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Netanyahu defends Israeli military after soldier caught on tape executing Palestinian: ‘Any challenge to the morality of the IDF is outrageous’

Kate on
Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the Israeli army Sunday as controversy gripped the country over a soldier caught on video shooting a Palestinian in the head as he lay on the ground: “Any challenge to the morality of the IDF is outrageous and unacceptable. The soldiers of the IDF, our children, maintain high ethical values while courageously fighting against bloodthirsty murderers under difficult operational conditions.”

During Purim celebration, Israeli settlers use Ibrahimi Mosque loudspeaker to sing racist songs and call for expulsion of ‘Arabs’ from Hebron

Kate on
Ibrahimi Mosque (Photo: Wikimedia)

Hundreds of Israelis converged on religious sites across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday morning ahead of the Jewish holiday of Purim, in visits Palestinians condemned as “provocative.” In Hebron, Israeli settlers as well as other right-wing Israelis held celebrations in the Old City’s Ibrahimi Mosque. Locals told Ma‘an News that during the celebrations, which began late Tuesday, the settlers “provocatively” used the mosque’s loudspeakers “to sing racist songs that call for the expulsion of ‘Arabs’ from Hebron.”

Advocacy group accuses Israel of ‘misusing’ crowd control weapons against children

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Mamdouh Mahyoub Sorour, 16, receiving medical care for a head wound from a rubber-coated metal bullet. (Photo: Defense for Children International Palestine)

“The improper use of crowd control weapons against children must end immediately,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at Defense for Children International-Palestine. “Israeli soldiers who aim crowd control weapons at children’s heads and upper bodies at close range must be held accountable for their actions.”

Trump’s Jewish mirror

Marc H. Ellis on
Donald Trump will be speaking at this year's AIPAC Policy Conference.

The Reform Movement’s response to AIPAC’s invitation of Donald Trump a few days ago is a bellwether of how the Jewish establishment views Trump’s candidacy and perhaps, as importantly, how it views itself.Instead of trumpeting its close relationship with AIPAC as an American and Jewish badge of honor, the Reform Movement should have engaged in a process of critical self-reflection. Instead of condemning Trump, it should have paused and drawn the parallels between Trump, the Jewish establishment and Israel’s rhetoric and policies toward Palestinians.

What brought you to be critical of Israel?

Jonathan Ofir on
Jonathan Ofir

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.”

Israel arrests Hebron activist for ‘incitement’ following ‘Open Al-Shuhada Street’ campaign

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Issa el Amro (Photo by Abed al Qaisi)

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.

Israel returns body of Palestinian to his family 65 days after he was killed by soldiers in Jerusalem

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Musab Mahmoud al-Ghazali (Photo: Ma'an News)

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.

British Prime Minister David Cameron calls Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem ‘genuinely shocking’

Kate on
David Cameron

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.

Israel demolishes only elementary school for Bedouin community in Jerusalem

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Israeli forces demolished a Bedouin school for children in the Abu al-Nuwaar community near the town of al-Eizariya in the occupied West Bank, a spokesperson for the al-Jahalin Bedouin community said. (Photo: Ma'an News)

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.

Six Palestinians killed by Israeli forces over the weekend

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Relatives of Palestinian Nihad Waked who was shot dead by Israeli security forces as they reported fired on Israeli soldiers mourn during their funeral on February 14, 2016 in the village of Araka, West of Jenin in the Israeli occupied West Bank. (Photo: Nedal Eshtayah/APA Images)

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 invade West Bank village after Palestinians kill police officer in Jerusalem

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A Palestinian protester throws a molotov cocktail at Israeli security forces during clashes in Qabatiya, a town near Jenin in the north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on February 4, 2016. Israeli forces locked down Qabatiya that was home to Palestinians who killed a policewoman and wounded another in Jerusalem, an attack analysts called an escalation after months of violence. (Photo: Nedal Eshtayah/ APA Images)

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.

Israeli govt accelerates settlement construction, ‘opposition leader’ Isaac Herzog calls for electrified fence between Israel and West Bank

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Isaac Herzog

“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.”

Israeli military seals Palestinian town following fatal stabbing attack in West Bank settlement

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Israeli security forces secure the area near the scene of what Israeli police said was a stabbing attack by two Palestinians on two Israelis in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Beit Horon. (Photo: Reuters)

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.

Israeli Supreme Court approves demolition of Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran to make way for Jewish town of Hiran

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(Image: Adalah)

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.

Pope Francis’s missed opportunity to speak the truth

Marc H. Ellis on
Pope Francis delivers his speech during his visit at Rome's Great Synagogue, Italy January 17, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

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 kill 10 Palestinians, wound 21, in the past week

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Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Mustafa al-Khatib,17, who Israeli military said was shot dead by Israeli soldiers after he tried to stab a soldier on 12 October, during his funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 13, 2016. (Photo: Shadi Hatem/ APA Images)

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.

Yet another Palestinian from West Bank town of Sa’ir killed by Israeli forces at infamous Beit Einun junction

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Beit Einun junction near the West Bank town of Sa'ir, January 9, 2016. (Photo: Adam Horowitz)

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.

Methodist divestment highlights Israel’s place in the world

Marc H. Ellis on
The Israeli flag flying over Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

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.

Palestinians stage sit-in to protest increased Israeli military control over Hebron

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Sit in protesting Israeli closure of Hebron's Old City. (Photo: Youth Against Settlements)

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.”

Thank You for Supporting Journalism that Powers Justice

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Thank you from Mondoweiss!

We are delighted to share that because of hundreds of generous donations, we not only met but blew past the goal of $90,000 for our year-end campaign, Journalism That Powers Justice. Including the Challenge Fund the campaign total as of today is $150,478 which is almost 50 percent more than any past campaign. We are awed by this tangible vote of confidence from Mondoweiss supporters.

Our Top Ten posts of 2015

Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss on
Reem Sahwil's tears after a lecture about unwelcome immigrants to the Palestinian teen from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who then stroked her, was the top post on our site this year had 12.3 million visits to the site this year, and our top post got 322,000 views and was by Allison Deger, detailing an incident in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel caused Palestinian teen Reem Sawhil to cry with a lecture about unwelcome immigrants in Germany