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Bil’in marks ten years of popular resistance

Allison Deger on
Tear gas canisters collected at the end of Bil'in's tenth anniversary protest, February 27, 2015. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Plumes of teargas wafted up the terraced hillside of the West Bank village of Bil’in on Friday when over 1,000 demonstrators marked ten years of weekly protests against Israel’s separation wall and occupation, outside of Ramallah. Israelis drove in from Tel Aviv, and international activists and Palestinians from nearby towns flocked to march from the center of Bil’in, to the hamlet’s agricultural grounds. As with every Friday, clashes ensued once protesters reached the outskirts of town where olive orchards and patch vegetable farms buffer Israel’s concrete barrier and one of the most populated settlements, Modi’in Illit.

Banksy goes to Gaza

Annie Robbins on
(Photo: Banksy)

On Wednesday, Banksy published a video and photos from a recent trip to Gaza and set the internet ablaze.

FAQ: Palestinians and the Israeli elections

Allison Deger on
Campaign poster against Arab list candidate Ahmed Tibi, posted near the DCO checkpoint in the West Bank. Reads: "Tibi yes, Marzel no. Are you crazy?" (Photo: Allison Deger)

Will the Arab List with its assumed new clout back a Zionist-left government in order to keep incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing bloc out of government? Or will Palestinians be politically marginalized, as they traditionally are? Some Frequently Asked Questions about Palestinians and the election.

About me: The olive tree

Amal AlHazred on
Olive tree in Turmus Aya, photo posted by Hala Kanan

To understand her background in Palestine, Amal AlHazred had to learn about olive trees. “I remember how my father in Jordan held a seed and said ‘These will be Palestinian olives’ and how inspired he was.”

Israel has granted refugee status to 0.07% of African asylum seekers

Ben Norton on
African refugees behind a barbed-wire fence in Israel’s Holot detention center in the Negev desert
(Photo: Reuters)

Israel has not granted a single Sudanese asylum seeker refugee status, in spite of a wave of migrants fleeing violence, according to official state statistics, submitted to the High Court of Justice on February 16. In all, the government has granted refugee status to only 0.07% of the 5,573 Sudanese and Eritreans who have applied for asylum in the country—a mere four individuals.

Al Jazeera publishes leaked intelligence files showing Netanyahu lied about Iranian nuclear threat

Annie Robbins on
Aljazeera: The Spy Cables (Photo: Aljazeera)

A little over one month before a deadline to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, three weeks before Israelis head to the polls, and 8 days before Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu is set to address both houses of Congress, Aljazeera’s investigative unit has begun publishing a cache of leaked intelligence files exposing the Mossad, MI6, and the CIA. Dubbed “The Spy Cables”, the initial reporting leads to one conclusion: Benjamin Netanyahu is a liar. The timing couldn’t be better.

Israel’s new Asian allies

Jonathan Cook on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu With China's ambassador to Israel, Gao Yan Ping, at event marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of relations with China in 2013. (Photo: Ofer Vaknin via Haaretz)

As Israel’s relations in the US and Europe falter, Benjamin Netanyahu has begun looking elsewhere for economic – and ultimately political – patrons. Netanyahu announced last month that he was courting trade with China, India and Japan and last year Israel did more trade with these Asian countries than with the US — much of it focused on the burgeoning arms market. Israel hopes to convert Chinese and Indian dependency on Israeli armaments into diplomatic cover. One day Israel may be relying on a Chinese veto at the UN, not a US one.

No matter who wins the Israeli elections, Palestinians lose

Jamie Stern-Weiner on
Campaign posters for the "Zionist Camp" and Likud party. They say (top) "It's us or him" and (bottom) "It's us or them."

Mainstream Israeli political parties are united in rejecting the international consensus for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but they are divided over “the Kerry Plan” which would see Israel annex its major illegal settlement blocs on critical chunks of Palestinian territory, redraw its border roughly along the route of the illegal Wall and nullify the refugees’ right of return. Whereas Netanyahu is content to maintain the status quo of occupation and settlement expansion, the pro-Kerry camp seeks its legal consecration through a US-brokered deal. If Netanyahu forms Israel’s next government, Palestine’s foreseeable future will resemble its unbearable present. But if Netanyahu loses, the decisive obstacle to securing formal Palestinian capitulation to US-Israeli terms may be removed with him.

The importance of Palestinian recognition

Jeff Warner, Eric A. Gordon, and Yossi Khen on
Pro-Palestinian supporters position a giant banner calling for a recognised Palestinian State, in Parliament Square, central London on October 13, 2014. (Photo: AFP/Leon Neal)

Support for recognition of Palestine is a symbolic yet meaningful action to show support for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and freedom from occupation. It is an action that Palestinian leaders have been asking for since 1988.

Cycle ’48: Remapping the Nakba

Sara Moon, Bella Crowe and Ruth Kappe on
The Cycle '48 bikes

Last week Sara Moon, Bella Crowe and Ruth Kappe left Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, and joined the Jewish National Fund cycle trail from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in order to uncover the hidden stories related on its path. Along the way they engage Israelis on their understanding of the Nakba and what it continues to mean today. Their organization, Cycle ’48, is an ongoing project remapping erased histories on two wheels.

Ten year old Palestinian boy attacked by settlers and abducted by Israeli soldiers while playing in the snow in Hebron

Kate on
Saleh Abu Shamsiya, 10, after the attack (Photo: Imad Abu Shamsiya)

The ISM reports that on the 21st of February Saleh Abu Shamsiya, a 10-year-old Palestinian boy, was attacked by settler youth in the Al-Khalil (Hebron) neighborhood of Tel Rumeida. Saleh’s father and activist with the group Human Rights Defenders Imad Abu Shamsiya reported that the settlers, who looked around 18-19 years old, surrounded his son while he was playing in the snow and stabbed him in the arm with a sharp metal object about 15 cm long.

How two Palestinian Americans plan to PIVOT the world

Annie Robbins on
Yaffa, before and after (Photo: PIVOT)

Asma Jaber and Sami Jitan, two diaspora Palestinians, were awarded the $25,000 Grand Prize at Harvard Innovation Lab’s 2014 Entrepreneurship Challenge for their visionary project, a mobile app called PIVOT. The app, which will be launched in Palestine, allows users to peel back layers of time and includes interactive audio/video features, oral histories and augmented reality.

Mike Huckabee’s ‘welcome to Israel’ bash was in a settlement

Allison Deger on
Screenshot from Yishai Fleisher's Facebook page.

Sushi and wine were in abundance in the West Bank settlement of Psagot near Ramallah Monday night as former Arkansas Governor and 2016 presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee was honored at the start of a ten-day trip to Israel. Huckabee is in the region promoting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s forthcoming address to congress.

How Uncle Ibrahim protected the village lands

Hatim Kanaaneh on
Chief Complaints, cover of Hatim Kanaaneh's new book

“Chief Complaint,” Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh’s portrait of a Galilee village Arrabeh will be published by Just World Books next week. Here is an exclusive excerpt from the book, a portrait of a legendary elder, Uncle Ibrahim, and how he tried to save village lands from being taken by the Israeli land authority

Israel sentences Palestinian teen Lina Khattab to 6 months in prison for protesting

Ben Norton on
Lina Khattab

Lina Khattab, an 18-year-old Birzeit University student and dancer in the prominent El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe, was arrested by Israeli troops on December 13 2014. She, along with an array of other students, had been participating in a protest on behalf of Palestinian political prisoners, in celebration of the 47th anniversary of the founding of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Israeli authorities charged her with “throwing stones” and “participating in an unlawful demonstration.” On February 16, Khattab was sentenced to six months in prison, three years on probation, and a 6,000 NIS ($1,500 USD) fine. The only evidence used against her in court were the testimonies of the three Israeli police who arrested her. No independent proof was provided.