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The ‘vertical apartheid’ of the Israeli occupation

Eyal Weizman on

On the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory architect Eyal Weizman re-released his book Hollow Land, which examines the political and vertical matrix that the Israeli military implements to control Palestinian land and lives. Weizman writes “Israel’s system of control, which evolved in fits and starts throughout the occupation’s first four decades, has, during its fifth decade, hardened into an exceptionally efficient and brutal form of territorial apartheid, in which verticality is the operative principle.”

Video: Under protection from Israeli forces, settlers take over Palestinian home in Hebron’s Old City

Sheren Khalel, Yumna Patel and Akram Al-Wa'ra on

In late July, dozens of Israeli settlers raided and occupied the Abu Rajab family home in the Old City of Hebron near the Ibrahimi Mosque. Since then they have slowly moved in under the constant protection of armed Israeli soldiers. Abu Rajab family members are now subjected to daily harassment from the settlers, while soldiers control the family’s every move in and out of the parts of the home where they have been able to remain.

Sponge rounds, rubber bullets, and tear gas — how Israel’s non-lethal munitions can kill

Sheren Khalel on

While Palestinian protesters are generally armed with rocks and a few sporadic Molotov cocktails, Israeli forces are armed with some of the world’s leading crowd control weapons that they designate as “non-lethal.” But medical professionals say that considering tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, sponge rounds and .22 caliber live bullets as non-lethal is misleading. Mondoweiss spoke with Doctor Nasser al-Jaberi, the Director of the Emergency Room Department at the West Bank’s Arab Society Hospital, to get a better idea of what these weapons are capable of.

Settler violence against Palestinians nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017

Kate on

UN documents: After a three-year decline, settler violence has been on the rise during the first half of 2017. During this period, UN documented 89 incidents attributed to Israeli settlers resulting in Palestinian casualties (33 incidents) or in damage to Palestinian property (56 incidents). On a monthly average, this represents an increase of 88 per cent compared with 2016.

Israelis erect new military observation tower in Area A in occupied West Bank

Susie Kneedler and Abdulhadi Hantash on

Israeli occupying forces have erected a new military observation tower inside Area A of the West Bank, which is supposedly under Palestinian Authority administration, in the municipality of Dura. Palestinians are protesting the installation, but Israeli forces are confronting them.

The State of Israel on the nature of poetry

Yarden Katz on

Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian poet and citizen of Israel, was arrested in 2015 for posting a poem on Facebook. Tatour was charged with “incitement”, imprisoned for months and then kept under house arrest while awaiting trial. Transcripts from her trial were recently published and reveal the Israeli state’s inquiry into the nature of poetry: What is a poem? And what makes one a poet? Those were some of the questions raised by the state prosecutor in a tribunal that seems somewhere between an academic conference and a Stalinist show trial.

After Israel tries to ban Al Jazeera, critics say the country is ‘taking its cues from Arab dictators’

Allison Deger on

On Sunday Israel’s minister of communication Ayoub Kara said he is banning Al Jazeera from broadcast, shutting its Jerusalem bureau, and revoking press credentials for reporters with the Doha-based network, citing the media outlet as a “tool for the Islamic State” and creating biased content when covering recent demonstrations regarding the al-Aqsa mosque. But, commentators have raised the point that Israel is unable to pass sweeping bans and the network and its journalists will likely continue to work in the country. 

Palestinian-American denied entry to West Bank for summer skateboard program

Abu Rahss on

Hip-hop artist Abu Rahss is denied from entering Israel in order to be a counselor a skateboarding summer camp: “Unfortunately, I was denied entry after eight hours of being interrogated aggressively and treated unpleasantly by Israeli border security at the Allenby Bridge border crossing with Jordan.”

Israel imposes laptop ban on Palestinians leaving Gaza

Kate on

Palestinians can no longer carry laptops and certain other electronics through the pedestrian Erez crossing from Gaza into Israel, according to the Israeli NGO Gisha. While cuts of Gaza electricity are threatening the work of Gaza’s many internet entrepreneurs, Electronic Intifada reports.

Advocate of ‘Death to Arabs’ is EU’s frontman in Israeli PR campaign

Jonathan Ofir on

The EU embassy in Tel Aviv has launched a campaign to up its image and employs an outspoken advocate for genocide of Palestinians. Avishai Ivri, a well known rightwing pundit, has celebrated the spraypainted slogan “Death to Arabs” and said Israel should kill 5000 Palestinians for every Israeli killed.

New poll shows 2/3 of Jewish Israelis want death penalty for Palestinian attackers

Jonathan Ofir on

A poll by the Israeli Democracy Institute shows that 2 out of 3 Jewish Israelis support the death sentence for Palestinian attackers, considered “terrorists,” even if they attack armed occupation soldiers. Israel has not officially used the death penalty since Adolf Eichmann was executed in 1962. Jonathan Ofir writes, “The potential enactment of the death penalty, especially in the case of Palestinian attackers, would be a grave matter, in view of the Israeli definitions of ‘terror’.”

Trump portrait appears on separation wall, credited to Australian street artist

Allison Deger on

“I’m going to build you a brother…”–is the thought bubble on a new Donald Trump mural on Israel’s separation wall in Bethlehem. Locals say the painting was done by the Melbourne-based street artist Lushsux, known for replicating popular pictures of celebrities and political figures.

Kicked out of Qatar, Hamas leaders eye move to Algeria

Kate on

In the wake of the Gulf crisis, Hamas leaders left Qatar and are looking for a new base for their foreign headquarters. Al-Monitor reports, Algeria is likely the group’s next move, “The Saudi-backed Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported July 17 that Hamas is searching for a foothold in Algeria to shelter its officials who left Qatar in early June. Algeria received an official request from Hamas to establish a representative office for the movement on its territories, but it has yet to respond.”

Video: Peaceful demonstration at checkpoint leads to nightmarish response

Badee Dwaik on

In a scene reminiscent of Jim Crow, Israeli forces fire percussion grenades on a peaceful demonstration of 30 men after evening prayers at a Hebron checkpoint. Palestinians fear that Israel wants to follow the Hebron model in Jerusalem, exercising sovereignty over the al-Aqsa mosque as it has done with the Ibrahimi mosque.

‘You are a Jew, you need to stand with the Jews’: Peace activist Ariel Gold assaulted by settlers in Hebron

Jonathan Ofir on

Wednesday morning, Ariel Gold was broadcasting a live feed through her Facebook, in the midst of an assault on her by settlers in Al-Khalil (Hebron). It’s another glimpse into the reality wherein the settlers essentially run the game, and the soldiers are only there to protect them, and no one else – certainly not anyone who is not “standing with the Jews”, as it were, even if they are Jewish.

Video: Israeli lawmaker says he wants to ‘execute’ the relatives of Palestinians who killed police officers

Allison Deger on

An Israeli lawmaker said he wants to enter the homes of three Palestinians who killed two Israeli police officers near the holy sites in Jerusalem earlier this month, and “execute” their relatives–“execute them all. Yes just like that. With no shame. A quick and simple execution.” The comments were made over the weekend by Knesset member Oren Hazan, who posted a feed of himself talking on Facebook Live.

Israel is losing the battle for public opinion thanks to honest journalists, and platforms like Mondoweiss

Jonathan Cook on

Jonathan Cook writes: “The passage, and now the enforcement, of laws prohibiting entry for BDS advocates are part of the effort to silence voices from outside Israel/Palestine. But Israel is fighting a losing battle, due to the persistence of Palestinian journalists, the slow opening of cracks in the mainstream media, and the new opportunities for freelance journalists like myself through electronic media such as Mondoweiss. The existence of Mondoweiss and other online outlets means that I can report honestly what I learn from witnesses and documents—information that ‘established’ media have been too cowardly to publish.”

Palestinians continue protests after Israel takes down metal detectors around al-Aqsa, installs new cameras

Sheren Khalel on

Israel’s security cabinet announced late Monday evening that metal detectors installed at the gates of the al-Aqsa mosque compound would be removed and replaced with “smart cameras,” following more than a week of protests and upheaval against the new security measures following a deadly shooting at the site. Munther Amira, the head of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee in the West Bank, told Mondoweiss, “Nothing about this is acceptable, the only option we accept is the to return the status of the mosque back to the status quo without cameras or any other additions.” Amira said Palestinians view the extra security measures as a way for Israel to exert its control over the al-Aqsa mosque.

‘The metal detectors are just the first step’: Palestinians say Israeli takeover of Al Aqsa is red line that can’t be crossed

Mersiha Gadzo on

Speaking to Mondoweiss from Friday’s prayer at Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem, Sheikh Mustafa Tawil fears the latest Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa mosque will lead to partitioning it just like with Hebron’s Ibrahimi mosque in 1994. “Muslims aren’t allowed to pray at the Ibrahimi mosque on Israeli weekends and holidays. The occupiers want to do the same thing to Al Aqsa mosque,” Tawil said. “We refuse these gates because they were set up by the occupiers to force their control over the mosque. We refuse the Israelis’ sovereignty over the mosque at all. The metal detectors are just the first step in dividing Al Aqsa mosque.”

BDS ban: Five Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders denied entry to Israel for supporting Palestinian human rights

Jewish Voice for Peace on

Five leaders on an interfaith delegation to Israel/Palestine were refused permission to board their plane in the United States, in what appears to be an implementation of Israel’s travel ban on supporters of Palestinian rights and Boycott, Divestment Sanctions (BDS). Rabbi Alissa Wise: “We were told at check-in that the airline has a letter from the Israeli government saying we are not allowed to fly to Israel. I wasn’t even able to get as far as checking my bag.”

Arab List MK: Israeli authorities install additional cameras around al-Aqsa amid ongoing unrest against new security measures

Sheren Khalel on

Israeli authorities on Monday installed extra security cameras around the entrances of the al-Aqsa mosque compound, Member of the Israeli Knesset’s Arab Joint List, Aida Touma-Suleiman, confirmed to Mondoweiss. The newly installed security cameras were added amid growing unrest and daily clashes over security measures instituted ten days ago following a deadly attack near the site.