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Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen by ‘mistake’

Kate on
15-year-old Mahmoud Raafat Badran (Photo: Ma'an News)

Ma’an News: 15-year-old Mahmoud Rafat Badran and his family had been driving home from a swimming pool late Sunday night when Israeli forces showered their car with gunfire, killing Mahmoud, and seriously injuring his two brothers 16-year-old Amir and 17-year-old Hadi, as well as Daoud Abu Hassan, 16, and Majd Badran, 16.The Israeli army later admitted they “mistakenly” opened fire on the innocent bystanders after Palestinian youth were reportedly throwing stones at Israeli settler vehicles nearby. Israeli media initially reported that Mahmoud and his teenage companions were “terrorists.”

Emad Khalil’s story as a Gazan worker in Israel

Mohammed Saleem on
Palestinian farmers work at their fields during the Workers' Day, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip May 1, 2016. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Gaza-based writer Mohammed Saleem writes, “Skin tanned and hands calloused from working forty-two years under the sun, Emad Khalil, a sixty-one year old retired laborer, sits in front of me. For thirty of those years, he worked in Israel. His story documents a tremendous change in attitude and policy towards Palestinian freedom of movement, employment opportunities, healthcare, and relations between Palestinians and Israelis.”

Question for the Israeli left: Why do you discount the possibility of a second Nakba?

Rida Abu Rass on
Right-wing Israelis protest the presence of Palestinians in Ashkelon, August 2015. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Rida Abu Rass writes, “Some may argue that the Nakba is an ongoing process, or rather, that it never really ended. Yet, bearing in mind the frightening political processes that are unfolding within Israel, one should wonder whether we are heading towards another catastrophe. So let us ask: how likely is is it for an ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to occur once again, similar to (or worse than) 1948? Surprisingly, I find that the Israeli Left never seriously raises this as a possibility.”

Israel’s ‘mistaken identity’ embarrassments

Jonathan Ofir on
Habtom Zerhom, from +972

A man who had a heart attack at the wheel and crashed into a Tel Aviv restaurant and then was beaten to death while unconscious was thought by his assailants to be “not a good person.” I.e., a Palestinian terrorist. This is not the first mistaken lynching in Israel, and it disturbs the Israeli narrative, we’re the victims.

Marching in the spirit of Nakba

Dan Cohen and David Sheen on
(Screenshot: YouTube)

On June 19 an article appeared in the Times of Israel criticizing Dan Cohen and David Sheen’s recent video ‘Worship God By Nakba’: Jerusalem march celebrates Israeli occupation with messianic fervor. The article claims that the moment in the film that the title is taken from, when a marcher yells “Worship God By Nakba” was mistranslated to include the word “Nakba.” In the article below, Cohen and Sheen respond to the criticism and the ensuing controversy, including why they have decided to remove the word “Nakba” from the video.

American basketball coach devotes his time to disabled in Gaza

Isra Saleh El-Namy on
American coach Jess Markt trains disabled Palestinians to play basketball during a training course organized by the Palestinian Red Cross in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 28, 2016. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

In the aftermath of successive Israeli onslaught waged on the Gaza Strip, the number of Palestinians with physical disabilities drastically increased. Gaza journalist Isra El-Namy covers American coach Jess Markt’s visit to Khan Younis as he trains disabled Palestinians to play basketball and train for future tournaments.

The naked racism of ‘Save Jewish Jerusalem’

Annie Robbins on
Screenshot: Actor in Racist Anti-Palestinian Video "Meeting of Terror heads" produced by Save Jewish Jerusalem

How in the world does a group of Israeli Jews in the would-be peace camp produce a blatantly bigoted scare video called “Save Jewish Jerusalem,” with Israeli Jewish actors impersonating violent gun wielding Palestinians and purport to be committed to the creation of a viable Palestinian state?

‘Conquerors of Jerusalem’: March celebrates Israeli occupation with messianic fervor

Dan Cohen and David Sheen on
(Screenshot: YouTube)

The Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City was cleared of its Palestinian inhabitants on the eve of the Ramadan holiday, June 5, to make way for a flag procession by Jewish religious nationalists. Some celebrants distributed stickers calling for “transfer” of Palestinians, while a Netanyahu minister called for seizing “sovereignty” of the Muslim noble sanctuary in the Old City to rebuild a Jewish temple. Watch this shocking video by Dan Cohen and David Sheen from this year’s Jerusalem Day march.

Critics say Israel’s new ‘terrorism’ law criminalizes Palestinian political activism

Emily Mulder on
Hanin Zoabi

The Israeli parliament on Wednesday passed a law expanding the power of the state to label individuals or groups as “terrorists,” in what critics said will be exploited to criminalize legitimate Palestinian political activity. Among its most controversial tenets is an expanded definition of “terrorism” as well as official procedure for declaring a group a “terrorist organization.” The law also enables the state to outlaw charity groups “indirectly” contributing to “terrorist organizations,” imprison its members by association and issue a life sentence to those who “support” but are not directly involved in “terrorist acts.” MK Hanin Zoabi of the Joint List said the new legislation is not intended to indict “real terrorists.” but has a different aim. “It aims to prevent citizens from being critical and express their views, from being involved in a popular political struggle against the [Israeli] occupation, to talk about the boycott, and in general to think outside the box,” Zoabi tells Mondoweiss.

Israel extends administrative detention for Palestinian circus performer

Kate on
(Photo: Amnesty International UK Twitter feed)

On Monday, Israel extended the administrative detention of Muhammad Faisal Abu Sakha, a 23-year-old Palestinian circus performer, in spite of widespread outcry from activists and rights groups around the world demanding his release. A statement released by the Palestinian Circus School, where Abu Sakha worked, said the Israeli occupation is “a system that knows no humanity,” whose only goal is “to break the spirit of an entire nation.” “You (the Israeli occupation) only make our resistance stronger. And the resistance of the Palestinian Circus School has always been and will continue to be injecting hope, love, and happiness in the hearts and minds of all Palestinians and all people that cross our path worldwide.”

Family of Tel Aviv attacker tries to understand how star pupil turned to violence

Allison Deger on
Mohammed Makhamri, father of Palestinian identified by local media as one of the shooters in the attack in Tel Aviv last Wednesday where four Israelis were killed, stands in his son Khaled's bedroom, Yatta. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Khaled Makhamri was an excellent student enrolled in university in Jordan on a prestigious governmental scholarship. Now his family is trying to understand why he carried out one of the deadliest attacks in Tel Aviv in years. More than 60 of the attackers in the last 9 months came from Khaled’s district in the southern West Bank and his hometown of Yatta is a particularly difficult place to live. It has the highest school drop out rate in the occupied Palestinian territory, settler attacks on agricultural land in the outskirts of town are common, and Israeli army ordered home demolitions in the surrounding areas are frequent. “The reason why he did such a thing is the occupation, he is not working with any illegal organization,” his father tells Allison Deger.

Israel as Oppressor, Palestine as Oppressed: The ‘normalization’ of what is not normal

Zeina Azzam on
A Palestinian protester holds a sign as he argues with an Israeli army soldier during a protest against what organisers say is land confiscation by Israel, near Arroub refugee camp north of the West Bank city of Hebron June 12, 2016. (Photo: Wisam Hashlamoun/ APA Images)

Zeina Azzam presents the case against “normalization”. She says that meaningful discussion of Israel/Palestine cannot start with the status quo but must address, up front, such issues as the abnormal practices of occupation, settlements on occupied territory, the separation wall, house demolitions, severe restrictions on movement, and military assaults: “As long as Israeli policymakers and citizens continue to perceive the status quo as ‘normalized,’ then deviant and volatile perspectives will keep on building until an explosion—or perhaps a series of explosions—will greatly harm everyone involved and set the efforts back irreconcilably.”

Israel destroys Bedouin village al-Araqib for the 99th time

Kate on
Al-Araqib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), being demolished for the 54th time in August 2013. (Photo: Eloise Bollack)

On Thursday, Israeli bulldozers demolished the Palestinian Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev desert for the 99th time. A local resident told Quds Press that several Bedouin families became homeless again after Israeli bulldozers escorted by police forces stormed the village and razed all their homes.

Condemn! Condemn!

Jonathan Ofir on
Israeli PM Netanyahu visits Sarona market, scene of Palestinian terrorist killings, on June 9, a day later

The condemnation that Israel demands for the Tel Aviv murders last Wednesday is a card of sympathy for its violent policies of collective punishment, and general terrorizing of a whole population. I am concerned that I will end up supporting Israeli terrorism, by condemning the Palestinian version.

A human in our midst

Howard Cohen on
Khalid Muhamra (l) and Muhammad Muhamra, the Palestinian cousins accused of attack on Wednesday night in Tel Aviv

The night of the Tel Aviv killings culminated with a fearful Palestinian seeking refuge in a Jewish home. Till he was revealed as “a terrorist.” In an instant a person was dehumanized. And in the same way the occupation defines Palestinians as subspecies without rights.