There were demonstrations across Palestine today over Trump’s inauguration and plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. Six protesters were arrested after they set up a tent on the outskirts of the illegal Jerusalem settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, which many in Israel’s government want to annex.
Category Archives: Israel/Palestine
Historian Avi Shlaim reveals a shift in his thinking on Israel and Palestine: Zionism was a colonial project well before 1967. And the US and Britain have traded roles as mother country.
Haaretz reports: An Israeli bill to annex the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim will be voted on by Israeli ministers on Sunday, two days after Donald Trump takes office and will also include a clause annexing the controversial E1 area. But Netanyahu may delay the vote to avoid conflict with the U.S.
Tamam Abusalama writes, “I have been looking for a home since I came to this world for almost 23 years. I know that this is the destiny of each Palestinian. To be honest, returning back to our origin village is a dream that we, Palestinians, are going to keep fighting for. Knowing what “home” feels like is also a dream.”
The Israeli police stated yesterday (January 18, 2016) that they killed Yaqub Musa Abu al-Qi’an, a Bedouin man when he tried to run them over in a terror attack, in Umm al-Hiran, Northern Negev. A Forensic Architecture investigation shows that Abu al-Qi’an was shot before driving over the policemen and that after the incident the police shot to kill him when already incapacitated.
The Palestinians have always deserved the basic human rights afforded to so many other people. With the passage of U.N. Resolution 2334, now is the time to act.
Yesterday, Israeli police forces demolished homes and structures at Umm Al-Hiran, a Bedouin village in the southern Negev desert. Umm Al-Hiran is one of 39 ‘unrecognised’ Bedouin villages in Israel’s southern Negev and has faced state repression since the founding of Israel in 1948. Therefore it is best to understand yesterday’s violence and the case of Umm Al-Hiran as part of an overarching policy of ethnic cleansing.
Controversy erupted on Wednesday over conflicting reports regarding an incident in Umm al-Hiran, a Palestinian Bedouin village facing demolition in the Negev, where two people — one Palestinian civilian and an Israeli police officer — were killed. Palestinian witnesses said Israeli forces shot at a truck driving through the village, making the driver lose control and run over an officer, while Israeli officials have reported that the Palestinian was shot and killed after purposefully running over and killing the Israeli officer. Grainy drone footage, released after the incident, allegedly shows Israeli forces opening fire before the driver sped up and hit the officer.
A peaceful march broke out into clashes on Sunday, after Palestinians gathered in the occupied southern West Bank city of Bethlehem to demand Israeli authorities release the remains of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces to their families for burial. Samir al-Khadour, the husband of slain Majd al-Khadour, said, “To see all these people here gives me hope that I will get my wife’s body back one day.”
Qusay Hassan al-Umour, 17, was shot dead during clashes in Tuqu village on Monday afternoon. While the Israeli army says youth in the village had started a “violent riot”, locals say less than a dozen teens were throwing rocks at Israeli military jeeps before the shooting began. Sheren Khalel reports from Tuqu as thousands take to the streets in mourning and the al-Umour family struggles with the devastating news. “They have destroyed me. May God bring them to justice,” al-Umour’s mother tells Khalel.
Ma‘an reports: Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager during clashes in the Bethlehem-area village of Tuqu‘ in the southern occupied West Bank on Monday evening. A Palestinian Red Crescent spokesperson told Ma‘an that 17-year-old Qusay Hasan al-Umour was shot with live ammunition in the chest at least three times, and that Israeli forces had detained him for an unspecified period of time before handing over his body to the health organization. A video taken by Palestinian journalist Hisham Abu Sharqah immediately after al-Umour was shot seemingly contradicts the Israeli army’s version of events.
“We will soon be the majority!” says a huge billboard in the heart of Tel-Aviv. Written in Arabic and showing Palestinians with Palestinian flags it is meant to frighten Jewish Israelis into supporting a two-state solution. The Israeli press is reporting that many Israelis “erroneously thought this to be a hostile takeover of the media by Palestinian terror organizations,” but the campaign is actually the work of a ‘liberal’ organization from the center of Israeli politics.
Is a two-state “solution” still possible? Or is it time to push for one state with equal rights for all? Palestinian youths in Gaza respond to the Paris Peace Conference.
Shafiqa Juma’a, 80, sleeps with her grand-daughters in house in occupied Kafr Qaddum, Palestine. When masked Israeli soldiers raid in the middle of the night to prevent demonstrations by the village, Juma’a must wake her grandchildren, so that the guns don’t. A staggering report by Amira Hass.
A central question of the Middle East Peace Process remains: can the two-state solution be saved? On Sunday, a conference in Paris will try to relaunch the moribund peace process and the French Initiative has been warmly received by the Palestinian leadership as a final chance to save the two-state-solution: “Two states today is possible. Tomorrow, it might be too late” warned Muhammad Shtayyeh, Fatah Central Committee Member, who nevertheless remains optimistic. “The reality on the ground, the demography on the ground, the geography on the ground, shows that a two-state solution is still possible today”. However, Palestinian public opinion no longer reflects this official position. A recent poll shows that 65% of Palestinians no longer believe the two-state solution is viable due to ongoing settlement expansion. “The more people think the two-state solution is no longer viable, the more likely they it is that they will shift and support a one-state solution” explains Dr. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.
At least 72 countries are set to meet on Sunday in Paris for the most recent effort in reaching a two-state solution in Palestine and Israel, neither of which are expected to be represented at the meeting. On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly criticized the conference, while Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah reiterated his support for negotiations of a two-state solution saying he believed “only a negotiated two-state-solution will lead to an end of occupation and an agreement on all final status issues.” But Hamdallah’s sentiment does not seem to be echoed on the Palestinian street, where confidence in the two-state solution has taken a drastic hit.
Actor Kal Penn stunned Fox viewers and supporters of human rights by giving his $25,000 winnings on MasterChef Celebrity Showdown to Palestinian refugees through the UN Relief and Works Agency.
On Sunday, January 15, members of the international community will convene in Paris for the ‘Middle East Peace’ conference, which seeks to “fully [end] the Israeli occupation that began in 1967.” Al Haq’s Shawan Jabarin writes, “Tried and tired approaches will not yield new results. With the occupation entering its 50th year, it is time for the international community to learn from the failures of previous peace and negotiation processes that have facilitated Israel’s continued violations of international law and denied Palestinians their fundamental right of self-determination. It is time to take concrete actions that will stop Israel in its tracks.”
Based on the responses he has received it is clear that Jonathan Ofir’s latest article questioning the whole label of “terror” touched a raw nerve with Israelis and Israel supporters. Ofir asks, what is that nerve really? And why is it so offensive?
Majed Abusalama writes, “I am not sorry for the language. I am very tired of Israel and I proudly say, again and again: Fuck the Occupation. I also know that since Hamas came to power by being democratically elected in 2006, the international community rejected democracy and refused to deal with them. Then some Fatah leaders, these so-called ‘socialists’ and ‘seculars’, used this opportunity to limit Hamas’ power which created greater tension in our country, resulting in Hamas’ military factions expelling the PA/Fateh from Gaza. And that’s the short version. I love the people of Gaza. I love them more than Hamas and Fateh love them. No human deserves to live like the people of Gaza.”
The Jerusalem municipality has reportedly approved plans to establish a new settlement in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir, on the site of the home of a Palestinian who carried out a deadly truck attack on Saturday, according to Israel’s Channel 10. Israel’s security cabinet has already ordered Fadi al-Qunbar’s home to be demolished
The two generators of Gaza’s sole power plant stopped operating Jan. 6 due to a severe fuel shortage. For most residents, that means most areas are receiving power for a mere three hours in between 12-hour blackouts. Who and what is to blame is a subject of many dark jokes and frustration—sometimes breaking into protests and arrests. Most residents in Gaza, however, place a large share of the blame on feuding political leaders.
The United Kingdom has Brexit. The United States, an incoming president Trump. And Israel now has Elor Azaria. It may not have the same ring, but ultimately the turning point could prove as decisive. Jonathan Cook writes, “The soldier’s trial, far from proof of the rule of law, was the last gasp of a dying order.”
“We in Jerusalem have just experienced an unprovoked terrorist attack, a murderous attack that claimed the lives of four young Israelis and wounded others”, said Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement right after the car ramming attack in East Jerusalem two days ago. But is an attack on military personnel in occupied territory a terror attack? Jonathan Ofir writes, “By such rhetoric, Netanyahu blurs the distinction between military and civilian targets, a principle which is very important in the distinctions concerning terror. When we sum up the whole of the setting, what we actually have is a Palestinian under occupation, targeting a gathering which is rather exclusively manned by soldiers, military representatives of the army that is occupying him. All this falls, prima facie, within the distinctions regarding legitimate resistance to occupation. It does not matter how ugly it looks, we cannot without critical appraisal of the context just call it ‘terror.'”
Israeli forces raided homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir on Sunday and detained at least five relatives of Fadi Ahmad Hamdan al-Qunbar, a Palestinian who was killed earlier in the day after carrying out a deadly vehicular attack. Israel is also withholding his body, denying family reunification requests, and planning demolition of his house.