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Self-defense patrols form in West Bank as PA fails to protect Palestinians following Duma firebombing

Dan Cohen on
An effigy of baby Ali Dawabshe sits in a melted stroller inside the room where Israeli settlers burned him alive. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

Since the settler firebombing that burned alive eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabshe and killed his father Sa’ad, Palestinians in Duma and other villages have formed night patrol groups to confront settler incursions. Unarmed, they have no means to repel settlers who have the full backing of the Israeli military. “We don’t have anything to defend ourselves or any equipment. We just try to warn people if we see something,” said one member of the Dawabshe family who identified himself as Akram, preferring to use a pseudonym for his own security.

Health Under Occupation: Constraints on access to healthcare in the Palestinian Territories

Zahra Bhaiwala on
A doctor walks through the rubble in Gaza to a patient's house, Summer 2014. (Photo: Dr. Akihiro Seita/UNRWA)

The Israeli occupation is the chief structural barrier to quality healthcare for Palestinians—it has exacerbated existing inequities in the population and has given rise to a host of issues unique to this devastating political reality. The structural aspects of the occupation —political, economic, and social— collectively mitigate access to quality health care for Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. Healthcare is not just measured in mortality statistics or disease prevalence. National health systems are highly influenced by the political climate surrounding them, and as Norwegian physician and activist Mads Gilbert puts it, “Medicine and politics are Siamese twins.”

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.

Burning Palestinian Children: Settler violence is not exceptional

Tahseen Ellayyan on
A man from Duma peeks into the bedroom in which toddler Ali Dawabsheh was burned to death. (Photo: Jen Marlowe)

The burning to death of two Palestinian children over the past year by Israeli settlers is symptomatic of a larger violation of international law, established and maintained by Israel without limits: the Israeli settlement enterprise in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It is one of the main obstacles towards achieving a lasting and just peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

Israel orders new demolitions for Bedouin community located in strategic Jerusalem corridor

Cait Arnold on
Jabal al-Baba

On August 3, 2015, a group of Israeli army vehicles and several Israeli Civil Administration representatives distributed seven demolition orders to the Bedouin community of Jabal al-Baba, which is located between East Jerusalem and the expansive Ma’ale Adumim settlement and at the heart of Israeli authorities’ E1 settlement plan. The plan aims to link settlements around Jerusalem, at once consolidating Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem and separating the north of the West Bank from the south. When asked what the Bedouin community would do if these homes were demolished, community representative Atallah Masara responded without hesitation, “We will rebuild again.”

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.

Palestinian toddler killed in settler price-tag attack

Allison Deger on
Israeli arsonists attack two Palestinian homes in the West Bank village of Duma, killing one Palestinian toddler. Arsonists also tagged the Hebrew word for "revenge" outside of the home. (Photo: Reuters)

A Palestinian toddler was killed in the central West Bank village of Duma in an overnight settler arson attack that targeted two homes. Eighteen-month old Ali Saad Dawabsha died in the gasoline fire-bombings, and his mother and brother were seriously injured. The wounded were transferred by helicopter to a Israeli hospital in Jerusalem for treatment. A funeral was held in Duma this morning for Dawabsha.

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

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.

Report from Ramallah: How Palestine is today

Francesca Borri on
Il Muro (the wall). (Photo: Andrea & Magda/Il Fatto Quotidiano)

Francesca Borri reports from Ramallah where business has replaced politics, and you can live without feeling the military occupation that lurks on all sides.

Palestinian teen killed on way to pray in Jerusalem

Allison Deger on
Martyr's poster for Mohammed Hani al-Kasbah, 17, killed by the Israeli military Friday morning near Qalandia checkpoint, Qalandia refugee camp. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Before sunrise 17-year old Mohammed Hani al-Kasbah went to morning prayers at a mosque one block from his house in Qalandia refugee camp in Jerusalem, which is separated from the rest of the city by Israel’s security barrier. By afternoon his remains were carried into the same building for a funeral after he was shot and killed by Israeli forces. Two older brothers were also killed by Israeli forces 14 years ago.

Photo Essay: Crossing Qalandia, and the Wall, during Ramadan

Karam Saleem on
Palestinians routinely cross illegally into Israel throughout the year.  Ramadan however sees a spike in illegal crossings over the wall. (Photo: Karam Saleem)

Amazing photographs from Karam Saleem who documents the second Friday of Ramadan in Palestine, which saw more than 350,000 Palestinians descend onto Al Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem. Many who made the trip took advantage of eased restrictions by Israeli authorities on those living in the West Bank. But for those unable to cross legally, smugglers organize locations along the separation wall for Palestinians to sneak in.

Palestinian family says alleged attacker being held on false evidence

Emily Mulder on
The mother of Maysoon Mousa stands in her daughter's room, where Israeli forces searched the day before for evidence of her alleged attack on an Israeli soldier at the Bethlehem checkpoint. (Photo: Emily Mulder)

Israeli authorities claim that 19-year-old Maysoon Mousa carried out a knife-wielding attack on an Israeli soldier earlier this week, but her family says Israel’s account makes no sense and that Maysoon is being held with false evidence. Emily Mulder talks with the Mousa family as they try to determine what happened and deal with the repercussions of the arrest on the entire family.

What I learned crossing the Qalandia Checkpoint

Léa Georgeson Caparros on
Artists, including the author, center, traveling with the Palestine Festival of Literature travel through the Qalandiya checkpoint on May 24, 2015 in Ramallah, Palestine. (Photo: Rob Stothard for The Palestine Festival of Literature)

Léa Georgeson Caparros writes about crossing the Qalandia checkpoint while traveling in the occupied Palestinian territories with the Palestine Festival of Literature in May 2015.

Caught between stigma and pity, Amaari refugee camp refuses to succumb

Mariam Barghouti on
Summer camp event hosted by PSCD, 2014, Ramallah West Bank. (Photo: PSCD)

The Palestinian Society for Care and Development in Amaari refugee camp was created in 1998 in response to the cries of the disabled people in Amaari camp. The organization struggles to survive in part because of a stigma against the refugee camp in Palestinian society. “There is an institutionalized discrimination towards the people of the camp and organizations from the camp, mainly perpetuated by the Palestinian Authority and extended to the rest of Palestinian society” explains Shaher, a member of the organization, in a weak voice, as though he has reiterated that sentiment one too many times.

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.

New West Bank settlement casts light on clandestine role of international support for settlers

Hannah Sterling and Sara Anna on
The Beit Al-Baraka church compound on Route 60. (Photo: Sara Anna)

Driving south from Bethlehem to Hebron on Route 60, a main settler road in the Occupied West Bank, is Beit al-Baraka, an old church compound made up of eight buildings built from Jerusalem yellow stone. Haaretz published last Friday that the site had been sold to Aryeh King, who was renovating the site in anticipation of moving settlers into it. Hannah Sterling and Sara Anna visited Beit al-Baraka and say the site shows the extent to which the settler enterprise will go to ensure the real identity and intentions of property purchases are hidden.

West Bank Palestinians stuck in three-hour traffic jam due to Israeli settler bike race

Kate on
(Photo: Ma'an Images)

Ma‘an reports: Heavy traffic jams were reported along the main road between Hebron and Bethlehem on Monday as a settler bicycle race took place in the area. The 30-minute drive between the two cities took three hours as Israeli forces closed a main exit from Hebron connecting to Route 60 as settlers from Kiryat Arba took part in a race.