2016 has been deadliest year of the past decade for West Bank children, according to Defense for Children International–Palestine. In the past year Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP, says, “Intentional lethal force now appears to be routinely used by Israeli forces, even in unjustified situations, with no accountability, putting more and more children at risk.”
Category Archives: Features
Diana Buttu writes, “If we are ever to awaken the world to what Israel stands for, we will do it with the power of our stories. I respect enormously the ability Mondoweiss has developed to gather these stories and share them more broadly all the time. By reaching millions of people each year, Mondoweiss is taking on the responsibility the mainstream media shirks: educating the public about Palestine. Join me today in growing Mondoweiss’s influence.”
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Two IDF soldiers shot Palestinian teenage Samir Awad from behind eight times in January 2013, killing him. Nearly four years and a string of investigative failures later, it looks unlikely that either of the accused will go to jail.
Organizer Laila Abdelaziz writes: As a Palestinian American, I look at the challenges we face as opportunities to organize and to resist. My activism has taken me from my state’s legislature to the White House, from national conferences to small community meetings. And in all these contexts—state, local, national, international—Mondoweiss’s reporting has been essential to connect those of us in the struggle. Please join me in supporting Mondoweiss and the crucial role this space provides for communicating, sharing, and supporting Palestinian rights activism in the United States and beyond.
As 2016 draws to an end, here are some of the year’s most remarkable examples of resistance to injustice: key stories and videos you will want to review and share with others. You can make a difference for justice in Palestine today, by supporting Mondoweiss. We need to raise $120,000 in order to fulfill our mission adequately in 2017 and beyond. With your help, reporting is resistance; reporting spreads resistance; reporting advances resistance.
Happy holidays from Mondoweiss.
Haaretz reports: “Jerusalem’s zoning board is set to discuss a plan on Wednesday to build 500 homes in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish neighborhood located over the Green Line in East Jerusalem. The plan was approved two years ago by the Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee, but was later suspended due to pressure from the U.S. In anticipation of the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president in January, city officials have begun to ‘thaw’ building projects in the capital that had been ‘frozen.'”
Reuters reports: Israel’s parliament gave preliminary approval on Wednesday to a disputed bill that would retroactively legalize Jewish settlement outposts built on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. The far-right Jewish Home party and members of Netanyahu’s Likud faction have pushed for the law, in part to try to circumvent a Supreme Court order to destroy the settlement outpost of Amona, where 40 families live on Palestinian-owned land. The demolition is set for Dec. 25.
Gideon Levy & Alex Levac report for Haaretz: It was a pogrom. The survivors are five congenial Palestinian farmers who speak broken Hebrew and work in construction in Israel, with valid entry permits. They are convinced that they survived last Saturday’s attack only by a miracle. “We will kill you!” the assailants shouted, as they beat the men over the head and on their bodies with clubs and iron pipes, and brandished serrated knives. The only “crime” of the Palestinians, who were in the midst of harvesting their olives when the settlers swooped down on them, was that they were Palestinians who had the temerity to work their land.
Please tell us your reaction to Donald Trump’s election victory and your suggestions for how Palestinian justice work in general, and Mondoweiss’s journalism in particular, should regroup and move forward. Even though the implications for US foreign policy are not yet clear, the immediate outpouring of racist and Islamophobic rage across the country would seem to confirm our worst fears. Here at Mondoweiss we are starting to understand what this will mean for our work and how we must change accordingly. As always our focus will be on documenting, analyzing and challenging the ongoing Israeli dispossession of the Palestinian people. But one immediate change following the election is that we plan to expand our coverage of the racism and violence here in the U.S. that is finding political expression and power through the Trump victory.
AFP reports: Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barkat has warned that Palestinian homes built without an Israeli permit in the city’s annexed east could be demolished if authorities dismantle a wildcat Jewish settlement. The threat was made following a ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court ordering the evacuation and demolition of the Amona outpost, where around 40 families are living on private Palestinian-owned land near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
From Samidoun: “A bus full of Palestinian families was detained for two hours by Israeli occupation forces after a visit with their loved ones on Wednesday, 26 October in the Negev desert prison, on the grounds that one of the mothers of the prisoners had with her a photograph of her imprisoned children.”
Ma‘an reports: “Israeli authorities have banned 5-year-old Ibrahim from visiting his father, Palestinian Muhammad Ahmad Abd al-Fatah Abu Fanunah, in prison, Abu Fanunah’s wife said to Voice of Prisoners (Sawt al-Asra) radio on Sunday. Umm Mahmoud told the radio station that she has also been banned from visiting her husband ever since he was detained on Oct. 22, 2015, calling the Israeli policy of preventing family visits a means to pressure Palestinian prisoners.”
No charges to be filed against civilian guards who shot and killed a Palestinian woman and her brother at the Qalandiya crossing in occupied West Bank in April, Times of Israel reports. Maram Hassan Abu Ismail, 23, and her brother Ibrahim Saleh Taha, 16 — both of occupied Beit Surrif — were killed by guards in April after Abu Ismail allegedly threw a knife at the guards.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that Israel’s next war with Gaza militants would be their last “because we will completely destroy them.”
Al Jazeera reports: “Israeli border police carried out stun grenade training in the Palestinian neighborhood of al-‘Issawiya in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, a new video purports to show. In the recording, the neighbourhood, home to around 16,000 people, is quiet, raising questions as to why border police decided to practise there with the risk of provoking tensions. One officer is seen teaching another how to operate the grenade. “Throw lower,” he tells him. The trainee officer detonates the grenade between the homes and is praised for a “good job” before he walks away with the rest of the officers.”
Israeli forces detained 17 Palestinians in raids across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem overnight and during the day Monday, including 10 teenagers at Dar al-Aytam school in Jerusalem’s Old City that Israeli police accused of throwing rocks. Locals told Ma‘an they were detained as they left school and were chased by Israeli forces through the alleys of the Old City. Samir Jibril, the director of the Palestinian Ministry of Education department, had told Ma‘an that the Israeli soldiers’ accusations of rock throwing were “bogus” due to the fact that there were “security bars” secured over all the school’s windows, making it nearly impossible for students to throw anything out of them.
“There are now more than two million residents in the Gaza Strip after baby Waleed Shaath was born last night in Rafah in southern Gaza,” interior ministry spokesman Iyad Bezm told AFP on Wednesday. Gaza, a tiny enclave squeezed between Egypt, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea and just 12 kilometres across at its widest point, has one of the highest population densities in the world, according to the United Nations. The territory could be “unliveable” by 2020, the UN said last year, due in large part to “high population density and overcrowding.”
On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers fatally shot Ali Shyoukhi, 20, during a protest in Silwan just south of Jerusalem’s Old City. Shyoukhi was shot with a live round in his pelvis and bled to death as medics were unable to move him to the hospital due to the extensive military siege on the town. Hundreds of Jerusalemites participated in his funeral, which was held just two hours after he was killed out of fear that his body would be detained by Israel.
A Spanish High Court of the Asturias region upheld a decision last week declaring a Langreo City Council agreement to boycott Israel illegal. And last month the UK government’s Department for Communities and Local Government published guidance for local authorities stating that “using pension policies to pursue boycott, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries are inappropriate”.
Ma‘an News has collected data regarding every person who has died as part of the ‘Jerusalem Intifada’. Of the 274 individuals that have been killed between Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016: 235 were Palestinians (85.8 percent of deaths), 34 were Israeli (12.4 percent), and five (1.8 percent) were foreign nationals.
Ma’an reports: “Israeli authorities carried out a large number of demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Tuesday, destroying two family apartment buildings, a classroom, a restaurant, four water cisterns, and parts of a home in the latest instances of a policy which rights groups have said has increased drastically in past months.”