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HRW: Palestinian children pass out, vomit, from farming with illegal pesticides on Israeli settlements

Allison Deger on
Palestinian workers farm onions in the Israeli agricultural settlement of Tomer in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 2015. (Photo: Oded Balilty/AP)

Bad pay, hard labor, nasty skin rashes, and poor sleep in constructions sites are just the tip of work conditions found in Israeli agricultural settlements, said a Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report released Monday. The 75-page “Israel: Settlement Agriculture Harms Palestinian Children” is a devastating look into underage Palestinian laborers farming for Israeli companies.

Walaa Ghussein on the power (and vulnerability) of Palestinian journalists

Annie Robbins on
Walaa Ghussein

Palestinians can always tell their stories better than western journalists, Walaa Ghussein explains. “We’re not less courageous, but a journalist needs to protect himself\herself in order to stay alive to tell the stories of others, and they don’t have that kind of protection.”

A 22-year-old Palestinian dies after imprisonment, then his cousin, 27, is killed at his funeral

Kate on
Funeral of Ja'afar 'Awad, from Ma'an

A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Friday at the funeral for his cousin in the town of Beit Ummar near Hebron. Ziyad ‘Awad, 27, was killed by Israeli forces and thirteen others injured when soldiers opened fire on mourners at the funeral of Ja‘afar ‘Awad, 22, who died at 2:45 a.m. Friday morning from health complications following long imprisonment by Israel.

‘She speaks the truth:’ Palestinian leftist parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar arrested in early-morning Israeli raid

Charlotte Kates on

Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar was arrested by Israeli soldiers in the early-morning hours of March 2 from her Ramallah home, reported her family. In today’s early-morning raid, around 30 armed Israeli soldiers entered Jarrar’s home at approximately 1:15 am, confining her husband, Ghassan, to the spare bedroom, interrogating her, searching the home, and confiscating two computers while arresting Jarrar. “My mother always speaks the truth to power. She is a woman and a loved leader. That is why they went after her,” said Yafa Jarrar, one of Khalida’s daughters and a Palestinian activist, early on Thursday. “This occupation is vicious and their track record shows that anyone who speaks out against their aggression is a target.”

Joint List leads march to Jerusalem demanding recognition and equal rights for Bedouin

Allison Deger on
Ayman Odeh (2L) and Fadi Masamra (R) outside of Beersheva during the Bedouin March for Recognition from the Negev to Jerusalem, Thursday, March 26, 2015. (Photo: Allison Deger)

There are still a few weeks before head of the Joint List Ayman Odeh begins his first term in Israel’s parliament, yet he has already led a protest across the country. This past weekend Odeh led the “March for Recognition” with hundreds of Bedouins who live in unrecognized villages. The 130 kilometer trek from the southern Negev desert to Jerusalem officially ended on President Reuven Rivlin’s doorstep Sunday afternoon.

Netanyahu apologizes for ‘Arabs are coming out in droves’ video, says it could have been even better

Katie Halper on
Screenshot from Netanyahu campaign video.

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is apologizing for a pre-election video he posted on Facebook, which, his critics claimed, used fear-mongering and racism to encourage Israelis to vote for Likud. Two weeks later, the Prime Minister admits he made a mistake. “We had to put something together and, ultimately, we did a bad job. We made a video I’m not proud of.” Netanyahu added, “the lighting was grim. I look pale, pasty. I look fat. Really fat. The white balance was off. The Israeli people deserved better. They deserve higher definition.”

Palestinians mark the 39th anniversary of Land Day

Allison Deger on
Palestinian children hold up spent tear gas canisters after a Land Day demonstration in the West Bank village of Huwara, south of Nablus, March 30, 2015. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Today, March 30th Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, marched for Land Day, Yom al-Arda in Arabic, which commemorates protest in the Galilee in 1976 where six Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed.

12 pretty good signs you’re vacationing in an apartheid country

Philip Weiss on
Cyclamen, in the Territories

Three soldiers come up to the minibus holding rifles out before them, and a boy of 10 sitting next to you who you’ve never met before jams himself into your side and clutches your arm, saying “I scared.” The soldiers examine all the papers and wave you on. You wonder what this boy has seen that he was so terrified.

No time to mourn

Alice Rothchild on
Yasser Abu Jamei of Gaza Community Mental Health Programme

I first saw the spanking new administrative buildings for the Gaza Community Mental Health Program in 2005; ten years later there is a rusty shabbiness to the exterior but the people working inside are energetic and spectacular. The property fronts a road and then a glorious sandy beach and the crashing grey blue waves of […]

Thousands in Ramallah mourn Ali Mahmoud Safi, 20, killed by Israeli soldiers while protesting

Kate on
Ali Mahmoud Safi's funeral in Ramallah.

Ma’an reports: (Ma‘an) 26 Mar — Thousands of Palestinians on Thursday marched in the funeral of a young man who succumbed to his wounds the day before after being shot by Israeli forces during a protest near Ramallah last week. 20-year-old Ali Mahmoud Safi was buried in the al-Shuhada (Martyrs’) Cemetery in the al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah Thursday, as thousands mourned the first Palestinian youth to be killed in the camp so far this year.

A pessoptimistic view of the Israeli elections

Hatim Kanaaneh on

Hatim Kanaaneh reflects on the recent Israeli election and strains to find optimism in what he sees as a rising tide of fascism in the country: “It is my belief that the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel has a mission it cannot shirk: forcing true democracy on the Jewish majority that continues to slide down the slippery slope of racism. It is our ordained destiny, it seems, to save Israel from its the-whole-world-is-against-us paranoia. It is our role to coax Israel back from its Masada Complex stand. We have little choice but to fulfill this impossible mission; the alternative is too bleak to contemplate.”

On Netanyahu’s apology to Palestinian citizens of Israel

Scott Ratner on
Benjamin Netanyahu apologizes to Palestinian citizens of Israel for racist remarks he made during the recent election. (Photo: Likud)

Prime Minister elect Benjamin Netanyahu recently issued an apology to “Israeli Arabs” for his outlandishly racist Election Day remarks that “Arabs voters are going to the polls en masse.” Netanyahu chose to render his apology to a crowd of elderly men rather than the 12 recently elected Palestinian Arabs from the Joint List that actually represent the majority of the country’s Arabic speaking population. His message? Palestinians seeking genuine representation and influence in the body politic are not welcome.