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The banality of evil as captured in a selfie

Adam Horowitz on
(Photo: Christian Peacemaker Teams)

A photo taken by the Christian Peacemaker Team shows Palestinian men being detained at a checkpoint in Hebron while Israeli soldiers take a group selfie.

Hamas wins major student elections in the West Bank for second year running

Sheren Khalel on
Thousands of students gathered at Birzeit for the student elections, flooding the campus with political garb, most of which showed support for one of three student groups affiliated with Hamas, Fatah and the PFLP.(Photo: Abed Al Qaisi)

Hamas scored another victory on Wednesday at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank, winning 25 seats in the university’s student elections. The university, considered the most liberal of all campuses in the West Bank, is seen as an indicator for the political climate across the West Bank.

PA under renewed criticism for security coordination with Israel

Emily Mulder on
Palestinian supporters of the Hamas movement burn an Israeli flag during a demonstration against the political arrests and the violence against Hamas members by PA security in the West Bank, in Gaza City on June 11, 2014. (Photo: Mohammed Asad/APA Images)

The detention by Palestinian Authority security forces of three Palestinians who allegedly planned to carry out an attack inside Israel this week brought renewed public criticism of the PA amid a slew of political disputes. The PA finds itself pitted between a need to appease the Israeli authorities through security coordination and the mass upheaval such coordination brings among political rivals and the wider public.

Israeli army operation in downtown Ramallah causes sweeping fire

Allison Deger on
Palestinian assess damage to a West Bank shop burned beyond repair in a fire started by the Israeli military, al-Bireh. (Photo: Allison Deger)

A fire started by Israeli forces during a botched operation to dentate explosives in a West Bank commercial zone quickly spread and burned a Palestinian government office, at least nine stores and an open-air market, in the early morning hours Thursday.

Video: New app tackles traffic at checkpoints in the West Bank

Megan Hanna on

Hundreds of military checkpoints scattered around the occupied Palestinian territory are prone to arbitrarily closure without prior warning, restricting the freedom of movement for Palestinians whose daily lives are already defined by a sense of chaos, temporariness and unpredictability. However, a new smartphone app Azmeh – which translates to mean ‘traffic jam’ in Arabic – has been designed to tackle this very problem.

Video: Israel demolishes every home in West Bank Bedouin village

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on

Israeli forces have demolished every home in the Bedouin village of Khirbet Taha in the northern West Bank district of Nablus during three separate demolitions since the start of the year. The village’s only school was also destroyed, leaving children to study in a dilapidated 100-year-old mosque — the only structure left standing in the village.

Palestinians say ‘let us move’ as Bethlehem Marathon kicks off amidst severe movement restrictions

Sheren Khalel on
Streets closed down in Bethlehem on Friday, as the marathon snaked through the city. (Photo: Sheren Khalel/Mondoweiss)

Runners woke up at dawn on Friday in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, ready to take on the Freedom of Movement Marathon in the city. The marathon stretches across the city, quite literally running through two refugee camps, and circles around twice. As locals will ready explain, there is not space for a 42 kilometer route through Bethlehem, so unlike most marathons, the track has to double over two 21 kilometer paths.

Palestinians commemorate 40th anniversary of Land Day

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on
Ahlam al-Wahish, a director of the Palestinian Women’s Union, said Israeli forces have been holding the bodies of 16 Palestinian minors from Bethlehem since the First and Second Intifadas. (Photo: Abed al Qaisi/Mondoweiss)

Palestinians across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday gathered to commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Land Day.” The first Land Day, on March 30, 1976, saw thousands of Palestinians take to the streets in protest of the confiscation of thousands of acres of Palestinian land in the northern Galilee region of Israel. During the protest, six demonstrators were shot dead and over 100 were wounded. Forty years later, Palestinians are still taking to the streets in protest of massive Israeli land grabs.

Israeli soldier filmed killing wounded Palestinian finds support among Israeli politicians

Allison Deger on
Naftali Bennett at an Israel Project event in Jerusalem. (The Israel Project/Flickr)

As a video recording of an Israeli soldier killing a wounded Palestinian in Hebron on Thursday emerged hours after the shooting Israeli government officials and civil society representatives were split in their responses. Some quickly moved to condemn the shooting, while an outspoken group of Israeli leaders applauded the soldier and circulated a counter-theory of self-defense and heroism.

Ha’aretz journalist lauds wine from Jewish terrorist/vintner Menachem Livni

Ira Glunts on
Menachem Livni poses with wine from his winery.

Ha’aretz diplomatic correspondent and gourmand, Barak Ravid, recently tweeted a picture of “a likeable wine from the Livni vineyard in Kiryat Arba.” “Surprisingly good,” he concludes. The reason that the quality of the wine, produced in the darkest heart of the Israeli-occupied territory, is surprising, I would guess, is that Ravid believes that an admitted, convicted and unrepentant terrorist is unlikely to also become a successful vintner. But in Israel all is possible, at least for Jews.

Israeli soldier filmed executing wounded Palestinian man

Dan Cohen on
(Screenshot: B'Tselem/YouTube)

Today an Israeli soldier executed a wounded Palestinian man on the ground in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron’s old city in the occupied West Bank. In a graphic B’Tselem video capturing the killing, the man can be seen semi-conscious on the ground, when a soldier cocks his rifle and fires, killing him on the spot. The Israeli military spokesperson said the filmed execution “contradicts the IDF’s ethical code and what is expected from the IDF’s soldiers and commanders” and that the soldier has been suspended while the military conducts a probe, but in fact the policy of summary executions has been ordered as a directive from top political and military officials.

Palestinians in Gaza are drinking contaminated water

Abeer Abu Shawish on
Rayqa al-Malalha lives—along with her poor family—in the marginalized al-Araiba neighborhood of Rafah City in the Gaza Strip. The water supplied to al-Araiba’s 8,000 residents by the municipality is unsuitable for consumption. (Photo: Iyad al-Baba/Oxfam)

Palestinians in Gaza are regularly consuming contaminated water, even when the liquid they drink has already been treated at a purifying plant. In Gaza 45% of the water processed in desalination plants is contaminated, according to the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA).

On World Water Day, Palestinians in West Bank refugee camps struggle with scarce resources

Abed Al Qaisi and Sheren Khalel on
(Screenshot: YouTube)

As the world celebrates World Water Day this week, Palestinians in refugee camps across the occupied West Bank are preparing for the summer, when water becomes scarce. While the World Health Organization recommends 100 liters of water per person per day, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank use less than 73 liters, with those in refugee camps using even less. In Israel, residents use an average of 183 liters per person, per day. In Bethlehem’s Beit Jibrin camp, one young man takes Mondoweiss around the in and outs of the water issues the camps face each year.

Palestinians grapple with knife attacks as violence enters fifth month

Allison Deger on
Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces during a protest against the separation wall and Jewish settlement near the Ofer prison in the west of the city of Ramallah on the West Bank on March 11, 2016. (Photo: Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images)

The killing of Israeli civilians and the young age of the Palestinian attackers, along with their almost inevitable deaths at the hands of police, are raising tough questions for Palestinians. A recent event in Ramallah featuring Mariam Barghouti, Diana Buttu and Husam Zomlot was billed as a discussion of whether an “Intifada” has began, but the conversation soon turned to personal feelings about knife attacks on Israelis.

Video: Children join the protest against Israeli occupation in Kufr Qaddum

Abed Al Qaisi and Sheren Khalel on

On March 13, 11-year-old Khalid Ishtawy joined the thousands of other children injured by Israeli forces, when he was shot in the thigh in the northern occupied West Bank village of Kufr Qaddum during a protest. This past weekend other children joined the village’s weekly protest to honor their injured friend. Abed Al Qaisi and Sheren Khalel interview some of the young protesters who say they are demanding their right to be like children in the rest of the world, and letting their injured friend know they support him.

Suicides on the rise in Gaza

We Are Not Numbers on
Screenshot: Abu Setta contemplating suicide. Watania Media Agency - Gaza

What happens when a person is forced to struggle for years without enough money to support his family, and there is no way out?

Video: Meet Ahmad Dawabshe, the five-year-old survivor of the Duma firebombing

Dan Cohen on

Eight months after the firebombing that killed five-year-old Ahmad Dawabshe’s baby brother and parents in the occupied West Bank village of Duma, he is still undergoing treatment in the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan. In a heartbreaking video Dan Cohen talks with Ahmad’s grandfather, Hussein Dawabshe, who has devoted his life to taking care of Ahmad, “I am willing to stay and keep taking care of Ahmad for one, two, three or ten years. What matters is that Ahmad is not in danger. I want him to live without trouble and fear.”

Study: At least 78% of humanitarian aid intended for Palestinians ends up in Israeli coffers

Jonathan Cook on
Nesher Cement| Gaza Strip| Apr 2015| Photographed by Aid Watch

While Europe may think of itself as part of an enlightened West, using aid to defend Palestinians’ rights, the reality is less reassuring. The aid may actually be making things significantly worse. Shir Hever, an Israeli economist who has spent years piecing together the murky economics of the occupation, recently published a report that reaches a shocking conclusion – at least 78 per cent of humanitarian aid intended for Palestinians ends up in Israel’s coffers.

Israeli farms exploit Thai workers and Palestinian children as government looks the other way

Matthew Vickery on
Sutep Sesubang, a Thai agricultural worker, has only a paper mask to protect him from hazardous chemicals. (Photo: Matthew Vickery)

Matthew Vickery reports from Israeli farms in the northern Negev and occupied Jordan Valley where Thai workers and Palestinian children work long hours, in often dangerous and hazardous situations, all for less than the legal Israeli minimum wage. “This is not what I expected,” Dusit Doting says as he stands with other Thai workers outside the white shipping container they now call home.

Having a settler for neighbor in Hebron

Sabrina Tucci on
Synagogue tent built on the Jabari’s land between Givat Ha’avot and Kiryat Arba settlements (Photo: EAPPI/Sabrina Tucci)

The Jabari family lives in the Hebron neighborhood of Wadi Al Hussein, between the illegal Israeli settlements of Kiryat Arba and the Giva Ha’avot. Since 2001, the family has been fighting a legal battle to regain control of their land after settlers illegally built a “Synagogue Tent” on it. Ayat Jabari explains, “When we first came here they [the settlers] stabbed my little brother in the stomach, then hit another of my brothers on his eyes. Another time they pushed my father from the hill and he broke his shoulder. Every day, every night they throw stones at us.” Jabari says the settlers want the land so they can connect up the different settlements in the city center with those on the outskirts.