The State Department finds Israeli settlements, settler attacks, changes to the status quo at al-Aqsa mosque and a lack of progress on Palestinian statehood are the driving cause of violence.
Category Archives: Israel/Palestine
Israel’s security cabinet announced late Monday evening that metal detectors installed at the gates of the al-Aqsa mosque compound would be removed and replaced with “smart cameras,” following more than a week of protests and upheaval against the new security measures following a deadly shooting at the site. Munther Amira, the head of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee in the West Bank, told Mondoweiss, “Nothing about this is acceptable, the only option we accept is the to return the status of the mosque back to the status quo without cameras or any other additions.” Amira said Palestinians view the extra security measures as a way for Israel to exert its control over the al-Aqsa mosque.
Speaking to Mondoweiss from Friday’s prayer at Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem, Sheikh Mustafa Tawil fears the latest Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa mosque will lead to partitioning it just like with Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque in 1994. “Muslims aren’t allowed to pray at the Ibrahimi mosque on Israeli weekends and holidays. The occupiers want to do the same thing to Al Aqsa mosque,” Tawil said. “We refuse these gates because they were set up by the occupiers to force their control over the mosque. We refuse the Israelis’ sovereignty over the mosque at all. The metal detectors are just the first step in dividing Al Aqsa mosque.”
Five leaders on an interfaith delegation to Israel/Palestine were refused permission to board their plane in the United States, in what appears to be an implementation of Israel’s travel ban on supporters of Palestinian rights and Boycott, Divestment Sanctions (BDS). Rabbi Alissa Wise: “We were told at check-in that the airline has a letter from the Israeli government saying we are not allowed to fly to Israel. I wasn’t even able to get as far as checking my bag.”
Israeli authorities on Monday installed extra security cameras around the entrances of the al-Aqsa mosque compound, Member of the Israeli Knesset’s Arab Joint List, Aida Touma-Suleiman, confirmed to Mondoweiss. The newly installed security cameras were added amid growing unrest and daily clashes over security measures instituted ten days ago following a deadly attack near the site.
Likud minister Tzachi Hanegbi says that Palestinian protests may lead to their “third Nakba”. “This is how a Nakba starts,” Hanegbi said. “I pray that they do not bring a third Nakba on themselves.”
Palestinian violence outside Al-Aqsa mosque justifies the Israeli restrictions on the site, in the eyes of Israelis. But Al Aqsa is a Muslim compound, and the greater paradigm is that of Israeli state criminality and occupation, beginning with the ethnic cleansing of the Mughrabi quarter in 1967.
Islamic hospital in occupied East Jerusalem calls on international organizations to intervene to protect the hospital from raids by Israeli security forces, “roaming Hospital corridors under the pretext of looking for injured Palestinians.”
Muhammad Abu Ghanam, 20, a student at Bir Zeit University, was shot by Israeli forces during demonstrations in East Jerusalem and died in al-Makassed hospital. A crowd of Palestinian men hauled his body in bloodied sheet over the hospital walls to prevent Israeli forces from doing what they often do, confiscating demonstrators’ bodies. Abu Ghanam had a funeral shortly after.
Gaza’s sea waters are becoming increasingly polluted with raw sewage amid the Strip’s electricity crisis, but swimmers are still diving into the sea. “Our families have been living in this area for 50 years, if we do not swim in the sea, we will not have a break from ruthless mosquito bites along the night.”
Three Palestinian youth were killed during demonstrations in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, as clashes erupted across the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in protest against new security measures installed by Israeli authorities at the al-Aqsa mosque after a deadly shooting earlier this week.
Nada Elia explores the popularity of Israeli counter-terrorism training camps that teach tourists how to shoot like and Israeli: “Instinctively. Without a nanosecond of reflection, analysis of the situation, an attempt at de-escalation. And with zero accountability.”
“They pushed me away when I tried to give Ahmed some clothes. It was very cold,” a mother in Nabi Saleh tells Richard Hardigan of her son’s recent arrest by Israeli soldiers. Nearly 100 children from Nabi Saleh have been arrested since demonstrations against settlements began in the village in 2009.
A chorus of voices say a “chasm” is growing between Israel and the United States because young Jews are increasingly marrying out of the tribe. Newsweek does readers the great favor of listing the tab of U.S. expenditure on behalf of Israel– more than any other country since World War II– and suggesting that Israel prepare to give up that assistance.
Luke Peterson sits with a group of teens and asks them if they think the Palestinian Authority has their best interest at heart, “Among the spate of laughter and eye rolls, I scanned the crowd for a single raised hand. There were none.”
The three Israeli Palestinians who killed Israeli forces at the Al Aqsa mosque Friday used violent resistance against the presence of police at the entrance to what they consider a holy site, says Gideon Levy, but even to discuss their motives is considered treason or a justification of terror.
It has been three years since the most infamous atrocity of the Gaza onslaught, the killing of the four Bakr boys on the beach by an Israeli missile. A child psychologist tells an Irish documentary that surviving children “lost their minds” and she was unable to treat them for their trauma.
“I will match every gift received by the end of July, up to a total of $5,000.” What a vote of confidence! Can you step up and meet the challenge?
Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in Dheisha refugee camp to lay to rest 18-year-old Baraa Hamamda on Friday. The teen was shot dead by Israeli forces when clashes broke out due to Israeli forces invading the camp during a pre-dawn raid.
Rawan Yaghi meets an Israeli student at Oxford University and is amazed how little she knows about Gaza: “This girl may not deserve my direct sentiments of disgust and anger. But since her comfortable life and her plans in life are made possible by the sheer misery of myself and everyone I know from Gaza and in Gaza at the moment, I could not walk away without feeling like I’ve just met a human that disregards other human beings as less worthy creatures, less worthy of the mere knowledge of their/our existence.”
Four Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces early Friday morning, while two Israelis were shot and killed by Palestinian gunmen in the deadliest day for Palestinian civilians in more than one year. The attack on the Israelis resulted in Israeli forces blockading the Al Aqsa mosque compound.
A $2.3 million Israeli lawsuit against the family of Fadi Qanbar, who crashed a truck into soldiers in Jerusalem in January, killing four, demands that his widow reimburse the state for the compensation it awarded the soldiers’ families. If she cannot raise the astronomic sum, the debt will pass to her four children, the oldest of whom is currently only seven. Israel is reported to be preparing many similar cases.
The newly-elected Labor leader in Israel, businessman Avi Gabbay, has inspired comparison to France’s Macron as a change-agent. His refusal to work politically with Arab parties or to commit to withdrawal from settlements shows that he is just the latest variation of Labor support for the Zionist status quo.
An Israeli military court on Monday extended the detention of Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar for at least another 48 hours, threatening the politician with administrative detention, a policy that allows Palestinian prisoners to be held without charge or trial for indefinitely renewable six-month periods, according to documentation from the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
Israeli leaders suggest that the UNESCO resolution to include Palestinian sites as world heritage sites is ‘anti-Semitic’ and that it denies Jewish connection. But UNESCO says the cave of the Patriarchs has Jewish significance, just that it’s in Palestine! That’s the problem.