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‘One step further into the annexation of the West Bank’: Israeli cabinet to vote on annexing West Bank settlements into Jerusalem

Sheren Khalel on

Israeli cabinet members on Sunday will vote on a bill seeking to annex large swaths of land into the Jerusalem municipality. The bill, coined the “Greater Jerusalem Bill,” will go to Knesset vote after what is expected to be an approval by the cabinet, however moving through the Knesset could prove difficult, as religious hardliners fear a change in the Jewish Israeli demographics of the city. The controversial Likud-backed bill would bring at least 19 illegal Israeli settlements and outposts under Jerusalem jurisdiction and sever three Palestinian communities from the municipality.

New report details Israel’s ‘broad systemic abuse’ of East Jerusalem minors

Sheren Khalel on

A new report released by Israeli human rights group reveal “broad, systemic abuse by Israeli authorities,” against hundreds of Palestinian teens detained in occupied East Jerusalem. “Palestinian teenagers from East Jerusalem are pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, unnecessarily handcuffed and interrogated without being given the opportunity to speak to a lawyer or their parents before the questioning begins and without being informed of their right to remain silent,” the groups found. The report concludes that Israeli policy toward the children is an intentionally formed policy used by the state to pressure Palestinians in the city to leave.

As olive harvest begins, settlers flood Palestinian trees with sewage

Kate on

Israeli colonists flooded dozens of Palestinian olive trees with sewage water Tuesday, near Nablus, according to the Israeli Rabbis for Human Rights organization, as the olive harvest begins. Human rights groups documented ten cases of settler violence and theft directed at Palestinian groves.

Video: 12-year old Palestinian recounts detention and abuse by Israeli soldiers

Allison Deger on

Abdullah Dwaik, 12, was on his way to his grandparents’ house in Hebron earlier this months when he happened upon a chaotic scene of Israeli soldiers arresting other children that ended with Dwaik being blindfolded on an army base: “The soldiers hit 18 of us. They hit us hard and hit some of the other boys and others were hit in the eyes. Some of the boys couldn’t see or walk. They hit a ten-year-old boy and threw him on the floor and they hold him if they saw him again, he would be arrested. They threatened us and said that they would arrest us again and will demolish our house. They took me and interrogated me and asked me to give the names of other boys. I said I don’t know and they started to threaten me. And told me to tell them so that I can be safely released or they will arrest my father. I was scared and I wished my family was with me. Ofer, the settler, was allowed to be inside with us and looked at us.”

Pesspotimistic reflections from besieged Gaza

Haidar Eid on

Haidar Eid writes: The way I look at it is that by allowing Israel to impose this unprecedented blockade on 2 million civilians and launching three massive wars on them in 2008, 2012, and 2014, the post-WWII International Community has failed to uphold principles of justice and peace. It is therefore incumbent on civil society to take the lead. Hence the hope created amongst Palestinians by the huge successes achieved the BDS movement. It is, as I keep repeating, the only window of hope we victims of occupation, apartheid and settler colonialism have in the era of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu.

A new spirit in Gaza

Jennifer Bing on

Jennifer Bing just returned from Gaza and says there a new spirit of hope following the Palestinian reconciliation deal. “We are happy to feel any kind of hope, but reconciliation must result in the liberation of Palestine,” a fisherman on the docks in Gaza City tells her. “We are the port to the world, but the blockade needs to end.”

Who can save Israel now? Labor leader emulates Netanyahu

Philip Weiss on

Avi Gabbay, the new leader of Labor in Israel, is emulating Netanyahu, saying he will not evacuate settlements and won’t form a governing coalition with Palestinian parties. Liberal Zionists are outraged, but they should understand, this is Zionism.

Gaza-based band ‘Maimas’ sings for freedom

Rifka Al-Amya on

Maimas is a newly formed Palestinian band based in the besieged Gaza Strip. Palestinian activist, singer and intellectual Haidar Eid says “songs are an organizing tool in the arduous work of overthrowing occupation and apartheid. We hope that our songs will document Palestinian desire to be free from the ravages of colonialism.” The band is currently raising money to record their first album.

Video: Gaza taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to Palestinian reconciliation

Mondoweiss Editors on

After long negotiations, Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas have reached a reconciliation agreement. Gazans rejoiced and entertained hopes for a better future. But a week after the agreement between the two movements was signed, Gazans now have mixed feelings about the reconciliation.

Israeli women march to ‘wage peace’ but refuse to challenge the occupation

Jonathan Ofir on

Jonathan Ofir criticizes the recent Women Wage Peace march for avoiding politics and refusing to take the occupation on directly: “when the party is over, the Palestinians go to their Bantustans, and the ‘moderate settler women’ drive on their Jewish-only roads to get to their settlements. If only the Arabs could somehow accept this as ‘peace’, then all would be well.”

Occupation, in the details (Part II)

Katie Miranda on

Artist Katie Miranda shares more images from her visit to the West Bank. They highlight surveillance and the indignities of daily life for Palestinians. She writes: “No blood or high drama, so it’s nothing ‘newsworthy.’ It’s just everyday life.”

‘Disappearing’ scholarships are just the latest violation of the Palestinian right to education

Nada Elia on

Last month, the case of Palestinian artist Malak Mattar made international news, as the young painter’s well-deserved scholarship to study in Turkey was slipping through her fingers. While Mattar herself is exceptional in myriad ways, her situation is far from the exception. Nada Elia says that Mattar’s challenges are exemplary of the decades-long violation of the Palestinian Right to Education, where increasingly it seems the Palestinian Authority is serving as an accomplice to limit Palestinian educational opportunities.

The pedagogy of apartheid

Jonathan Ofir on

The Israeli Ministry of Education dropped an explicit prohibition on racist answers by students on civic exams. So if they answer, Different population groups should be allowed to live in separate neighborhoods, thereby justifying apartheid, teachers should let it go.

US quits UNESCO over ‘anti-Israel bias’ and Israel follows suit

Kate on

The United States and Israel announced on Thursday they were quitting the U.N.’s cultural agency UNESCO, after Washington accused it of anti-Israeli bias. Washington has already withheld its funding for UNESCO since 2011, when the body admitted Palestine as a full member.

On my sixth visit, I’ve never seen Gaza so devastated

Abby Smardon on

Abby Smardon says her sixth visit to Gaza this summer was the worst. A five-year-old boy in Gaza died from a brain disease caused by bacteria in the sea, contaminated by sewage. An 11-year-old girl attempted suicide. The 2 million people of Gaza are collateral damage in a cruel political game.

Hamas and Fatah sign unity deal, but details remain unclear

Sheren Khalel on

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal on Thursday during talks in Cairo. Reports of the agreement lack specific details on what exactly was agreed upon, with Fatah only officially confirming it will take over control of the Gaza-Egypt border. Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian political scientist at Birzeit University, tells Mondoweiss the hard work lies ahead. “Inviting the PA to work in Gaza without a full agreement, is nothing more than a trap,” Khatib said.

The 13 questions on life in Palestine that non-Palestinians always ask me

Inès Abdel Razek on

Al-Shabaka’s Inès Abdel Razek has been asked the same questions about her homeland so many times that she decided to write a simple document to answer them. She writes, “During these conversations, I wish I had a simple leaflet I could hand to my interlocutors that would lay out the answers I end up diligently repeating. This is where the idea of this FAQ emerged.”

Jenin Freedom Theatre’s ‘Siege’ preps for New York tour next week

Sheren Khalel on

The Siege is a dramatization by the Jenin Freedom Theatre of a 39-day siege of the Nativity Church in 2002 during the Second Intifada, when Palestinian militants holed up in the Bethlehem church. Sheren Khalel saw the “thrilling” 90-minute production in Palestine; but it comes to NYU Oct. 12-22, in a run that is already garnering criticism from the pro-Israel community.