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Rights group: Strip searches at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport are illegal

Allison Deger on
Screenshot from Adalah video on Israeli airport security.

For Arab travelers through Israel’s Ben Gurion airport, it is common knowledge that lengthy questioning and strip searches come before boarding. As it turns out, forcing passengers into airport back rooms and requiring them to remove clothing is illegal under Israeli law, says legal rights group Adalah.

Palestinian fishermen struggle to survive next door to Netanyahu’s palatial suburb

Skylar Lindsay on
Khalid Jurban fixes a fishing net in the Palestinian village of Jisr al-Zarqa. (Photo: Skylar Lindsay)

Skylar Lindsay reports from Jisr al-Zarqa, the only town on the coast of Israel today with an entirely Arab population. Despite being on the Mediterranean, Jisr al-Zarqa is trapped. Fourteen thousand residents occupy a little 1.5 square kilometer strip of coastline where 80 percent of families live below the poverty line. The town is pushed up against the sea by Highway 2 and squeezed from the north by a kibbutz and on the south by Caesarea, the luxurious suburb Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu calls home. “Have you seen Netanyahu’s house?” Palestinian fisherman Khalid Jurban asks, jokingly. “See? Here there are Palestinians and Israelis living right beside.”

In response to new aid deal, Israeli military firms to bid directly for defense contracts through US subsidiaries

Kate on

Ha’aretz reports: “The key to Israeli defense firms not losing business under the new U.S. military aid deal will be to follow Elbit Systems and set up subsidiaries in the United States to bid for defense orders, industry officials said over the weekend. They were speaking days after the United States and Israel signed a 10-year memorandum of understanding that will provide Israel with $3.8 billion in annual grants. In the deal, Israel will no longer be entitled to spend 26.3% of the money – equal to around $815 million annually in recent years – in Israel.”

US aid deal gives green light to Israel’s erasure of Palestine

Jonathan Cook on
(Image: Carlos Latuff)

The clearest message from Israel’s new $38 billion aid package is one delivered to the Palestinians: Washington sees no pressing strategic interest in ending the occupation. It stood up to Netanyahu over the Iran deal but will not risk a damaging clash with Israel and its loyalists in Congress over Palestinian statehood.

Two women’s boats set sail for Gaza in effort to break blockade

Allison Deger on
Mavi Marmara, with images of men who were slain aboard during 2010 mission. 

An all-female crew has set sail on two vessels headed towards Gaza on Wednesday in attempts of breaking the nine-year Israeli blockade on the coastal Mediterranean strip. The “Women’s Boat to Gaza” is the fourth of its kind, captained by women-only with 30 female activists and high-ranking officials aboard the Arabic-named Zaytouna (“Olive”) and the Amal (“hope”).

Commemorating the Shatila massacre, 34 years ago today

Richard Hardigan on
Survivors of the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camp massacre

A dark anniversary: Israel invaded Lebanon in June 1982 to drive out the PLO, and in September it handed over control of Palestinian refugee camps Sabra and Shatila in western Beirut to Christian Phalange militias, which carried out a massacre of about 3000 residents over three days in mid-September.

Israel’s bogus civil war

Jonathan Cook on
Decision at 50, the new peace group

A new Israeli political group called Decision at 50 aims at ending the occupation of the West Bank, but its guiding assumption is that yet again the Israeli public should determine unilaterally the Palestinians’ fate. It has nothing to say about the occupation of Gaza or East Jerusalem, and offers no answer to the subjugation of Palestinians.

Palestinians with disabilities are not immune from Israeli violence

Richard Hardigan on
Iyad Hamed. This image appeared in Haaretz

When Iyad Hamed, 38, a father of four, got confused near an Israeli checkpoint last month and started to run, he was shot and killed– and labeled a terrorist. But he had a mental disability and had just bought candy for his children. His killing highlights the special vulnerability of disabled Palestinians under occupation,

Netanyahu’s big lie

Carlos Latuff on
Netanyahu's ethnic cleansing argument is falling on deaf ears, by Carlos Latuff

The world is taking a dim view of Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest effort to justify the erasure of Palestine with a false video narrative about the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews from illegal West Bank settlements.

Palestinian high court cancels municipal elections

Allison Deger on
Palestinian Central Elections Commission Chairman Hanna Nasir, announces the kick-off of candidate nomination in the West Bank and Gaza, August 25, 2016. (Photo: Central Elections Commission)

Upcoming municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza were cancelled yesterday by a Palestinian high court in Ramallah, after ruling in favor of a lawyers guild’s petition to strike down the race because East Jerusalem Palestinians were not eligible to cast ballots, or compete for seats in the government. Although the decision was said to have been made over a procedural technicality, some speculated political motives from members of the West Bank-based Fatah were at play.

Banned from leaving Gaza, Palestinian group rocks out at border

Mohammed Asad on
The Palestinian band Dawaween performs outside of the Erez checkpoint in the Gaza Strip. The group was denied permits to enter Jerusalem in early August to perform a concert. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Smacked with a travel ban after Israel denied permits to leave Gaza through the northern Erez crossing, the musical group Dawaween performed a protest concert on the strip’s border with a windswept demilitarized buffer zone and chain-linked fence in the background.

Why segregation is the single most important issue in Israel, and practical ways to confront it

Shimrit Baer and Ofer Neiman on
A part of work in Jewish settlement of Harmoun Hanatsave near the Arab neighbourhood of Ras al-Amud in Jerusalem on Oct. 30, 2012. (Photo: Mahfouz Abu Turk/APA Images)

Segregation is a state whereby people are separated and isolated by race or ethnicity. When separation is the outcome of decades of systematic policies and practices, segregation can surely be considered involuntary. In Israel, segregation determines the Zionist class system and goes largely unquestioned. The challenge at the forefront of civil rights is how to rewrite Israel’s racial space divisions as something other than a foregone conclusion.

After building a protest movement, West Bank village of Nabi Saleh steps back from weekly Friday protests

Allison Deger on
Women and children of Nabi Saleh ambush an armed Israeli soldier attempting to capture a child in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, August 28, 2015. (Photo: Shadi Hatem/APA Images)

Over the summer, one of the founding villages of the Palestinian non-violent movement, Nabi Saleh, decided to stop holding the weekly Friday demonstrations that brought the small West Bank town international attention. The move comes following scores of arrests and a general fatigue among protesters. “The tear gas is inside the village, the clashes are inside of the homes, and it’s a small village which makes it difficult for the people to continue,” said Bassem Tamimi, a leader in Nabi Saleh who helped organize weekly marches over the past six years. He estimates that more than 350 people from his 600 person town have been injured in clashes with the army since 2010, and 50 were left physically disabled.