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Category Archives: On the ground reports
Claire Neble Matsunami talks with Mohammad Basman Yasin, a 21-year-old volunteer photographer with B’tselem who was critically wounded by Israeli forces while documenting a demonstration at Ofer Prison in the West Bank. Yasin was over 100 meters away from demonstrators when he was shot twice — one bullet sliced across his nose, the other hit him in the waist. He was holding his camera and was wearing a gas mask and bright yellow shirt with PRESS emblazoned on it.
Allison Deger talks with youth activists in Ramallah who took to the streets in the past to protest Palestinian negotiations with Israel, but now are sitting it out as they do not believe their representatives will listen to their grievances. Bassel from al-Walaja says, “We are not objecting to just the negotiations and their failures and their success. We’re against the whole thing: recognizing Israel, the two-state solution. We’re against all of it in principle.” Above, Palestinian security forces beat youth protesters with batons at a demonstration in 2013.
Mariam Barghouti, a 20 year-old university student and translator was arrested last Friday in Nabi Saleh and six days later is still locked in an Israeli jail cell. Despite being an American citizen she is facing trumped up charges of stone throwing that can carry a three-month sentence in jail.
What will remain, said George, sitting in the Ramallah Cafe, is “one apartheid state: one state for two peoples where one has all of the rights, the Israelis, and one has none of the rights, the Palestinians.” As negotiations between Israeli and Palestinians leaders reach a crisis, in Ramallah, the urban reprieve and seat of President Mahmoud Abbas’s government, the breakdown passes with much apathy.
The Israeli government has approved the purchase by settlers of a house in downtown Hebron built by Palestinians. If they move in the house will become a living hell for Palestinians, and will trigger great resistance, says Badia al Dwaik of Youth Against Settlements.
African asylum seeker protest leader Mutasim Ali has filed a petition with Israel’s high court to overturn his, and thousands of other prison summons for refugees desiring status in Israel. Ali has been given 30 days to report to a detention facility
Adam Wolf shares a harrowing account of how the refugees of Aida camp in Bethlehem have renewed a campaign of resistance against the apartheid wall that encircles much of their home. Last Friday, youth from Aida drilled a hole in a previously damaged section of the wall beginning a week of Israeli attacks which culminated yesterday with a section of the Wall being destroyed by protesters. Very few avoided the fighting, including the author who was used as a human shield by Israeli forces.
Raed Zuaiter, a 38 year-old Palestinian judge residing in Jordan was returning home to Palestine on March 10, 2014 when he was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. Read an eyewitness account of the scene and how Israeli soldiers treated other Palestinians at the Allenby Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan after Zuaiter’s death.
Pro-Israeli Presbyterians recently sponsored a trip to Israel/Palestine through the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) designed for “delegates” from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who self-identified as having previously “endorsed boycotts.” The purpose of the trip was to change their minds before the next Presbyterian General Assembly so that they could stand in opposition to BDS initiatives.
Badia Dwaik joins youth activists in returning to the Palestinian village of Ein Hajlah, the residents of which were evicted during the 1967 war.
Last Sunday over 300,000 protesters shut down central Jerusalem to protest a Knesset bill to draft Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community into the military. Allison Deger talks to some of the protesters who compare Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid, the main backer of the compulsorily conscription legislation, to the assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, suggesting he would meet a similar fate.
‘It was clear to me as a black person just what I was seeing around me’: Report from an African-American delegation to Israel/Palestine
Last week two members of a delegation of African American journalists and artists who traveled to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in January spoke of their experiences at a public forum held at the historic Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ (PCUCC) in Northeast Washington, D.C.
Palestinians in Hebron demand Israel ‘Open Shuhada Street’ and protest twentieth anniversary of Ibrahimi mosque massacre
On Friday around one thousand Palestinian and Israeli activists protested in the West Bank city of Hebron to reopen Shuhada Street.
What is a Jewish dog? Allison Deger visits a pet cemetery (above) and ranch run by an Israeli couple that enjoys water, electricity and waste removal as a result of government plans to make life attractive for Israeli Jews in the Negev desert. Yet about two kilometers away is an unrecognized Bedouin encampment with 24 residents from the Abu Alkin clan who are not allowed to access municipal services, and are forced to live off the grid. “Martin Luther King, 2014: My dream is to be a dead Jewish dog. For then I will have equal rights,” quips Khalil Alamour of the legal rights group Adalah.
Do these teens remind you of the dizzy teens awaiting the Beatles? Change the scene: Days before John Kerry will arrive in the Middle East for more negotiations, thousands of Israelis marched in the occupied Jerusalem hills to claim land that would be essential to a two-state solution
The Palestinians of Gaza fear another Israeli military offensive is imminent. Israel is flexing its military muscle and Egypt has joined the band, beating the drums of war.
Israeli restrictions on the Gaza Strip have caused severe losses for strawberry growers, whose produce goes to European markets. But the current growing season is even worse. Growers’ losses have been doubled, as a heavy winter storm hit the region in December, damaging their fields and ripe crops.
The late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was eulogized in a service at the Knesset in Jerusalem earlier today and the turnout was low. There was no scramble for foreign dignitaries to board planes like they did for Nelson Mandela weeks ago. Even the Israeli public, who came out by the hundreds of thousands last October for the passing of chief Sephardic rabbi Ovadia Yosef, mostly stayed away. Above, the coffin of Ariel Sharon leaving the Knesset.
Filman Abraham, 24, says he’s marching in Jerusalem to demand a fair and transparent process for asylum in Israel and an end to deportations and mass arrests.
During a third day of strikes African asylum seekers in Israel have announced plans to march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to demand refugee status. Over 20,000 have already demonstrated in front of foreign embassies, and United Nations and European Commission offices.
Today, tens of thousands of African asylum seekers gathered in Tel Aviv to protest in front of eight embassies, UN and EU offices as part of a three-day strike against Israel’s policy of imprisoning for those requesting refugee status. The protests brought out record numbers and caused the U.S. Embassy to shut down. Israeli onlookers jeered at the marches, shouting “Go home!” and “back to Africa!” as the protesters met for a second day of actions.
John Kerry’s peace process may be stalled, but a Disney-like bible park in occupied East Jerusalem is devouring a Palestinian village, bringing paintball and a surround-sound media center. “Hear the Babylonian forces laying siege to the city?” asks “Amos,” a 3-D Israeli-accented talking head in a cowboy hat. Something jumped out at us from the screen. Maybe a sword? I dropped my glasses on the ancient floor. This historical adventure was too extreme for me.
In a scaled back ceremony early Tuesday morning 18 Palestinians returned to the West Back in the third round of prisoners released by Israel during the U.S.-backed direct negotiations. Families of the released prisoners still gathered to welcome loved ones home, but perhaps reflecting the malaise towards the ongoing negotiations the crowd was noticeably smaller than past releases.
As United States envoys shuttle back and forth in search of a peace formula to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a matter supposedly settled decades ago is smouldering back into life. In what was billed as a “day of rage” last month, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to protest against a plan to uproot tens of thousands of Bedouin from their ancestral lands inside Israel, in the Negev (Naqab). The stakes are high, not least because Israel views this battle as a continuation of the 1948 war that established a Jewish state on the ruins of Palestine.