Jonathan Ofir explains how he, an Israeli expatriate in Europe, came to be so critical of his country. “I came to realise that ‘fighting for my country’ meant something very different than winning ideological and physical battles for the State of Israel. It meant dismantling Zionist propaganda.”
Category Archives: Features
Knesset members from all coalition parties and some in the opposition signed a bill that would deport Palestinian attackers’ family members to Gaza, even though the Israeli Attorney General said last week that expelling the families from the West Bank to Gaza violates Israeli and international law.
Israeli forces, Monday, once again abducted the coordinator for the Youth Against Settlements (YAS) movement, Issa Amr, after storming the organization’s headquarters in Hebron’s Old City. Mohammad Azghir, a spokesman for YAS, said that forces accused Amr of incitement against Israel. According to Azghir, Amr’s arrest indicates the military’s intentional target on Palestinian popular resistance and its activists in Hebron, especially after the Open Al-Shuhada Street Campaign.
Israeli intelligence handed over the body of Musab Mahmoud al-Ghazali to the Palestinians on Sunday night, 65 days after he was killed by Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, for him to be buried. Al-Ghazali, a 26-year-old Palestinian from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, was shot dead on Dec. 26 after Israeli police say he pulled a knife on an officer in Allenby Square in Jerusalem. However, a witness on the scene said that al-Ghazali had not been holding a knife when he was killed.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that though he was a strong supporter of Israel, he had been taken aback by what had seen first hands on visits to the occupied territories in Jerusalem. “I am well-known as being a strong friend of Israel but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what has happened with the effective encirclement of East Jerusalem – occupied East Jerusalem – it is genuinely shocking,” he told MPs in the House of Commons.
Israeli bulldozers predawn Sunday demolished an elementary school and seized all its contents in Abu al-Nawwar Bedouin community, east of Jerusalem, according to one of the Bedouin locals. In addition, Israel has razed over 200 EU-funded buildings in the West Bank in the past two years. This year alone around 480 people, including 220 children, have been left homeless.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Bil‘in on Friday to mark 11 years of weekly demonstrations against the Israeli occupation and the separation wall.
Two Palestinians were killed on Sunday evening while exchanging fire with Israeli soldiers and police officers near the light-rail station in the Bab al-‘Amoud area in occupied Jerusalem. Their deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed on Sunday to five. Kilzar al-Uweiwi, 18, was killed by Israeli soldiers in Hebron on Saturday after stabbing an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian bystander near the Ibrahimi Mosque.
Israeli forces stormed the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin’s Qabatiya village, the home of three Palestinian youths who were shot dead Wednesday after killing one 19-year-old Israeli police officer and seriously injuring another, a PLO spokesman told Ma‘an. Ali Zakarneh said that during the raid, Israeli forces shot and injured four youths with live bullets, one of whom is in critical condition after being shot in the head.
“Opposition leader” Isaac Herzog posts on Facebook setting out his vision for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “Why [doesn’t the Netanyahu government] implement an effective separation? Why don’t they erect a wall? What’s the point of a fence if one can hop over or crawl under it? We don’t need a livestock fence. We need real separation that will truly block the terrorists. We can erect a real fence, topped with electrified barbed wire, one that can’t be traversed. Any weaker solution is wantonness that this government is responsible for. We need a fence that’ll deter murderers and defend civilians. We can do that and defend our civilians from terrorism and murder. That’s part of my separation plan.”
On Tuesday, a 24-year old Israeli woman died of wounds sustained Monday morning when she was stabbed at Horon settlement. The attack was carried out by Ibrahim Osama Yousif Allan, 23 from the village of Beit ‘Ur at-Tahta west of Ramallah and Hussein Muhammad Abu Ghush, 17, from the Qalandiya refugee camp north of Jerusalem. In response, Israeli military forces have sealed all entrances and exits to Beit Ur at-Tahta which prevents movement for the around 6,000 Palestinian residents of the village.
IMEMC reports: The Israeli Supreme Court refused to reconsider a decision to demolish the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, and ordered to evict all its residents, Adalah center reported on Sunday. Adalah, the legal center for Arab minority rights in Israel, requested that the court reconsider its decision to approve Israel’s plane to evict the village’s 1,000 Palestinian Bedouin residents, in order to build Jewish town of Hiran, and expand the Yatir Forest over its ruins.
On Sunday, Pope Francis traveled across town to visit Rome’s synagogue that stands within the old Jewish ghetto, but he missed an opportunity to move the Jewish-Catholic friendship to a new level of honesty. As the Pope correctly apologized for the Church’s role in the ghettoization of Jews, he remained silent about the ongoing ghettoization of Palestinians in Israel-Palestine.
Israeli forces continue to use excessive force in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reports that nine Palestinian civilians, including two children, were killed, and one armed resistance fighter was killed by Israeli troops in the past week. During the same time, 21 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children, were wounded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli forces conducted 72 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one in the southern Gaza Strip. 64 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children, were abducted.
Ma’an reports: Israeli forces Thursday shot and killed a Palestinian near the Beit Einun junction northeast of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron after an alleged stab attempt, witnesses and Israel’s army said. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Israeli military forces prevented Palestinian Red Crescent medics from accessing the shot Palestinian for medical treatment. The man was identified by his father who arrived at the scene following his death as Muayyad Awni Jabbarin, 20 from the West Bank town of Sa‘ir. The night before, Israeli Border Police at the Beit Einun junction opened fire on a Palestinian driver they described as “suspicious” before afterward detaining him. The junction near Hebron city has been site to at least four Palestinian deaths this month, among over 150 Palestinians to be killed since violence increased in the occupied Palestinian territory in October.
The Methodist decision to withdraw their investments from five major Israeli banks for their enablement – and profiteering – from the occupation of Palestinians is telling. Not only do they call out Israel for its transgressions, they add it to a list of “high-risk” areas that “demonstrate a prolonged and systematic pattern of human rights abuses.” It is the nations of the world they place Israel among that’s most explosive.
Palestinian activists are gathering in front of checkpoint 56 at the entrance to Shuhada Street in Hebron to stage a sit-in protest. The protest will be ongoing, continuing 24 hours a day. Youth Against Settlements member Issa Amro says: “The families are protesting because they want to live in peace and equality without checkpoints, closures, restrictions, and attacks by settlers and the military. We refuse to be registered as numbers and have our human rights violated just because we are Palestinian.”
As Israel wins on the military and diplomatic battlefield, their propaganda battle is already lost.
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WAFA reports: Since early October 2015, Israeli army forces have killed 142 Palestinians including 27 minors and seven women; in addition to 15,620 Palestinians who were injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
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An emergency report published by he UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) revealed that 47% of Palestinian households in the Gaza Strip were food insecure in 2014.