elor Azaria’s defense team has cast doubts on the video shot by Imad Abu Shamsiyah showing the execution. The opinion of an expert from the DIFS (Division of Identification and Forensic Science) says that B’Tselem’s videos are authentic.