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- Jewish establishment stays silent on Israeli plan to forcibly displace Bedouins (3)
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- Jewish establishment stays silent on Israeli plan to forcibly displace Bedouins (3)
Category Archives: On the ground reports
Residents of two neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are bracing for the largest wave of home demolitions ever proposed by Israel. On October 31, Jerusalem municipal officials affixed legal documents to residential buildings in the Ras Khamis and Ras Shahada neighborhoods. The exact number of homes that would be affected is unclear, but Jeff Halper, the head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, estimates that 15,000 homes could be demolished.
Once and Future Bride of the Sea: A historian discusses the history of Jaffa from the Nakba until today
Tel Aviv – Jaffa City Councillor Sami Abou Shehadeh discusses the history of Jaffa, pre- and post-Nakba.
It’s barely 100 meters, but a fence Israel plans to build through four villages in the heart of the iconic hills of the West Bank shows how deep the occupation reaches into Palestinian life. Earlier this month, the Israeli military ordered the construction of a separation fence in the north central West Bank on agricultural land belonging to four Palestinian villages. This fence is not an extension of the famous separation barrier. Rather it will be a free-floating chain linked plank in the heart of the West Bank. A miniature version of the wall, it separates nothing and can easily be bypassed on foot. Still this fence is part of a patchwork of barriers in the Nablus district that trace the highway system. Allison Deger reports an exclusive.
Imagine that you have to spend your night in utter darkness, to arrange your plan for each day according to a power-cut plan, or to force yourself into bed as there is nothing you can do other than to sit in the dark. If you find it hard to imagine, just ask a Palestinian from Gaza. No one could explain it better. Sarah Salibi writes from Gaza on how she is surviving on 6 hours of electricity a day.
Jovita Sandaite lives five minutes away from the Qalandia checkpoint. She crosses it every day, twice a day–and took notes on her experience. “People were denied entry. Children pulled their parents to go further even if denied; to go to Jerusalem, where a new toy gun or a doll is waiting to be bought on their expenses of patience,” she writes. “Who talks about money? Babies’ diapers were changed on the checkpoint floor.” Here’s her whole diary of crossing Qalandia.
The Palestinian Forum for Innovation and Technology was held in Gaza City in late October. The forum opened their doors to more than 100 creative enterprises to show and market what Gaza’s youth have done.
Esraa Yaseen was supposed to be in Egypt on Sunday October 27 to start a trip to Doha along with a distinctive group of Palestinian students. They were planning to attend the WISE conference. But the Rafah closing was closed, and they were stuck in Gaza.
Allison Deger was in Ramallah earlier today as prisoners released to the West Bank by the Israeli government were greeted at the Palestinian Authority headquarters. The crowd represented a cross-section of Palestinian society, and amid the euphoria, family members held up photographs of others behind bars
Allison Deger reports from the a-Zeitim crossing, one of the newer Israeli divisions created inside of Jerusalem. Although hailed as an undivided capital, Jewish-Israelis can move from neighborhood to neighborhood in Jerusalem while intractable metal gates create Palestinian ghettos throughout the city. Deger also talks to the young activists protesting the strangulation of their communities. Above, A-Zeitim checkpoint in East Jerusalem, between the neighborhoods of Abu Dis and At-Tur.
A recent World Bank report highlights how Israel is gradually whittling away the foundations on which the Palestinians can build an independent economic life and a viable state. The report’s focus is on the nearly two-thirds of the West Bank, known as Area C, that is exclusively under Israeli control–and which contains almost all the resources a Palestinian state will need to exploit.
The Desert of Israeli Democracy: A trip through the Negev Desert leads to the heart of Israel’s national nightmare
While Benjamin Netanyahu ranted against Iran in New York City and in a meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, his government was preparing to implement the Prawer Plan, a blueprint for the expulsion of 40,000 indigenous Bedouin citizens of Israel from their ancestral Negev Desert communities that promised to “concentrate” them in state-run, reservation-style townships. The Prawer Plan is only one element of the government’s emerging program to dominate all space and the lives of all people between the river (the Jordan) and the sea (the Mediterranean).
Palestinians deliver toys to Jahalin Bedouin children living in four unrecognized villages in the Jerusalem hills under pressure to relocate to reservations near waste removal facilities.
Here is yet another story of a Palestinian being harassed while trying to travel through Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport. Anonymous lives in Berkeley, her father is Palestinian and her mother is Jewish. Here she recounts how she was interrogated and strip searched while trying to leave Israel/Palestine after visiting family in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, “I had been mistreated, combed out of the crowd and profiled, my time wasted and my dignity subsequently stepped all over without a second thought. I had been treated like a criminal for having an identity that I was born into, told explicitly in each of these actions that I did not belong here and had no place here at all as a person with Palestinian heritage. Harassed and picked out from the rest because of my name, my history, the assumptions that go with them, and my very intention to visit my family, many of who cannot visit me in the USA.”
We’re excited to share an exclusive excerpt from Max Blumenthal’s new book ‘Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.’ In this chapter titled “There Are No Facts,” Blumenthal tells the story of how forests constructed by the Jewish National Fund have been used throughout Israel’s history to dispossess the indigenous Palestinians of their land, and how Israelis rationalize this dispossession. Blumenthal visits the Israeli artist colony of Eid Hod, built on the ruins of the Palestinian Ayn Hawd, and is told by a tour guide, “I’ve concluded after years of research that there are really no facts when you discuss this issue. There are only narratives.”
Decades ago the West Bank hamlet of Burqa lost part of its agricultural grounds when it was confiscated for an Israeli army post, and then later converted into the settlement of Homesh. But thirty-five years later, in a first in the West Bank, Israel’s high court has restored the land back to the original Palestinian owners. Above, Palestinians from Burqa plant an olive tree sapling on their land.
The story of the ongoing Nakba in two Jerusalem villages – Lifta and Battir – has been enforced quite differently yet it highlights several constant threads. Standing at the bottom of the valley in Battir today, essentially on the ‘Green Line’, olive trees to the west are, according to colonial impositions, in ‘Israel’ whilst to the east they are in ‘Palestine’ despite belonging to the same families. Such demarcations visually highlight the immorality and sheer ridiculousness of the historic division of Palestine. Similarly, for the Liftawi elders who live within eyesight of their original houses and who regularly take their children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren to ‘visit’ and clean the village graves of their ancestors, there is no moral, legal or ethical justification for this division.
From Ramallah to Jerusalem and back, on a day when Sukkot throws up roadblocks, Allison Deger explains how rain and closures made her a conspiracy theorist.
Israeli occupation policies affect all aspects of Palestinians’ lives, including where they can study and how they get food. However, while teargas and shooting have become cliché in reporting about occupation, the cumulative impact of Israeli interference in Palestinians’ lives is rarely reported.
‘Welcome to the Occupation’: British woman detained and interrogated in Ben Gurion airport while trying to volunteer at Bethlehem school
Amena Saleem tells her story of being detained and interrogated at Ben Gurion airport while trying to work with children in a Bethlehem school.
Justina Poskeviciute reports from Al-Makhoul, a Jordan Valley village where over a hundred people lost their homes to the Israeli army’s bulldozers. The village burst into the media spotlight after a French diplomat trying to deliver supplies was manhandled by the Israeli military. But as one advocate noted, the story quickly became more focused on the breach of diplomatic immunity than the brutal demolition of another Jordan Valley village–a practice that has become normalized. Above, rubble in Al-Makhoul left over from the demolition.
A report from Hebron on the ongoing clashes there.
Palestinian women’s rights activist Suheir Azzouni writes about her family’s ordeal after Israel revoked their Jerusalem residency status: “My family’s personal experience with this miscarriage of justice came in July. Just days into our vacation, the Israeli Ministry of Interior (MoI) presented us documents expelling us from our country, leaving us to face statelessness and exile. We are now in France, appealing our case, still in sharp pain, indignant about this injustice, and fearful for our future.”
Allison Deger vists Hiran, an illegal trailer park built in a JNF forest in the Negev. The Jewish tenants of Hiran are hunkering down in temporary structures until impending eviction orders whisk out the Bedouins from the nearby village Umm el-Hiran. Once that land is cleared of inhabitants, the Israelis plan to move onto “Bedouin” Hiran’s land and re-make it as “Jewish-only” Hiran equipped with traditional suburban houses. Above, Palestinian-Bedouin children play in the unrecognized village of Umm el-Hiran that is facing eviction.
Allison Deger interviews witnesses to the deaths of three Palestinians killed earlier this week during an Israeli incursion into Qalandia refugee camp. The deaths have catalyzed a Palestinian Authority boycott of peace negotiations, a row between the UN and Israel, and a face-off between Ramallah protesters and Palestinian security forces outside of the government’s compound. Above, the home of Jihad Aslan, one of three Palestinians killed in Qalandia refugee camp.
Allison Deger reports from the seam zone settlement of Alfei Menashe where residents say they are willing to move back over the Green Line if Kerry’s peace negotiations are successful.