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‘Settlers are free to take what they want’: Palestinian landowners fear for the worst as land-grab law is passed

Sheren Khalel on

Fathy Shebana’s family has lived in Sinjil, a rural village between Ramallah and Nablus for as long as any of them can remember. Today, much of their land is gone, annexed by Israel for illegal settlements. Since Israel passed a new law retroactively legalizing at least a dozen settlement outposts built on private Palestinian land, Fathy and his community fear even more for the future of their land and livelihoods.

Palestinians express mixed reactions to Trump’s shift from two-state solution

Sheren Khalel on

Donald Trump became the first US President in recent years to suggest a shift in US foreign policy concerning the two-state solution during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. Saeb Erekat, head of the Palestinian Liberation Office’s Negotiations Affairs Department, said that the office would be willing to move away from the two-state solution, however he stressed that the only way Palestinians could accept sharing one state was if Israel was willing to give up the notion of a Jewish state. “Contrary to Netanyahu’s plan of one state and two systems — apartheid — the only alternative to two sovereign and democratic states on the 1967 border is one single secular and democratic state with equal rights for everyone, Christians, Muslims, and Jews, on all of historic Palestine,” he said.

Palestinians try to travel from Gaza to Egypt during rare 3-day border opening

Mersiha Gadzo on

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt over the weekend, waiting for their turn to be let through the checkpoint. The three-day opening allowed medical patients, students, and travelers with foreign passports to cross. With huge numbers of Palestinians desperate to leave Gaza, travelers typically pay an exorbitant amount of money to local brokers who coordinate their passage with Egyptian authorities. It’s been reported previously that Egyptian authorities ask for bribes of up to $10,000. Mondoweiss spoke with some hopeful travelers about their experience trying to get across the border from Gaza to Egypt while they waited in line.

Elderly father of slain Palestinian dies ‘of shock’ in Umm al-Hiran

Kate on

The 100-year old father of Yacoub Abu al-Qee‘an [or al-Qi‘an] died Thursday morning after succumbing to shock over the death of his son, who was killed by Israeli police while defending his village of Umm al-Hiran from eviction. Israeli authorities are in the process of razing and expelling the Palestinian-Bedouin residents of Umm al-Hiran, in order to establish a Jewish-Israeli community in the same location.

‘The way they arrested him was savage’: Israeli forces violently detain 14-year-old disabled Palestinian boy

Sheren Khalel on

Israeli forces stormed Aida refugee camp on Wednesday, arresting Ali Jawarish, a 14-year-old disabled Palestinian boy, who as of today is still being held in Israeli detention. The arrest was caught on video by youth from the camp, and depicts Israeli forces tearing off the boy’s shirt, and violently throwing him into the back of a military jeep. Jawarish was supposed to have a court hearing on Friday, but Israeli authorities told his family that the hearing had been postponed to an unscheduled date. “It’s not right what happens here to children, there needs to be a way to stop these kinds of crimes committed by the occupation,” says Jawarish’s cousin, Rana Musafana. “They are only children — Ali is a child, he needs to have a childhood — all the children should be able to have a childhood.”

Israel demolishes home of 100-year-old Palestinian woman leaving her homeless

Kate on

In the latest instance of Israel’s demolition campaign in the Negev region of southern Israel, homes were demolished in two unrecognized Bedouin villages on Wednesday, while Israeli police surrounded the village of Umm al-Hiran. Among those left homeless, a 100-year old Palestinian woman and her 60-year old daughter, both of whom are unable to walk due to health issues.

Israel’s settlers clear path to annexation with new land law

Jonathan Cook on

In practice there has never been a serious limit on theft of Palestinian land. But now, after passing the “Regularization Bill,” Israeli government support for the plunder will be explicit in law. It will be impossible to blame the outposts on “rogue” settlers, or claim that Israel is trying to safeguard Palestinian property rights.

Rights group: Israeli online incitement towards Arabs doubled in 2016

Allison Deger on

An Arab rights group has found tens of thousands of Israelis are publishing “widespread hatred and incitement against Arabs and Palestinians” on social media, and are often motivated to harass following charged statements by Israeli politicians. A report published by 7amleh, the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement shows slanderous, provocative, and threatening posts made by Israelis against Arabs and Palestinians more than doubled in 2016, reaching 675,000 posts made by 60,000 Hebrew-speaking Facebook users. That number amounts to one inflammatory post every 46 seconds.

Legalizing the theft of Palestinian land has been Israeli policy since Day 1

Jonathan Ofir on

The new law legalizing theft of Palestinian land is very similar to earlier legislation the Israeli government passed after Partition in 1950 and after the occupation in 1967, giving legal title to Jews of land formerly owned by Palestinians, who had either fled, been expelled, or were gerrymandered out of Israeli bounds.

Land Grab: Israeli Knesset passes law legalizing expropriation of privately-owned Palestinian land

Sheren Khalel on

The Israeli Knesset on Monday passed a controversial new law that allows the Israeli government to expropriate private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, making more than a dozen Israeli settlements legal under Israeli law. It is the first time in history that the Knesset has imposed Israeli civil law the occupied West Bank, which is under Israeli military and civilian rule. Xavier Abu Eid, a spokesperson for the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department said the law essentially “legalized theft of Palestinian land” adding that the legislation “negates peace and the possibility of the two-state solution.”

Al-Qiq launches new hunger strike, wife calls detention ‘illegitimate’ attempt to imprison journalist

Sheren Khalel on

Mohammed al-Qiq, a Palestinian journalist who spent 94-days on hunger strike last year to challenge his administrative detention—Israel’s policy of imprisoning Palestinians without charge or trial—announced Monday a second hunger strike, this time against his re-arrest. Al-Qiq’s wife, Fayha Shalash, told Mondoweiss that the proceedings, which were held in Ofer Military Court, were illegitimate, “This whole thing is just a way to put Mohammed back in jail, they have no proof of anything against him, they just want to keep him away from everything.”

Israeli supermarket chain glorifies army killer on grocery bag

Jonathan Ofir on

Benjamin Netanyahu claims Palestinians celebrate murderers and Israel does not, but grocery bag glorifying Elor Azarya proves he’s wrong. The medic who killed an incapacitated Palestinian on the ground last March is pictured with a rifle on bags given out for free at Rami Levy supermarket chain.

Israeli Knesset set to vote on ‘unconstitutional’ Palestinian land appropriation bill

Sheren Khalel on

The Israeli Knesset on Monday night is scheduled to vote on the so-called “Regularization Bill,” which, if passed, will appropriate hundreds of hectares of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank by legalizing — under Israeli law — thousands of settlement units built on privately owned Palestinian land. The bill would legalise at least 3,921 Israeli settlement units in the occupied West Bank built in contravention of Israeli and international law. The Palestine Liberation Organisation called the bill a “declaration of war.”

Gaza military court imposes heavy prison sentences on eight Fatah members

Kate on

A military court in Gaza imposed heavy prison sentences on eight Fatah members last week for “harming revolutionary unity” according to the revolutionary criminal law of the PLO. Palestinian human rights organizations condemned sentences as unjust and charges as vague and – and the confessions were made under torture.

Video: Israel evacuates Amona outpost but the settler movement looks as strong as ever

Mondoweiss Editors on

Israeli police evacuated more than 200 Israeli settlers Wednesday from the West Bank outpost of Amona, dragging families with young children out of the illegal community that was built more than a decade ago. It may seem that justice prevailed in favor of the original Palestinian landowners, but for many it is not a victory. Amona residents will ultimately be relocated in adjacent plots of land, which also belong to Palestinians.

‘Here we do not die nor live, we live suspended’: Gaza copes with a state of perpetual crisis

Ahmad Kabariti on

Five years ago the United Nations made a shocking declaration about the future of the Gaza strip: it will no longer be “a liveable place” by the year 2020. How do the people of Gaza respond to these warnings? “The international community always states there is a crisis in Gaza and then raises alarming statements. We were afraid in the past, but today people have become more cold-hearted,” said Adnan Abu Shamala, 87, a scrap vendor in a Gaza city bazaar. “I was in Amman four years ago where people were laughing loudly in every coffee shop. I met people there and I told them that I have not even smiled since six years due to the bitter life in my homeland.”

Netanyahu scandals reflect corruption at the heart of Israeli society

Jonathan Cook on

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in danger of being brought down, possibly soon, over what initially appears to be little more than an imprudent taste for Cuban cigars and pink champagne. In truth, however, the allegations ensnaring Netanyahu reveal far more than his personal flaws or an infatuation with the high life. They shine a rare light on the corrupt nexus between Israel’s business, political and media worlds, compounded by the perverse influence of overseas Jewish money.