Category Archives:
Israel/Palestine

Three Joint List MKs suspended from Knesset over visit to Palestinian attacker’s homes

Allison Deger on
Hanin Zoabi.

Three members of the Joint List—the third largest faction in Israel— were suspended from Knesset today for visiting the homes of East Jerusalem Palestinian families whose relatives carried out attacks against Israelis in recent weeks. Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ghattas will be barred from Knesset meetings for four months, and Jamal Zahalka for two.

Couple in besieged Gaza hopes to crowdfund their wedding

Dan Cohen on
Hakim Zughbor and Falastin Tanani (Photo: Ezz Zanoon)

Hakim Zughbor and Falastin Tanani have been unable to find work in a Gaza economy devastated by siege but are not letting that prevent them from beginning their lives together. Hakim and Falastin have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money for their wedding, an unusual step in the Gaza Strip, where tradition and conservatism rule. But in a place where electricity comes on two hours per day and salt water comes out of the sink, Gaza’s residents have turned to unorthodox ways of accomplishing their goals.

Thousands take part in funeral of 14-year-old Palestinian boy shot outside Hebron

Kate on
Haitham Ismail Muhammad al-Baw, 14, who was killed by Israeli forces Feb. 5 in occupied Halhul

Many Palestinian officials took part in the funeral Saturday of Haitham Ismail Muhammad al-Baw, 14, who was shot by Israeli forces in the village of Halhul outside Hebron Friday because he allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail. Al-Baw is the 170th Palestinian killed since the wave of violence began last October.

Hunger-striking Palestine journalist Muhammad Al-Qeeq said to be near death

Carlos Latuff on
Carlos Latuff
Hunger Striking Journalist Muhammad Al-Qeeq Enters Coma

The Palestinian journalist Muhammad Al-Qeeq is near death, after entering his 48th day of hunger strike at a hospital in Afula, Israel, according to Amnesty International. His hunger strike against Israeli detention began Nov. 24, 2015, after soldiers blew the front door of his house off and arrested him.

In Photos: Israeli forces close down village of 25,000 following deadly attack by three teen boys

Abed Al Qaisi on
Israeli forces closed all seven entrances to the village. Each entrance has seen clashes and protests, as residents continue to demand their village be opened.  (Photo: Abed al Qaisi)

Israeli forces closed down Qabatiya village in the northern occupied West Bank overnight Wednesday, following an attack carried out by three teens from the village who shot and killed a 19-year-old Israeli police officer, and seriously injured another. All three teens were shot dead at the scene, but Israeli forces retaliated by closing down the attackers’ hometown. Around 25,000 people in the large northern village are on lockdown.

Double standard seen as Israel sentences minors involved in Abu Khdeir murder to prison but no punitive measures

Allison Deger on
Suha Abu Khdier, mother of slain Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdier, shows a photograph of her son who was abducted and burned alive in July 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

Two Israeli minors were convicted in a Jerusalem district court this afternoon for the abduction and killing of 16-year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in July 2014. One of the killers aged 17 was sentenced to life in prison, and the younger defendant aged 16 was sentenced to a lesser 21 years. “We are really disappointed feeling sad and angry,” said Amsam Abu Khdeir hours after the judgment was issued. “We want to treat them as they treat any Palestinian, to demolish their houses, and withdraw their nationality, and to get a lifetime in prison. As they [the killers] prevent Mohammed from life, they should taste the same and whatever this court sentence is it won’t be enough for us. Nothing will bring Mohammed back to us. They burned him for the second time today.”

60 Palestinians homeless after Israel razes West Bank village for army training zone

Allison Deger on
Demolition in Khirbet Jenbah in the South Hebron Hills on February 2, 2016. (Photo: Nasser Nasser Nawaj'ah/B'Tselem)

Some 60 Palestinians awoke Tuesday morning to the sound of bulldozers razing their West Bank village in the South Hebron Hills as the Israeli army cleared the grounds to expand a live-fire training zone. The military demolished 22 structures in the herding community of Khirbet Jenbah, a ramshackle town with houses made of tin, tarp and stone. Thirty-two children were left homeless.

Israeli forces invade West Bank village after Palestinians kill police officer in Jerusalem

Kate on
A Palestinian protester throws a molotov cocktail at Israeli security forces during clashes in Qabatiya, a town near Jenin in the north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on February 4, 2016. Israeli forces locked down Qabatiya that was home to Palestinians who killed a policewoman and wounded another in Jerusalem, an attack analysts called an escalation after months of violence. (Photo: Nedal Eshtayah/ APA Images)

Israeli forces stormed the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin’s Qabatiya village, the home of three Palestinian youths who were shot dead Wednesday after killing one 19-year-old Israeli police officer and seriously injuring another, a PLO spokesman told Ma‘an. Ali Zakarneh said that during the raid, Israeli forces shot and injured four youths with live bullets, one of whom is in critical condition after being shot in the head.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the ghost of U.N. past

Tom Suarez on
It's sunrise on the Israeli settlement city of Har Homa, in Bethlehem. [T Suarez]

“I will always stand up to those who challenge Israel’s right to exist”, Ban Ki-moon assures the world, handing Israel carte blanche to define just what ‘Israel’ is, a definition the world has waited for in vain since 1948. Does it extend to Ma’ale Adumim? The Jordan? The Nile? Will citizens someday be equal? It doesn’t look promising, but whatever it is, we support it!

Despite total lack of evidence, Israeli court sentences ‘Hares Boys’ to 15 years in prison

Annie Robbins on
Carlos Latuff -- Lady 
Justice takes a beating

No evidence, no eye witnesses, and no crime preceded the capture, torture and forced confessions of the Hares Boys, 5 Palestinian youths from the West Bank village of Hares. And yet Ali Shamlawi, Mohammed Kleib, Mohammed Suleiman, Ammar Souf, and Tamer Souf were recent sentenced, after almost 3 years of imprisonment and over 100 hearings, by the Israeli occupation military court to 15 years in prison.

‘An Arab is an Arab’

Jonathan Ofir on
The late Golda Meir, who declared in 1969 that there was never such a thing as Palestinians

Seeking to define Palestinians as Arabs is another way that Zionist Israelis have sought to deny Palestinian nationality on the part of non-Jewish citizens, to secure the state’s definition as the “Jewish State,” and to finish the Nakba by denying the existence of Palestine, outside of a couple of Bantustans.

Can there be poetry after Netanyahu?

Michael Marder on
Benjamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu and his government are thoroughly complicit with the efforts to brand their political opponents and artists opposed to the status quo as traitors. Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev recently tabled a proposal for a “Loyalty Bill” that would allocate government grants solely to artists supportive of the regime. The proposed legislation has been likened to the McCarthyist witch-hunts in the US of the 1950s, but we need not travel so far in time to find alarming parallels. It is obvious that the Israeli right is emulating above all Putin’s Russia of the 2010s.

There is no ‘post’ traumatic stress in Gaza because the trauma is continuous

John Soos, PhD on
Members of a Palestinian family living in a container as a temporary replacement for their house that was destroyed by Israeli shelling during the 50 day war in 2014, warm themselves next to a fire during a rainy day in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, Jan. 24, 2016. (Photo: Mohammed Asad/ APA Images)

John Soos traveled to Gaza with a delegation from Physicians for Social Responsibility to address the secondary trauma that mental health professionals there are struggling with. He writes, “Post traumatic stress disorder, as a clinical term, barely touches the enormity of the disabling psychological distress that permeates the reality of daily life here. There is nothing ‘post’ about a continual, unrelenting, multifaceted catastrophe.”

Israeli govt accelerates settlement construction, ‘opposition leader’ Isaac Herzog calls for electrified fence between Israel and West Bank

Kate on
Isaac Herzog

“Opposition leader” Isaac Herzog posts on Facebook setting out his vision for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “Why [doesn’t the Netanyahu government] implement an effective separation? Why don’t they erect a wall? What’s the point of a fence if one can hop over or crawl under it? We don’t need a livestock fence. We need real separation that will truly block the terrorists. We can erect a real fence, topped with electrified barbed wire, one that can’t be traversed. Any weaker solution is wantonness that this government is responsible for. We need a fence that’ll deter murderers and defend civilians. We can do that and defend our civilians from terrorism and murder. That’s part of my separation plan.”

Cut the Gordian Knot — a response to Ban Ki-moon’s landmark speech

Annie Robbins on
Gordian Knot

In his last year as UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon gives a landmark speech saying it is only human nature for Palestinians to respond to 50 years of occupation and illegal settlement activity with violence, but the media are quick to swamp the story with Israeli PM Netanyahu’s reaction