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Duma murders fail to penetrate the Tel Aviv bubble

Dan Cohen on
Tel Aviv beachfront. (Photo: Wikimedia)

At the moment it happened, the murder of eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabshe, and later his father, by Israeli settlers in a firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma seemed to shake the foundations of the Israeli occupation itself. Anguished cries for accountability rang out worldwide as Israeli politicians declared they would crackdown on Jewish terrorism and Israel supporters warned the legitimacy of Zionism itself could hang in the balance if the perpetrators were not brought to justice. More than a month later Israeli authorities have failed to produce a suspect directly linked to the attack. Dan Cohen spent an afternoon around north Tel Aviv’s picturesque beachfront asking Israelis for assessments of the government’s handling of the firebombing. The coastal city is often portrayed as the counterweight to the dominant right-wing – as Israel’s bastion of liberalism and intellectualism. But the Tel Avivians he talked to were largely disinterested, and some had long forgotten about the attack.

Israeli forces provoke violent clashes during invasion of Jenin refugee camp

Kate on
Palestinians stand on the rubble of a house which was demolished by Israeli security forces during an overnight raid in the West Bank city of Jenin to arrest an alleged Hamas member, on September 1, 2015.  (Photo: AFP/ JAAFAR ASHTIYEH)

WAFA news reports: Israeli army forces demolished a house, set two other homes ablaze, and caused intensive damages to properties during a late night crackdown on Jenin city and the nearby refugee camp, provoking fierce confrontations with local Palestinians, according to local and security forces. According to media sources, at least 40 military vehicles, which were accompanied by bulldozers and squad members of the elite Yamam ‘counter-terrorism unit’, broke into the city in the late night hours and cordoned off the house of Majdi Abul-Heja, a well-known Hamas activist and a former prisoner, in Jenin refugee camp as a prelude to demolishing it.

The ‘Pallywood’ smear: Viral images of Palestinian boy’s brutalization brings backlash

Annie Robbins on
Ahed Tamimi
Photo source: Facebook

The viral video of Ahed Tamimi fighting an Israeli soldier who was brutalizing a boy in the occupied Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh has prompted a backlash from Israel’s propagandists: the incident was staged by villagers as a “Pallywood” production. The charge is a cruel smear of people who did not ask to have their lands confiscated by illegal colonists.

Meet the teenage girls behind the viral photo from Nabi Saleh

Allison Deger on

“The pictures went viral. That’s important,” Ahed Tamimi, 14, tells Allison Deger, “so the world can see what happens.” Ahed is the blond teen on the far left of the widely-published photo of a violent confrontation between Palestinian women and children, and an Israeli soldier in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. “When you see someone in your family in danger you don’t have time to think about it,” Nour Tamimi, 16, explains. “He was beating me and I saw his hand on my face, so I bit him,” the soft-spoken Ahed added.

‘They tried to kill me’: Nonviolent activist recounts brutal encounter with Israeli military

Iyad Burnat on
Iyad Burnat's arrest. (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)

Bil’in protest leader Iyad Burnat recounts the brutal treatment he received from Israeli soldiers during a nonviolent protest last Friday in the West Bank village: “With their guns aimed at me, I was brutally beaten by five or six soldiers with sticks and they bound my eyes with blindfold material soaked with pepper spray. I did not resist, any resistance against these type of soldiers would just lead to more of a beating or worse.”

The ‘Pallywood’ smear: Viral images of Palestinian boy’s brutalization brings backlash

Annie Robbins on
Ahed Tamimi
Photo source: Facebook

The viral video of Ahed Tamimi fighting an Israeli soldier who was brutalizing a boy in the occupied Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh has prompted a backlash from Israel’s propagandists: the incident was staged by villagers as a “Pallywood” production. The charge is a cruel smear of people who did not ask to have their lands confiscated by illegal colonists.

Iyad Burnat is detained in Bil’in amid clashes over weekly protest

Kate on
Iyad Burnat

Dozens were wounded as weekly protests were dispersed across the occupied West Bank Friday afternoon. In Bil’in Israeli forces detained activist Iyad Burnat, the head of the villages’ popular resistance committee, as well as a photographer, Hamza Yasin.

Videos: Brave Tamimi women of Nabi Saleh take down Israeli soldier assaulting injured child

Annie Robbins on
Israeli soldier chokeholds young boy at gunpoint after clashes between Israeli occupation forces and Palestinian protesters following Nabi Saleh  march against illegal Jewish only settlement expansion on their village land. West Bank, Palestine August 28, 2015 (Photo: AFP/Getty )

A radical scene of unfolded Friday after Israeli forces intercepted the weekly protest in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, Palestine against the illegal confiscation of their land and spring. The courageous actions of the Tamimi women of Nabi Saleh rescuing their captured child spread immediately on social media after the UK’s Daily Mail published a series of breathtaking photographs taken at the scene of the brave women. The event was captured on video by Bilal Tamimi and Royal News TV.

Caught between Jerusalem and expanding settlements, uncertainty hangs over residents of Abu Nuwwar

Lydia Noon on
Abu Nuwwar struggles to survive in the shadow of the massive Israeli settlement Ma'ale Adumim. (Photo: Lydia Noon)

Ma’ale Adumim is also the third largest illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, 4.5 kilometres east of the Green Line and next to the Palestinian town of Ezariya (Bethany). It lies at the heart of the Israeli government’s E1 project that seeks to connect the settlement with Jerusalem by building a corridor of settlements enclosed by the separation wall. Most of the 40,000 settlers who live in Ma’ale Adumim will never set foot in Abu Nuwwar – a village under threat of demolition as part of the E1 plan. Abu Nuwwar resident Ahmed explains, “Now every time we build something they say we can’t have it. They want us gone. They could come anytime and destroy everything”.

On the Road to Tantura: Interview with Hala Gabriel

Stephen Shenfield on
Hala Gabriel on ruin of her family home.

Tantura was a beautiful Palestinian fishing village 15 miles south of Haifa. In the early hours of May 23, 1948 it was attacked and occupied by the Haganah. Over 200 villagers, mostly unarmed young men, were massacred; others were taken prisoner and put to forced labor. The site of the village is now a beach resort. The mass grave in which the victims of the massacre are buried is covered by a parking lot. Stephen Sheinfeld interviews Hala Gabriel, a Palestinian-American filmmaker, about her new film Road to Tantura. Gabriel was born as a refugee to parents who had fled from Tantura (the house left partly standing had belonged to her family). In 2010, Hala managed to enter Israel and visit the site of her ancestral village. She also met relatives who had taken refuge in the nearby village of Fureidis, which had escaped destruction, and interviewed three of the men who had participated in the attack on Tantura.

Abbas’s resignation from PLO could mean consolidation of power, ouster of rival

Allison Deger on
Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas attends the 25th Arab League summit, held for the first time in Kuwait City, on March 25, 2014. (Photo: Yasser al-Zayyat/AFP/Daily News Egypt)

Mahmoud Abbas, the 80-year old chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) whose rule over the post-Oslo post-Intifada years has come under increasing criticism for stalemate in ending Israel’s occupation, and a glaring lack of elections for more than ten years, will resign next month. Yet the move may be a gambit, aimed at reshuffling top positions in his government so as to oust his chief rivals.

Israel’s destruction of Mamilla cemetery part of effort to remove Palestine from Jerusalem

Pablo Castellani and Chiara Cruciati on
Tombs in the historic Mamilla cemetery in West Jerusalem. In the background the construction site of the Israeli Museum of Tolerance set to open in 2017. (Photo: Pablo Castellani)

Mamilla cemetery does not exist anymore. What exists now is a hotel, a school, a parking lot, a public garden, a nightclub and the US consulate. Also a museum to celebrate tolerance. But the meaning of tolerance in West Jerusalem, a few steps away from the Old City, is surreal. To build the story of a new Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities are erasing its past. Mamilla cemetery is a prominent cornerstone of the Arab, Islamic and Palestinian identity of the city. And thanks to Israel, today it’s a forgotten place.

Israel bars African asylum seekers from entering Tel Aviv after court forces government to release detainees

Dan Cohen on
Magdi Hassan holds his temporary visa minutes after his release. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

Nearly 1,200 Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers were released from Israel’s Holot detention center on Tuesday and Wednesday after the High Court ruled that asylum seekers could not be held for more than one year. Interior Minister Silvan Shalom barred the released asylum seekers from living or working in Tel Aviv and Eilat where their communities are based, effectively leaving them without a place to sleep and slim chances of earning income. Though the Ministry of Interior offered no explanation for the decision, it is the latest move to make life intolerable in order to coerce African refugees to leave Israel.

Gaza Ministry of Health: Hospitals on the verge of collapse

Kate on
Palestinian physician Allam Nayef checks the report of a patient in the ICU at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, July 19, 2014, where the power goes off repeatedly under daily rolling blackouts and many items are in short supply. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Ma’an and MEMO report: The healthcare system in the Gaza Strip is on the verge of collapse, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said Monday, warning that hospitals could stop operating within hours due to the territory’s energy crisis. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for the ministry, said that “Shifa Hospital, Kamal Adwan hospital, the European Gaza Hospital, and Rantisi Hospital could stop offering services because they are about to run out of fuel.” The Ministry holds the national unity government accountable for any harm that may befall their patients due to “the government’s lack of responsibility.”

One year later, Gaza is still in crisis

Robert Ross on
Gaza, Summer 2015. (Photo: Robert Ross)

Robert Ross reports from a recent trip to Gaza: “Indeed, despite 12 months of relative peace, Gazans are still enduring the aftermath of three Israeli wars in the past six years, an ongoing Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade, a crippled economy, and internal political strife. “Everyone here—100 percent of the people—are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,” Hamza said. Just moments earlier, he and his brother instinctively ducked their heads upon hearing a nearby firework explode. This sentiment was echoed numerous times by the doctors, public health officials, journalists, artists, and aid workers I spoke with throughout my visit to Gaza.”

Etgar Keret sometimes worries about what’s happening to Palestinians

Claire Paddock on
Etgar Keret, by Moshe Shai

Israeli writer Etgar Keret’s new memoir, The Seven Good Years, has been almost universally lauded in the U.S. Claire Paddock finds it to be a justification of Jewish privilege and state violence with a self-indulgent manner, reminiscent of the French aristocracy before the deluge

Israeli begins construction of Jewish-only town on ruins of demolished Bedouin village

Kate on
(Image: Adalah)

Ma‘an reports: Israeli excavators on Sunday morning began work on infrastructure for two Jewish-only settlements in the former Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev desert in southern Israel, locals said. Locals told Ma‘an that excavators and bulldozers were building a new road under heavy protection of Israeli forces.

Racism is part of the landscape in the southern Israeli town of Dimona (Updated)

Dan Cohen on
A sticker promoting Lehava, the anti-miscegenation group, translated into English. Photo: Dan Cohen and David Sheen

To American sensibilities, the Negev town of Dimona, Israel recalls the Jim Crow south. Throughout through the town of 33,000, racist graffiti can be seen in abundance on signs, walls and buildings. “Death to Arabs” is a common sight, and stickers promoting Lehava, the state-funded anti-miscegenation group, are posted around town.

Palestinians struggle to leave Gaza as Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Isra Saleh El-Namy on
Waiting at the Rafah Crossing. (Photo: Isra Saleh El-Namy)

Egypt recently opened the Rafah crossing with Gaza for four days; the first time it had been open in over two months. Isra Saleh El-Namy interviews people trying to leave Gaza through Rafah, including families trying to receive medical treatment, students attempting to return to school and workers hoping to return to jobs. Suhaib Sameh, a university student who had been stranded in Gaza says, “I started to feel as if I am living in a nightmare.”