Category Archives:
Occupation

‘New’ Netanyahu policy on settlements promises Trump less building, and Israeli settlers more

Allison Deger on

While the White House is still formulating a new policy towards Israeli settlements, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got out in front of the forthcoming changes by announcing his own set of rules, with differing messages aimed at the Trump administration and right-wing members of his coalition. The policy is still vague. Reportedly it will restrict where settlers can build in the West Bank, but not how many or how often, according to cabinet members who were in the meeting and spoke to Israeli media anonymously.

Actor Richard Gere in Hebron: ‘it’s exactly like what the what the Old South was in America’

Allison Deger on

While Richard Gere was in Israel and the occupied West Bank promoting his film “Norman,” he was recorded in an unguarded moment wandering the desolate streets of Hebron’s Old City. A dumbfounded Gere is near at a loss for words in the clip, which aired on Israel’s Channel 2 network. “I mean it’s like…it’s exactly like what the what the Old South was in America. Blacks knew where they could go, they could drink from that fountain, they couldn’t go over there, they couldn’t eat in that place. It was well understood. You didn’t cross it or you’d get your head beat in or lynched,” Gere said.

Video: Israeli forces force crying 8-year-old boy barefoot through gravel looking for stone-throwers

Sheren Khalel on

Palestinian activists on Sunday filmed Israeli forces dragging 8-year-old Sufian Abu Hitah through the al-Harika neighborhood of Hebron in the occupied West Bank for more than hour. The video, received and edited by Israeli rights group B’Tselem, shows the boy crying and barefoot, being pulled by his arm by Israeli forces as they tried to get the boy to identify other children who soldiers suspected of throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba earlier that day.

Thousands attend funeral of Basil al-Araj, fugitive activist killed by Israeli forces

Sheren Khalel on

Around 2,000 mourners marched on Friday in the Bethlehem-area village of al-Walaja for the funeral of slain Basil al-Araj, 36, who was slain by Israeli forces March 6. Al-Araj’s ideology against normalization and security coordination is popular among leftist Palestinian youth. His success in eluding Israeli forces for six months, and then refusal to surrender when he was found, only made his ideas more popular.

Banksy’s hotel isn’t gentrification, it is an invitation for people to come see the occupation for what it is

Rory Evans on

How do you engage people with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, when you’re faced with the slickest and most well-funded propaganda machine the world has ever known? Rory Evans writes a trendy new hotel in Bethlehem created by the graffiti artist Banksy has opened to the public in an effort to breathe new life into the fight for Palestinian justice.

Palestinian police beat demonstrators in Ramallah during protest against political activist’s death

Sheren Khalel on

Mahmoud al-Araj, the father of slain Basil al-Araj, left his home on Sunday expecting to take part in a peaceful demonstration outside a courthouse in Ramallah where a judge officially dropped an investigation into his son. He ended up in the hospital after getting caught in the middle of a chaotic crackdown by Palestinian Authority (PA) forces wielding heavy batons, and shooting pepper spray and tear gas at Palestinians protesting the death of Basil, the imprisonment of his five friends and the court’s decision to pursue charges against them for allegedly storing illegal weapons.

Women in Gaza share their grievances and joys on International Women’s Day: ‘we have to pay the bill, as usual’

Ahmad Kabariti on

On March 8, women in Gaza marked International Women’s Day along with their counterparts in the countries across the globe. But in Gaza, International Women’s Day is less of a celebration and more of a harsh and painful reminder of three wars in the last decade, and years of siege. Laila Qarmout, 57, a member of the General Union of Palestinian Women said: “Women are indoctrinated from the age of five to see ourselves as less than our brothers or less than our husbands. Despite this, we have struggled a lot against the world’s only long-running occupation. Women know too well the iniquity of repression.”

‘It’s scarier this time’: Hunger-striking Palestinian journalist’s health deteriorating quickly

Sheren Khalel on

On his second long-term hunger strike in the past year, Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq’s health is deteriorating faster than anyone expected, leaving his family to plea for support before it is too late. “If Mohammed were to quit his hunger strike now, the first one that almost killed him would be for nothing, so he feels he must continue his strike—not just for himself, but for all the other Palestinian prisoners on strike against their administrative detention as well — they must stay strong together,” Fayha Salash, Mohammed’s wife, tells Mondoweiss.

I am a proud Palestinian woman and a humanitarian. I am also the mother of the youngest Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail.

Farihan Daraghmeh Farah on

“Shadi was arrested on December 30, 2015. He was just 12 years old. The news took my breath away; the whole family was in a state of shock. For a long time, none of us could eat or sleep properly. When I closed my eyes, all I could see was my little boy, scared and alone, in a freezing cold prison cell. I later learned that they had forced him to stand in there naked, at one point.” On International Women’s Day, Farihan Daraghmeh Farah tells the harrowing story of her son Shadi and how her family has struggled to free him from Israeli occupation prisons.

Banksy’s ‘Walled Off Hotel’ is a form of gentrification

Tamara Nassar on

Banksy’s new hotel has drawn much praise from the international community for its initiative to attract tourists to the West Bank and educate them through space as a medium and an object of art, but Tamara Nassar says, “Banksy’s hotel is a form of gentrification that exploits Palestinian suffering and imposes an ‘art space’ that thrives on fulfilling an example of white fantasy in travel, in order to witness war zones as an educational and historical amusement when in fact it is very present and happening in real-time.”

A Palestinian state has always been a fiction for Zionists

Jonathan Ofir on

A Palestinian state is anathema to Zionism – and must therefore be kept in the realms of fiction. The Palestinian state does not arrive, because Israel doesn’t intend, and never has intended, for the Palestinian dream to come true. After Palestinians accepted a partition of the land and initiated the peace process, Israel came up with a charade to convince the world it meant business– what Yitzhak Shamir called the “teaspoon” process.

The challenges of being Palestinian in East Jerusalem

Aline Batarseh on

Aline Batarseh writes, “Despite Israel’s efforts to “unify” the city, Jerusalem remains divided. No one understands this reality better than the people who live in this contested city. Despite the fact that Israelis and Palestinians live in close proximity to one another, there is little communication between them. I personally have never socially interacted with an Israeli in my life. We live separate—and unequal—lives.”

‘Settlers are free to take what they want’: Palestinian landowners fear for the worst as land-grab law is passed

Sheren Khalel on

Fathy Shebana’s family has lived in Sinjil, a rural village between Ramallah and Nablus for as long as any of them can remember. Today, much of their land is gone, annexed by Israel for illegal settlements. Since Israel passed a new law retroactively legalizing at least a dozen settlement outposts built on private Palestinian land, Fathy and his community fear even more for the future of their land and livelihoods.

Palestinians try to travel from Gaza to Egypt during rare 3-day border opening

Mersiha Gadzo on

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt over the weekend, waiting for their turn to be let through the checkpoint. The three-day opening allowed medical patients, students, and travelers with foreign passports to cross. With huge numbers of Palestinians desperate to leave Gaza, travelers typically pay an exorbitant amount of money to local brokers who coordinate their passage with Egyptian authorities. It’s been reported previously that Egyptian authorities ask for bribes of up to $10,000. Mondoweiss spoke with some hopeful travelers about their experience trying to get across the border from Gaza to Egypt while they waited in line.

Israel’s settlers clear path to annexation with new land law

Jonathan Cook on

In practice there has never been a serious limit on theft of Palestinian land. But now, after passing the “Regularization Bill,” Israeli government support for the plunder will be explicit in law. It will be impossible to blame the outposts on “rogue” settlers, or claim that Israel is trying to safeguard Palestinian property rights.

Legalizing the theft of Palestinian land has been Israeli policy since Day 1

Jonathan Ofir on

The new law legalizing theft of Palestinian land is very similar to earlier legislation the Israeli government passed after Partition in 1950 and after the occupation in 1967, giving legal title to Jews of land formerly owned by Palestinians, who had either fled, been expelled, or were gerrymandered out of Israeli bounds.

Land Grab: Israeli Knesset passes law legalizing expropriation of privately-owned Palestinian land

Sheren Khalel on

The Israeli Knesset on Monday passed a controversial new law that allows the Israeli government to expropriate private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, making more than a dozen Israeli settlements legal under Israeli law. It is the first time in history that the Knesset has imposed Israeli civil law the occupied West Bank, which is under Israeli military and civilian rule. Xavier Abu Eid, a spokesperson for the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department said the law essentially “legalized theft of Palestinian land” adding that the legislation “negates peace and the possibility of the two-state solution.”

Al-Qiq launches new hunger strike, wife calls detention ‘illegitimate’ attempt to imprison journalist

Sheren Khalel on

Mohammed al-Qiq, a Palestinian journalist who spent 94-days on hunger strike last year to challenge his administrative detention—Israel’s policy of imprisoning Palestinians without charge or trial—announced Monday a second hunger strike, this time against his re-arrest. Al-Qiq’s wife, Fayha Shalash, told Mondoweiss that the proceedings, which were held in Ofer Military Court, were illegitimate, “This whole thing is just a way to put Mohammed back in jail, they have no proof of anything against him, they just want to keep him away from everything.”

Israeli Knesset set to vote on ‘unconstitutional’ Palestinian land appropriation bill

Sheren Khalel on

The Israeli Knesset on Monday night is scheduled to vote on the so-called “Regularization Bill,” which, if passed, will appropriate hundreds of hectares of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank by legalizing — under Israeli law — thousands of settlement units built on privately owned Palestinian land. The bill would legalise at least 3,921 Israeli settlement units in the occupied West Bank built in contravention of Israeli and international law. The Palestine Liberation Organisation called the bill a “declaration of war.”

Video: Israel evacuates Amona outpost but the settler movement looks as strong as ever

Mondoweiss Editors on

Israeli police evacuated more than 200 Israeli settlers Wednesday from the West Bank outpost of Amona, dragging families with young children out of the illegal community that was built more than a decade ago. It may seem that justice prevailed in favor of the original Palestinian landowners, but for many it is not a victory. Amona residents will ultimately be relocated in adjacent plots of land, which also belong to Palestinians.

‘We have nowhere else to go’: Bedouins say they will continue to rebuild as Israel carries out home demolitions at a record pace

Sheren Khalel on

Last Wednesday Mohammed Jahalin and his family were ordered out of their houses in the Jahalin Tribe Bedouin encampment west of Jericho and watched as the metal blades of Israeli bulldozers smashed through their homes. In 2016, Israeli forces demolished homes, particularly Bedouin homes, in record numbers and in the first 23 days of 2017, Israeli forces demolished 119 Palestinian-owned structures, leaving 177 Palestinians displaced. “They keep tearing down our homes, and it’s so expensive to rebuild,” he said. “But we don’t know what else to do, we are refugees, we don’t own land, we have nowhere else to go. Tell us where to go where we can continue our way of life and we can do that, but right now we have nowhere else to go, this is our home,” Jahalin says.