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In Photos: Israeli forces close down village of 25,000 following deadly attack by three teen boys

Abed Al Qaisi on
Israeli forces closed all seven entrances to the village. Each entrance has seen clashes and protests, as residents continue to demand their village be opened.  (Photo: Abed al Qaisi)

Israeli forces closed down Qabatiya village in the northern occupied West Bank overnight Wednesday, following an attack carried out by three teens from the village who shot and killed a 19-year-old Israeli police officer, and seriously injured another. All three teens were shot dead at the scene, but Israeli forces retaliated by closing down the attackers’ hometown. Around 25,000 people in the large northern village are on lockdown.

60 Palestinians homeless after Israel razes West Bank village for army training zone

Allison Deger on
Demolition in Khirbet Jenbah in the South Hebron Hills on February 2, 2016. (Photo: Nasser Nasser Nawaj'ah/B'Tselem)

Some 60 Palestinians awoke Tuesday morning to the sound of bulldozers razing their West Bank village in the South Hebron Hills as the Israeli army cleared the grounds to expand a live-fire training zone. The military demolished 22 structures in the herding community of Khirbet Jenbah, a ramshackle town with houses made of tin, tarp and stone. Thirty-two children were left homeless.

Video: Life inside Hebron’s closed military zone

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on

Muhanned Qafesha, a resident of Tel Rumeida in Hebron, takes Mondoweiss through the arduous journey residents of the city have been subjected to since Israel made the town a closed military zone in November. Israeli soldiers detain and harass filmmakers Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi as they attempt to report Qafesha’s story.

Palestinians in Hebron demand Israel return bodies of family members killed by the IDF

Sabrina Tucci on
Palestinians gathered at a solidarity tent in Hebron demanding the release of the body of their children (Photo: EAPPI)

On the evening of January 1st Israeli authorities returned the bodies of 14 Palestinians from Hebron city who were killed while suspected of carrying out attacks on Israelis during the wave of tension which had started in October 2005. These 14 bodies were buried the following day, but others are yet to be returned to their families. “They have no right to keep our children, we want them back now”, the father of one of the young men killed says.

Video: Children of the Camp

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on

Filmmakers Sheren Khalel and Abed al Qaisi wanted to know exactly how much the children who live in Bethlehem’s Aida and Beit Jibrin refugee camps understood about the military occupation going on around them, and how normal they believed their lives were. With their parents permission, Khalel and al Qaisi asked five children from the streets of the two camps what they thought. All of the answers were spontaneous and unrehearsed, and as it turned out, the kids understood — and have experienced — quite a lot.

Groundbreaking Human Rights Watch report shows how settlement businesses contribute to Israeli occupation

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz on
Human Rights Watch report cover shows Barkan, an Israeli residential settlement and industrial zone located in the occupied West Bank, that houses around 120 factories that export around 80 percent of their goods abroad. In the background is the Palestinian village of Qarawat Bani Hassan. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)

In a groundbreaking new report, Human Rights Watch has joined the chorus of voices calling on countries to label goods made in the Israeli occupied territories as the products of settlements, and calls on countries to withhold aid to Israel that can be used to “offset the costs of Israeli government expenditures on settlements.” The report titled Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights puts pressure on a “multitude” of private companies to stop doing business in the occupied territories, because they are helping to sustain an illegal settlement project that deprives the Palestinian population of their human rights.

In rare move, Palestinian police kick Israeli soldiers out of West Bank town

Allison Deger on
Palestinian presidential guards forcibly remove Israeli soldiers from the West Bank city of Beituna, near the presidential compound on December 21, 2015.

A group of red beret Palestinian police scuffled with Israeli soldiers near Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ residence last week ordering the military to leave the area of the West Bank under Palestinian security control. A recording of the December 21, 2015 incident was published by local media, showing Palestinian presidential guards threatening Israeli forces.

Video: Days before Christmas, Bethlehem erects ‘resistance tree’ outside Nativity Church

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on

Tourists, political leaders, activists and residents of Bethlehem gathered right in front of the Nativity Church Thursday night with an unusual message. With Christmas just days away, the city of Bethlehem erected what they call a “Resistance Tree” — an olive tree which was recently uprooted by Israeli forces from a nearby neighborhood, was placed in the center of the main square, overlooking the towering Christmas tree and historical Nativity church. Instead of baubles and tinsel, the Resistance Tree was decorated with tear gas canisters clinking together like bells, photos of Palestinians recently killed or detained, Palestinian national scarves and sling shots.

Large majority of Palestinians in WB and Gaza think a full scale Intifada is on the horizon

Allison Deger on
A Palestinian protester burns tires during clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli army on in the occupied West Bank village of Silwad, northeast of Ramallah after a demonstration to call for the return of the bodies of killed alleged Palestinian attackers, December 11, 2015 (Photo: Shadi Hatem/APA Images/Mondoweiss)

For the first time since the weeks leading up to the second Intifada, or the 2000-2005 uprising, a majority of Palestinians believe current intensified violence will build into a full scale Intifada with greater potential to achieve their goals than peace talks with Israel, said a report published on Monday by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey (PCPS), the West Bank’s leading independent pollster.

Video: Palestinian laborers on why they work in Israel despite checkpoints and danger

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on

Every morning, hours before dawn, around 30,000 Palestinian laborers make their way from the occupied West Bank, where they live, and enter Israel. These workers, desperate to keep their jobs, arrive at the checkpoints in the middle of the night to make it through in time. Abed Abu Shierra knows the men who cross through the Bethlehem 300 checkpoint well, as he serves them coffee on their way through every morning. “It started to get worse for people being stuck like this at the start of this new Intifada,” Abu Shierra says.

Tensions remain high as Israeli military conducts raid in Ramallah

Allison Deger on
Israeli forces and Palestinian youth clash in the center of Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian government in the West Bank. (Photo: Raya)

Last night, Israeli soldiers entered the West Bank city of Ramallah and raided a municipal library as nearly 100 Palestinian youth clashed with soldiers setting on fire tires and trash cans. Palestinians view Israeli army activities inside of the de facto capital as an escalation to an already tense few months.

‘I am a mother amongst hundreds, we are all worried about our children’: The systemic incarceration of Palestinian children

Reem Abd Ulhamid on
A Palestinian youth is arrested by Israeli soldiers in 2013 for throwing stones during a protest. (AFP Photo / Hazem Bader)

Baker Awyes,17, from East Jerusalem, is in Israeli prison waiting for his sentence. This is the tenth time Baker was arrested. He has been arrested twice a year on average since he was 13 years old. His mother says, “I am a mother amongst hundreds, we are all worried about our children, and I pray day and night that he is safe, I am scared”.

Video: A family says goodbye to a ‘martyr’ in Bethlehem

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on

Mutaz Zawahra was having the time of his life in France on a youth program with two other friends when he got the news that his oldest brother had fallen dangerously ill. His brother, Ghassan, was on hunger strike in Israeli prison protesting his internment without trial or charge, and family members told Mutaz that his older brother may not make it through his strike alive. Mutaz returned home immediately to be with his family in Bethlehem, just in time for the start of the unrest that was about to erupt across the West Bank. Israeli forces shot and killed Mutaz during a particularly intense bout of clashes coined “A Day of Rage,” he was the 30th Palestinian killed in October. Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi report from the family’s commemoration ceremony for Mutaz, which was delayed so that Ghassan could have the honor of paying his respects to his brother after being released from Israeli prison.

Nightmares in Jalazone: Families deal with trauma following Israeli torture

Lauren Jappe on
Homes in the Jalazone refugee camp are built against and atop one another, and overcrowding, crumbling infrastructure, unemployment and frequent military night raids plague local residents. (Photo: Defense for Children International Palestine/Dylan Collins)

Lauren Jappe accompanies doctors from the Ramallah-based organization Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture as they visit clients in the Jalazone refugee camp. The doctors are meeting with Palestinian families dealing with ongoing trauma resulting from a family member being the victim of torture while in Israeli custody. Jappe writes, “It is 2015, and there are now several generations of trauma within Palestine, layered and complex and most going without treatment. What will be the next nightmare?”

The rise of psychological trauma in occupied Palestine

Megan Hanna on
A Palestinian man inspects a house after it was torched, in Duma, near the West Bank city of Nablus, July 31, 2015. (Photo: AP)

Recent Israeli raids on Palestinian hospitals and schools have coincided with a rise in psychological trauma in the occupied Palestinian territory. But it’s not just Israel’s military actions that are contributing to this worrying trend. The lack of accountability for settlers whose violent attacks are rarely prosecuted and seem to operate in an environment of impunity also play a part. A report from Médecins du Monde France released last month assessed the psychological damage to 72 direct and indirect victims of the Duma arson, where a Palestinian family was burned alive inside their home. Their findings showed that 82% of the beneficiaries are at severe risk of developing PTSD, and 45% are unable to carry out daily activities such as cleaning and cooking.

Zionism is blocking the path to peace

Mohammed Alhammami on
Israelis gathered on a hilltop outside the town of Sderot on Monday to watch the bombardment of Gaza. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The most dangerous threat Palestinians face in their struggle for freedom and human rights, besides the Israeli war machine, is the absence of historical context. Political Zionism is an ideology that is inherently racist, supremacist, and exclusivist. If you seek to understand the conflict, if you believe in and strive for a just peace in Israel-Palestine, this is where your fight starts.

Israeli troops detain and interrogate 6-year-old Palestinian boy in Bethlehem

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Israeli soldier detaining 6-year-old Abdullah Youssef. (Photo: Maan News)

Ma‘an reports: Israeli forces detained a six-year-old Palestinian boy in Bethlehem’s ‘Aida refugee camp on Tuesday, locals said. The boy, Abdullah Youssef, was detained as clashes broke out in the area between Israeli military forces and Palestinian youths. The young boy told Ma‘an that Israeli soldiers began firing tear gas into a children’s playground in the refugee camp, forcing him and his friends to flee the area. Israeli soldiers who had entered the camp then detained him as he was running away, and interrogated him for several hours before the Palestinian liaison office intervened to have him released.

Rights Expert: Harsh interrogation of 13-year-old Palestinian boy ‘may amount to torture’

Megan Hanna on
Still of film showing Amhad Manasra's interrogation leaked by Ma'an (Source: Twitter)

A controversial video leaked to Palestinian media on November 8th depicts an Israeli interrogator verbally abusing and shouting curses at 13-year old Ahmad Manasra, who was indicted on October 30th by Israel’s Jerusalem District Court for attempting to murder two Israelis near the Pisgat Zeev settlement in East Jerusalem. Brad Parker, attorney and international advocacy officer at Defence for Children – Palestine, tells Mondoweiss: “The circumstances depicted in the video present a situation that may amount to torture. When determining if certain acts constitute torture, the child’s age must be taken into account. Israeli interrogators are seen relying on verbal abuse, intimidation and threats to apparently inflict mental suffering for the purpose of obtaining a confession.”