Category Archives:
Israeli Government

Skunk water for Palestinian protesters, not right-wing Jews, in roads near Mohammad Allan’s hunger strike

Allison Deger on
Israeli police pepper spray Palestinians during a protest in support of Mohammed Allan, a Palestinian hunger striking prisoner. (Photo: Haim Schwarczenberg)

Bedlam stretched across the working-class Israeli town of Ashkelon yesterday after Israel reneged on what would have been a first medical visit by a Palestinian health official to Mohammed Allan, 31, a Palestinian hunger striking detainee hospitalized in the coastal Israeli city. For a second time in five days police dispersed Palestinian protesters in Ashkelon using force, and spraying heaps of putrid smelling liquid from a water cannon. This time, cloaking demonstrators, members of Knesset and Israeli bystanders alike.

Israel’s ‘blame the hand’ excuse for settler violence

Aaron Turgeman on
Netanyahu vows to expand the settlements during a 2015 campaign stop at Har Homa.

It is all too easy to point the finger at wild-eyed fundamentalist settlers, who have created their own version of a Biblical Wild West (Bank), terrorizing Palestinians, uprooting olive trees, vandalizing property and more recently, burning families. But let’s not forget: the settlers are not there on their own design. Without the Israeli army’s protection, without their superior legal status granted by the Israeli judicial system, without the resources and Israeli government support, they would not be there. By cracking down on “extremist settlers”, the Israeli government hopes to legitimize the ten-fold larger expansion of settlements.

‘They are the terrorists’–-Palestinians mourn a second death from settler arson attack

Dan Cohen and Allison Deger on
Duma villagers bury the body of Sa’ad Dawabshe. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

Hundreds of mourners from the northern West Bank poured into the hamlet of Duma to lay to rest a second Palestinian killed today after succumbing to wounds from a settler arson attack last week. Sa’ad Dawabshe, father of baby Ali Dawabshe who burned to death in the attack, died in the early morning hours in a hospital in southern Israel where he was being treated. His remains were transferred to his parents’ home outside of Nablus.

Palestinian forced to strip to underwear before attending briefing at Israeli Embassy in Washington DC

Dorgham Abusalim on
The Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC. (Photo: Wikimedia)

On August 5 Dorgham Abusalim visited the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC to hear a presentation by Embassy Spokesman Aaron Sagui as part of seminar on U.S. foreign policy with 40 participants from around the world. Before being able to attend the presentation, embassy security forced Abusalim, the only Palestinian in the group, to strip to his underwear. An Embassy spokesperson justified the episode by referring to past experiences with “Palestinian terrorists.”

Mother of Palestinian baby burned to death tried to save her child

Allison Deger on
Nasser Dawabshe (R) addresses 2,000 Israelis at an anti-terror rally in Tel Aviv, 1 August 2015. (Photo Allison Deger)

Riham Dawabshe, the mother of 18 month-old Ali Dawabshe who burned to death in a settler arson attack Friday in the West Bank hamlet of Duma, tried to save her baby while fleeing from her home, engulfed in flames. Gasoline bombs had crashed into the building shortly after 1:30am and quickly it filled with opaque smoke. Dawabshe, herself on fire, grabbed a blanket she thought cradled her son. She rushed outside. But the blanket was empty, a fact the mother only realized when in her front yard. Yet at that time the fire had grown, making reentry impossible.

Hundreds of Israelis join protest to save Bedouin village on brink of demolition

Allison Deger on
The Palestinian village of Susiya in the south Hebron hills, slated for demolition. (Photo: Allison Deger)

For Palestinian-Bedouins living in the south Hebron hills under the threat of demolition and expulsion, victories are rare. Yet residents from the tin and tarp village of Susiya are uncharacteristically optimistic that they will receive a reprieve from the impending demolition of their village that is scheduled to take place before August 3rd.

Video footage reveals IDF soldier shot fleeing teen

Allison Deger on
vid

New video footage has emerged revealing the moments before an Israeli soldier shot and killed 17-year old Mohammed al-Kasbah on July 3, 2015 in al-Ram near the Qalandia checkpoint. The recording captured on a security camera posted at a gas station, contradicts Col. Yisrael Shomer’s account where he said he fired at the Palestinian teen because his life was in imminent danger.

Gag order lifted on two Israelis and two bodies held in Gaza

Allison Deger on
Avraham Mengitsu. (Photo: Facebook/Times of Israel)

For months rumors have circulated that Hamas has held two Israeli citizens and the remains of two soldiers captive in the Gaza Strip for almost a year. Following a motion filed by the Israeli daily Haaretz, a gag order concealing the cases was lifted yesterday prompting Israeli officials to addressed the matter publicly for the first time. Israel confirmed Ethiopian-Israeli Avraham Mengitsu, 28, and one other are detained in Gaza, along with the bodies of two soldier killed during the summer war.

Exclusive: Palestine seeks to charge Israel with ‘apartheid’ and war crimes at The Hague

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View of  International Criminal Court, July 23, 2014 in The Hague, The Netherlands.  (Photo: Enfoque Derecho)

Palestinian leaders seek to charge Israel with the crime of “Apartheid,” and 22 other charges including seven war crimes, according to Shawan Jabarin, the director of the Palestinian human rights group Al Haq. The thick set documents were ceremoniously handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) today at headquarters in The Hague, yet yesterday morning Jabarin was given exclusive access to the report in Ramallah.

UN report catalogs Israeli attacks on Palestinian children, but leaves Israel off child rights abusers ‘list of shame’

Allison Deger on
Israeli soldiers arrest a young Palestinian boy following clashes in the center of the occupied West Bank town of Hebron, June 20, 2014. (Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP)

Months ago journalists leaked that Israel would be kept off a United Nations list of the worst violators of children’s human rights following frantic lobbying by Israel and the United States. Even so, Israel is preeminently featured throughout the report published yesterday and called out as one of the worst child rights abusers in the world.

‘They said we drink the blood of children’—Netanyahu goes off the deep end after FIFA campaign

Allison Deger on
Netanyahu April 1, 2015

Over the past two days Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken his most aggressive—and outlandish—tone yet on critics by accusing them of anti-Semitic tropes, following a collapsed effort to sanction Israel at the international soccer association, FIFA. Speaking to Knesset today Netanyahu said his country’s “actions are being twisted,” telling his parliament those who speak against Israel are initiating “false libels.”

One last appeal before a Bedouin village in the Negev is demolished and a Jewish town is built in its place

Allison Deger on
Umm el-Hieran. (Photo: Adalah)

The Bedouin village of Umm el-Hieran in Israel’s southern Negev desert is running out of time and appeals before it will be razed to the ground and an exclusively Jewish town will be built in its place. After a decade of legal battles the Bedouins now have one final petition at their disposal, a re-trial. If they lose this hearing their township will be demolished and the saga will end with a modern Jewish bedroom community owned by a private Israeli developer that does not sell homes to Arabs.

‘This land is ours. All of it is ours’: Meet the Netanyahu cabinet members focused on fighting BDS & annexing the West Bank

Allison Deger on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Confirmed last week Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely became the highest official in the foreign ministry, aside from Netanyahu who heads the portfolio. She will run day-to-day business, and is a vocal supporter of the greater Israel project. She is motivated by a religious belief that God gave the West Bank to the Jewish people, which she re-announced last week in her first address to the foreign ministry. In addition, another annexationist, Gilad Erdan became the public security, and the strategic affairs and hasbara minister. In his latter role, Erdan will produce public relations materials against the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement and negotiations with Iran.

Netanyahu eulogizes settler movement founder convicted of manslaughter

Allison Deger on
Rabbi Moshe Levinger (C) walks in downtown Hebron on January 20, 1996 (Photo: Sven Nackstrand/AFP)

Rabbi Moshe Levinger, a hero of the settler movement and co-founder of its fundamentalist Gush Emunim group, who established Jewish communities in Hebron and throughout the West Bank, conducted armed takeovers of Palestinian homes, and was convicted of manslaughter, died on Saturday in the settlement of Hebron where he lived. Levinger was 80 and is survived by his wife and 11 children.

Netanyahu’s coalition: Who’s in, who’s out

Allison Deger on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett announce the formation of a coalition government Wednesday shortly before the task of forming government would have been given to another party. (Photo: Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images/AP)

Late Wednesday evening Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cinched a deal with Naftali Bennett’s hardline pro-settler group Bayit Yehudi to finalize a ruling coalition and secure his fourth term as Israel’s leader. Even with the deal, Netanyahu now hangs by a thread. His coalition includes a scant 61 out of 120 parliament members, down from the 67 votes he thought were in his pocket. The government will convene with a cabinet full of Netanyahu’s political rivals and a weak coalition—one of the weakest in Israel’s history. If Netanyahu cannot appease every member of his ruling government, he will need to seek support from his opposition led by the Zionist Camp’s Issac Herzog in order to survive.

Netanyahu appoints Ayelet Shaked—who called for genocide of Palestinians—as Justice Minister in new government

Ben Norton on
Ayelet Shaked with HaBayit HaYehudi leader Naftali Bennett 
(Photo: Haaretz/Tomer Appelbaum )

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to appoint Ayelet Shaked as justice minister in his fourth government. During Israel’s summer 2014 attack on Gaza, Shaked essentially called for the genocide of Palestinians. In a Facebook post on July 1—a day before Israeli extremists kidnapped Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir and burned him alive—the lawmaker asserted that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and called for its destruction, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.”

Palestinian farm struggles to survive in West Bank town caught between Israeli sewage and the separation wall

Allison Deger on
Fayez (R) and Mona Tneeb in their Tulkarm farm. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Fayez Tneeb marveled at his organically grown banana tree even though it is failing and rooted in a waste water stream. He and his wife Mona are proprietors of Hakoritana Farm in Tulkarm, located in the northern West Bank only 100 meters from Israel. For the Tneebs, harvesting pesticide-free agriculture that they take to a local market is a constant struggle. The couple’s plot of land is caught between an Israeli factory that manufactures fertilizers and agrochemicals, and Israel’s separation barrier.

A tale of two Susiyas, or how a Palestinian village was destroyed under the banner of Israeli archeology

Allison Deger on
Entrance to Susiya in the south Hebron hills, the West Bank. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Hiam al-Nawaja dreams to live in what she calls a “normal house.” The 23-year old mother of three small children and sheepherder manages in a cinder block frame insulated with a tarp a typical modest home in Susiya, a pastoral Palestinian village set in the rolling south Hebron Hills in the West Bank. Yet a few short decades ago Susiya’s residents had sturdy stone structures built over ancient caves on a hilltop one kilometer from where their town stands today. The former location, “old Susiya,” is close enough that al-Nawaja can see bulldozed remains from her kitchen window. It was destroyed in 1986 when Israel dismantled the town’s mosque to uncover an ancient Jewish synagogue dating back to the sixth century.

HRW: Palestinian children pass out, vomit, from farming with illegal pesticides on Israeli settlements

Allison Deger on
Palestinian workers farm onions in the Israeli agricultural settlement of Tomer in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 2015. (Photo: Oded Balilty/AP)

Bad pay, hard labor, nasty skin rashes, and poor sleep in constructions sites are just the tip of work conditions found in Israeli agricultural settlements, said a Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report released Monday. The 75-page “Israel: Settlement Agriculture Harms Palestinian Children” is a devastating look into underage Palestinian laborers farming for Israeli companies.

Joint List leads march to Jerusalem demanding recognition and equal rights for Bedouin

Allison Deger on
Ayman Odeh (2L) and Fadi Masamra (R) outside of Beersheva during the Bedouin March for Recognition from the Negev to Jerusalem, Thursday, March 26, 2015. (Photo: Allison Deger)

There are still a few weeks before head of the Joint List Ayman Odeh begins his first term in Israel’s parliament, yet he has already led a protest across the country. This past weekend Odeh led the “March for Recognition” with hundreds of Bedouins who live in unrecognized villages. The 130 kilometer trek from the southern Negev desert to Jerusalem officially ended on President Reuven Rivlin’s doorstep Sunday afternoon.