Category Archives:
Israel/Palestine

My family’s Nakba story

Tamara Nassar on
Photo taken in al-Ramle in May 1948. (Photo: Eldan David/GPO/AP)

Mondoweiss intern Tamara Nassar shares a lyrical and haunting account of her family’s story during the Nakba: “The tragedy of the Nakba is that it perpetually reproduces itself with every refugee born in exile and until the last refugee returns. The Palestinian in diaspora gives birth to Nakba; her children become walking embodiments of abandonment.”

Coexistence in the land of ‘Hatikvah’

Steven Davidson on
Independence Hall in Tel Aviv (Photo: Steven Davidson)

Growing up in the US, the Israeli national anthem held special meaning for Steven Davidson. But after living with a Palestinian family in Hebron, the song gained a different meaning: “Hatikvah didn’t feel so close to my heart any more. Its solemn melody still aroused that sense of belonging through wandering, only now, this sense felt betrayed by the song’s words. Everyone singing Hatikvah in this room felt like they belonged in a state they barely knew of— to the exclusion of so many whose home this had once been.”

My Name is Saleh: Notes on Palestinian childhood

Juliana Farha on
Palestinian children play as they perform the suffering of the Palestinian citizens to cross Israeli checkpoints, in the West Bank city of Nablus, on June 27, 2010. (Photo: Wagdi Eshtayah/APA images)

Ahead of this week’s House of Lords debate about the health and well being of Palestinian children, Juliana Farha reports from a sold-out presentation by Defense for Children International-Palestine at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies: “Ayed tells us that physical torture of Palestinian children was common a few years ago, but interrogators observed that those being tortured often call up reserves of strength to resist, rendering it counter-productive. Instead, they discovered, psychological terror can be more effective: threatening to arrest the child’s family members, for instance, or to revoke his father’s work permit.”

Palestinian boy of 12 in occupied West Bank is killed by rubber-coated steel bullet

Kate on
Muhye Muhammad Sidqi al-Tabbakhi, 12, who was killed by Israeli forces yesterday in the occupied West Bank, from Facebook

A 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Muhye Muhammad Sidqi al-Tabbakhi, was killed Tuesday evening during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the occupied village of al-Ram in the West Bank after he was struck in the heart by a rubber-coated steel bullet. Police had raided the village and youths responded with bottles and stones, which were met by live fire, rubber bullets, and tear gas.

Poet on Trial: A visit to an Israeli court

Kim Jensen on
Dareen Tatour's supporters and family outside the courthouse after the hearing. Clockwise from bottom right: Yoav Haifawi, Dareen Tatour, Samira Juma'at, Tawfiq Tatour, Abed Fahoum, Iris Bar, Rami A'mer, and Marah Maghamseh. (Photo: Kim Jensen)

Kim Jensen reports from Nazareth at the third hearing in the Israeli government’s case against Dareen Tatour, the 33-year old Palestinian poet who is being prosecuted for “incitement to violence” on the basis of a YouTube clip and two alleged Facebook status updates. Jensen writes, “The wheels of justice grind slowly in the State of Israel, at least for Palestinian activists who endure de facto and de jure inequality under the law.”

Israel’s opposition parties plan to filibuster bill to expel Hanin Zoabi

Allison Deger on
Hanin Zoabi

Members of Israel’s opposition coalition will filibuster overnight to stall a vote on a controversial bill to expand the Knesset’s power to oust one of their own. The expulsion bill, formerly called the suspension bill, grants parliamentarians the authority to permanently kick their peers out of office, without loose criteria for disqualification. It is aimed at one member: Hanin Zoabi of the Joint List.

Explaining Israel’s separate and unequal education system

Hatim Kanaaneh on
Israeli Education Minister Naftali (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Haaretz has run a series of articles on Israel’s “separate and unequal” education system that allocates more funds to Jewish students than Palestinian students. Hatim Kanaaneh says it’s old news. It’s been this way for the four decades he’s been advocating for Palestinian citizens of Israel. In a state that defines itself as Jewish, what do you expect?

Gaza couples struggle with financial difficulties amidst social crisis

Isra Saleh El-Namy on
Palestinian grooms sit with their brides on the stage during a mass wedding ceremony in Gaza City, on April 11, 2015. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

After nine years of Israel’s blockade and consistent assaults on Gaza, Gazans are faced with a financial crisis that impedes on daily and personal decisions leading to disastrous social consequences: young couples lack basic resources to marry and sustain families.

Israeli human rights organizations push back against law designed to ‘silence opposition’

Emily Mulder on
Israelis from the left-wing organization Peace Now protest in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem over the "Jewish state" bill, November 29, 2014. (Photo: Peace Now/Facebook)

Israel’s human rights NGOs pushed back this week after the Knesset passed a transparency law that critics say was the most recent attempt by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition to persecute the country’s left. Leading Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now vowed to wage legal war against the new law, which requires NGOs that receive more than half of their funding from foreign donors to declare their funding sources prior to addressing Knesset committees, speaking with public officials, as well as on publications and websites.

Video: Palestinian swimmer overcomes Israeli restrictions to prepare for Rio Olympics

Jimmy Hutcheon and Chloé Rouveyrolles on
Mary al Atrash, a 22-year-old swimmer from Beit Sahour that will represent Palestine in the 2016 Olympic Games.

Palestinian swimmer Mary al Atrash, 22, is one of six Palestinians competing this year in Rio as part of the largest delegation Palestine has ever sent to the Olympics Games. Al Atrash will compete in the 50 meters freestyle, but her training has been difficult due to the fact that she does not have an Olympic-size pool to train in. Nearby Jerusalem has better facilities, including several Olympic-sized pools, but because of the Israeli occupation al Atrash is unable to travel to Jerusalem to train.

Prisoner Bilal Kayid rushed to hospital on 33rd day of hunger strike

Kate on
Hunger striker Bilal Kayid, on a poster made by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayid was rushed to a hospital in Ashkelon, Israel, after his health suddenly deteriorated, as he entered his 33rd day of hunger strike, according to the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs. Meanwhile, some 37 Palestinians prisoners have begun open hunger strikes in solidarity with Kayid.

Palestinian youth was shot 9 times ‘accidentally,’ Israeli army says

Kate on
Yahya Hisham Hijazi, 24, shot in the leg 9 times on July 14, mistakenly, Israeli soldiers say, as he traveled in Jerusalem. Photo by IMEMC

Yahya Hisham Hijazi, 24, from Shu‘fat refugee camp in occupied Jerusalem, who was injured by nine Israeli army bullets [on Thursday 14 July], became the latest victim of Israel’s security obsession and paranoia, under allegations that became known to the Palestinians, claims of “carrying a knife,” that continue to be used as a direct justification of the military’s open fire orders.

Powerful new game ‘Liyla and The Shadows of War’ dramatizes 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza

Wilson Dizard on
Liyla and The Shadows of War

A Palestinian computer engineer has put together a chilling game for smartphones, which shows the struggle of Gazan civilians to survive Israel’s 2014 onslaught. Rasheed Abueideh, creator of “Liyla and The Shadows of War” says he wants to provoke an emotional reaction from players. “[The purpose of the game is] to make people cry,” he says. “It’s to show the facts in the war and the effect of war on the civilians and on children.”

After attack, Netanyahu gov’t pours money into rightwing settlements

Allison Deger on
Israeli security forces gather near the scene of what the Israeli military said was an attack by Palestinian in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba near the West Bank city of Hebron 30 June 2016. Israeli army said the Palestinian was shot and killed after he stabbed and killed an Israeli female settler and injured others. (Photo: Wisam Hashlamoun/APA Images)

Israel’s security cabinet said Sunday it will spend $13 million to expand social and education programs in West Bank settlements “in order to make it easier” for residents “to deal with the effects of the security situation and minimize its impact on the daily routine.” Peace Now said the funding was a backdoor policy to build up settlements under the cover of responding to the recent bout of violence.

Israeli forces shoot five Palestinians during raid of Sa’ir as siege of southern West Bank continues

Kate on
Poster of four young men from occupied Palestinian village, Sa'ir, killed on one day in January. Their names were Ahmad Kawazba, Alaa Abed Kawazba, Muhannad Kawazba, and Khalil al-Shalalda (Photo: Adam Horowitz)

Ma’an reports: “Israeli forces shot and injured at least five Palestinians and detained three others in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron overnight Saturday, as Israeli forces continued to impose a strict siege on the village of Sair after an Israeli man was shot and injured while driving his car around midnight near the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Teqoa.”

900 Gazans are still in need of care for injuries sustained in 2014 war

Kate on
A mother and son in the orthopedic department at Ash Shifa hospital, Gaza City, October 2015 (Photo: UN/OCHA)

UN: “In early July 2014, the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Gaza’s struggling health sector was near to collapse due to the severe shortages of medicines, medical disposables and fuel, and the lack of capacity to expand services to meet population needs. In the days and weeks following that warning, the health sector was confronted with over 11,200 injuries, among them more than 3,800 children, which is the highest number of injuries for such period of time it had ever faced. The challenge to the health system posed by the 2014 hostilities has extended into the present; approximately 900 of those injured sustained some form of permanent disability and require continued attention, while a significant part of the health infrastructure was damaged.”