Category Archives:
Occupation

Israel sent Palestinian Authority letter to ‘stop incitement’ over bus driver’s death

Allison Deger on
Palestinian mourners attend the funeral of bus driver Yousef Hassan al-Ramuni in the West Bank town of Abu Dis from Jerusalem on November 17, 2014 (Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

When news broke of a Palestinian bus driver’s body found hanging by a metal chord in the rear of an Israeli bus in a West Jerusalem parking lot, two separate narratives developed. The death came in the midst of a bitter pattern of attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians across the city and the official reason given in the autopsy by Israel was that Yousef Hassan al-Ramouni, 32, had committed suicide. However, the Palestinian media, government, family of the deceased, and witnesses to the body, most importantly a pathologist that sat in on the medical exam, all said otherwise, contradicting, the police’s pronouncement that there was “no suspicion of criminal activity.” Mondoweiss has obtained a copy of a letter authored by the Israeli General Coordinator of the Palestinian territories to the Palestinian Authority, asking them “to stop such incitement and bring the genuine facts regarding the circumstances of death of the deceased, to the attention of the Palestinian public.” In Israel, incitement is a crime punishable with a prison sentenc

Debunking Netanyahu’s propaganda on Jerusalem

Micha Kurz on
(Image: YouTube)

Micha Kurz debunks a short piece of inflammatory propaganda circulated by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office about the Temple Mount and the Israeli role in Jerusalem

Israeli police ransack homes of 40 Palestinians during al-Shaludi home demolition

Allison Deger on
Home of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, the Jerusalem motorist from the October 22, 2014 light rail attack in Jerusalem, demolished by Israeli authorities early Wednesday morning, in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem (Photo: Allison Deger)

Israeli police ransacked seven apartments and urinated inside one while demolishing the Silwan apartment of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, 21, the Palestinian motorist from East Jerusalem who killed a three-month old Israeli-American Chaya Zissel and one Ecuadoran tourist in a light rail attack in Jerusalem on October 22, 2014. “They urinated on the mattresses in my brother’s apartment, said Enas al-Shaludi, 43, the mother of the deceased driver. “You can see the urine on the mattresses.” In addition to the demolition, which the family expected after receiving a demolition order last Friday, all of the other apartments in the four-story residential building were raided

Israel destroys Bedouin village of Al-Araqib for the 78th time

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Al-Araqib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), being demolished for the 54th time in August 2013. (Photo: Eloise Bollack)

PNN reports: “Israeli forces on Monday razed the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in Negev Desert for the 78th time on the pretext that it had been built illegally, eyewitness said. Local resident told Andalou agency that “Dozens of Israeli forces backed by five bulldozers stormed the village at dawn today and began demolishing homes and other structures, the soldiers were heavily armed. They drove us out under the rain before they demolished our homes for 78th time in four years.””

The fight to save a village continues in Wadi Fukin

Daniel Tepper on
The town of Wadi Fukin, with a population of 1,300, is dwarfed by the nearby settlement of Beitar Illit, which is home to 45,000 ultra-Orthodox Jewish Israelis. Just after the Gaza War, on August 31st, Israel announced its intention to seize 1,000 acres of land near the Palestinians villages of Wadi Fukin and Jab’a (Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein)

Wadi Fukin is a small agricultural town in the West Bank. It is situated on just over 700 acres of land and is squeezed in on two sides – by the Israeli settlement Beitar Illit, to the south and Tzur Hadasa, a small Israeli town just over the Green Line to the north. On August 31st the Israeli Civil Administration – a governing body that controls most of the West Bank – declared that almost 1000 acres, near the villages of Jab’a and Wadi Fukin would become state land. The announcement marks the largest attempt in decades to expropriate territory in the West Bank. As the yearly olive harvest comes to a close, Palestinians here are worried they are being cut off from the rest of the West Bank and may lose the means to support themselves if their farmland is seized

Israeli attacks on Al Quds University give new meaning to ‘academic freedom’

Kamilah Moore on
Al Quds University, right, alongside the Separation Wall.

Close to 13,000 Palestinian and international students go through at least one of 600 checkpoints in the West Bank to attend Al Quds University, the only Arab University in East Jerusalem. Established in 1984, the Abu Dis campus now houses 13 academic faculties, and has more than 30 centers and institutes, including the critically acclaimed Abu Jihad Museum for Prisoner Movement Affairs. Besides having a museum dedicated to Palestinian political prisoners on campus, Al Quds University is unique for another controversial reason: the campus community is under constant threat due to methodical and ideologically-based attacks by the Israeli military

This is not yet an intifada, Palestinians say

Philip Weiss on
A Palestinian uses a sling shot during clashes with Israeli forces following a protest against Israeli restrictions to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, at the Qalandia checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. (Photo: AP/Majdi Mohammed)

Phil Weiss reports from East Jerusalem where Palestinians say the current violence in the city does not represent a third intifada . . . yet. But there could be an organized uprising if Jewish zealots’ incitements about the Al Aqsa mosque continue. In interviews, these Palestinians say that Israel’s escalation of violence in East Jerusalem has isolated and terrified neighborhoods. “There is no security. You are afraid economically, politically, and physically.” And the individual acts of violence by maddened Palestinians who feel they have nothing to lose reflects the universal demand for human dignity.

West Bank protesters cross separation wall in effort to get into Jerusalem

Allison Deger on
Palestinian activists use a metal ramp to cross the separation wall near the Israeli Qalandiya checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem, November 14, 2014. The activists were protesting against Israeli authorities allowing settlers to enter the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and Israel imposing restrictions on Muslims wishing to perform Friday prayers at Al Aqsa Mosque. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

On Friday Palestinian protesters crossed Israel’s separation wall by Qalandia checkpoint, the artery from the West Bank to Jerusalem, demonstrating for access to the city that has been ensconced in unrest over the past three weeks. Using makeshift ladders tens of protesters walked over the barrier, but Israeli police prevented them from entering Jerusalem.

Israeli government plans 185 miles of new Jewish settler roads in the West Bank

Kate on
Segregated roads: the 4-lane highway in the background is for Israelis; the unusable blocked road in the foreground is for Palestinian Christians & Muslims. (Photo: International Women’s Peace Service via Jews for Justice for Palestinians)

The JTA reports: “The Israeli government has drawn up plans for some 185 miles of roads in the West Bank, largely for the benefit of Jewish settlers. The 44 proposed roads would connect Jewish settlements to each other and nearby Israeli cities, and their construction would require expropriating more than 6,000 acres of land, according to a report by Israel’s i24 News.”

Netanyahu announces return of controversial punitive home demolitions widely viewed as collective punishment

Allison Deger on
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem. (Photo: Reuters)

As tensions seethe in Jerusalem the Israeli government has resurrected polices from the Intifada-era including punitive home demolitions as a measure of deterrence against attacks on its citizens. Even before Tuesday night when Netanyahu declared the return of home demolitions, there were calls inside of the government to bring it back. “Anyone who attacks police or civilians, his home should be demolished,” said Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovic

‘Let the police mow the lawn': Israeli right-wing demands stronger crackdown as Netanyahu increases attacks on East Jerusalem

Dan Cohen on
Hebrew University students from the right-wing organization Im Tirtzu wear mock-police uniforms and chains while holding a sign that reads: Let the police win. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

As tensions rise in Jerusalem right-wing Israelis are demanding that police increase the already brutal level of state violence inflicted exclusively against Palestinians. Numerous Israelis Dan Cohen has spoken to demanded police implement shoot-to-kill tactics in East Jerusalem on any Palestinian who throws a rock — which would effectively expand the tactics used against Palestinians living on the other side of Israel’s separation wall in the occupied West Bank. But, contrary to popular sentiment, police repression against Palestinians in East Jerusalem has been anything but soft. As police operate with total impunity, a climate of fear exists that has led some Palestinians to avoid publicizing information about other beatings due to fear of police reprisals like the punishment the Abu Khdeir family received this summer.

‘We are in a violent fight with extreme Islam’ — Feiglin leads rightists to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque

Allison Deger on
Moshe Feiglin speaking before supporters outside of the checkpoint to the Haram al-Sharif, Temple Mount, October 30, 2014. (Photo: Allison Deger)

It is nearly unheard of for Israeli police to block Jewish worshipers from reaching the Western Wall. But yesterday afternoon border authorities cinched back a hard plastic retracting wall of a Jerusalem checkpoint to reach the holy structures and for the first time in 14 years they also closed all access to al-Aqsa Mosque compound, preventing prayer in a campaign to stifle unrest smothering Jerusalem

Israeli army kills 14-year old Palestinian with U.S. citizenship

Allison Deger on
14-year old slain Palestinian youth, Orwa Hammad who is also a U.S. citizen, was killed by the Israeli army, October 24, 2014. (Photo: Shadi Hattem)

A Palestinian teen with U.S. citizenship was killed today by the Israeli army at a demonstration in the West Bank town of Silwad, near Ramallah. Fourteen-year old Orwah Hammad was shot in the neck with a live bullet, according to Ramallah hospital staff.

Thousands attend funeral for Palestinian-American child killed by Israeli army

Allison Deger on
A Palestinian man drapes a flag over the grave of Orwah Hammad as children pay respects in the West Bank town of Silwad. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Thousands gathered in the West Bank town of Silwad outside of Ramallah to bury Orwah Hammad, a 14-year old Palestinian-American from Louisiana who was killed by the Israeli army on Friday. Hammad was died after sustaining a gunshot wound to the neck and head during a demonstration against the killing of another Palestinian earlier in the week

Under cover of night, nine Jewish families take over two buildings in Silwan

Kate on
An Israeli flag decorates the right-wing Jewish settler complex of Beit Yonatan in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. March 1, 2010. (Photo: David Silverman/Getty Images Europe)

972 mag reports: “Nine Jewish Israeli families took over two empty buildings in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem overnight Sunday. According to the NGO Ir Amim, the families took control over 10 housing units in two buildings in the heart of Silwan. They moved in under the auspices of Ateret Cohanim, a settler organization based in the Muslim quarter of the Old City that works to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem.”

B’Tselem video: Israeli soldiers blindfold and detain 11 year old disabled child

Annie Robbins on
Screen shot: B'tselem Israeli Soldiers detain developmentally-disabled Palestinian child in Hebron, 19 Oct. 2014
    Screen shot: B'tselem Israeli Soldiers detain developmentally-disabled Palestinian child in Hebron, 19 Oct. 2014

Watch as as settlers from the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, near Hebron, clap, shout and cheer as an Israeli soldier binds the hands of a child behind his back and fastens a blindfold over his eyes as another soldiers stands on guard before they lift the frightened boy into the back of their military jeep. The boy is eleven and developmentally disabled

As Kerry scrambles to prevent Palestinian action at UN, Israeli govt makes clear it will never accept Palestinian state

Allison Deger on
Israeli and Palestinians take part in a rally to voice support for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, in Jerusalem this week. The banners read in Hebrew and Arabic "Together we march for liberation," Jerusalem, 2011. (Photo: AP)

Palestinians leaders will likely table a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli deadline to set borders based on the pre-June 1967 line until after fall mid-term elections in the United States. Haartez’s Barak Ravid reports this week that while Palestinians have stalled, Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to prevent the initiative all together. As a last-ditch effort to stop the Palestinian plan, Kerry has sought to reprise his direct talks that collapsed earlier this year. Israeli officials abandoned that effort after the announcement of a Palestinian unity government and there are no signs they are interested in restarting talks

Israeli settlers terrorize annual Palestinian olive harvest

Kate on
olive-palestinian-_1106310c

Ma‘an reports: A large group of Israeli settlers on Saturday morning violently beat a young Palestinian woman while she was picking olives from trees in an orchard in the village of Yasuf in the Salfit district in the central West Bank, a Palestinian official said.

Knesset shell game: Aid meant for Israeli towns affected by Gaza war sent to illegal settlements instead

Orli Santo on
Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

The residents of Israel’s southern periphery, bordering the Gaza Strip, are among the Israelis who suffered the most from Operation “Protective Edge.” By the end of the Operation, it was clear that residents of the embattled south — one of Israel’s poorest regions to begin with — were in dire need of the state’s aid. Yet money designated for the rehabilitation of the south is apparently being diverted to bolster West Bank settlements — again

Netanyahu at the United Nations: Hamas, Iran, ISIS and 100 cheering Israelis

Allison Deger on
Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly

With much anticipation Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the stage at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Monday morning to lambast Hamas and refuting claims of his soldiers targeting civilians during Operation Protective Edge. He followed the Palestinian Authority President’s charges of “genocidal” Israeli army conduct in Gaza, but, like in years past, Netanyahu focused on Iran (and employed the use of a prop). As he spoke the galley of the GA assembly hall was stacked with members of the Israeli delegation, including casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who cheered at key moments while delegates from member countries refrained from applaus

Netanyahu heads to New York to ‘refute all the lies’ and praise ‘the most moral army in the world’

Allison Deger on
Netanyahu-Airport-PMO

Although some friends will receive him at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows tomorrow he will be in hot water. When he left for New York this morning for his speech on Monday, he gave a bitter farewell: “In my address to the UN General Assembly,” he said on the tarmac, “I will refute all of the lies being directed at us and I will tell the truth about our state and about the heroic soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world.”