A hospital in the northern Gaza Strip suspended its services on Monday due to a lack of fuel, the hospital and a spokesperson for the Hamas-run health ministry said. “All health services provided at Beit Hanoun hospital were suspended due to power cuts and the lack of fuel for the hospital’s backup generators,” the hospital wrote in a statement posted to its official Facebook page.
Category Archives: Israel/Palestine
Israeli poet Yehonatan Geffen caused a furor in Israel for his comparison of Ahed Tamimi to Anne Frank, but he has now recanted his offending comparison. This followed incitement by Israeli government ministers creating what he calls “effective house arrest” for the past week. Not so bad compared to Ahed Tamimi’s detention or Dareen Tatour’s house arrest.
In a recent New York Times Op-Ed, Naftali Bennett argued that Israel’s ban on entry of foreign BDS supporters is logical and necessary, comparing it to the U.S. ban on the entry of Nazi collaborators. Jack Snyder responds, “I am a Jewish student. I study at the preeminent institution of the academic study of Judaism in America, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. And yet somehow, in the eyes of the state of Israel, due to my membership in Jewish Voice for Peace and the BDS movement, I am no better than a Nazi collaborator.”
Israeli democracy performs its excited dance around the Ahed Tamimi case. A poet is slammed for comparing her to Anne Frank. Commentators call the judge’s ruling “hysterical.” But nothing changes at the heart of the case: a 16-year-old is in prison indefinitely for slapping an occupying soldier.
Michael Oren has made himself a laughingstock by starting an investigation into whether the Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh is “a real family”, because they wear baseball caps backward. The more important question is whether Israel is a real country; and it gets harder and harder to believe that it is.
Israeli soldiers shot, Tuesday, two Palestinians near Za‘tara military roadblock, south of occupied Nablus, after they reportedly attempted to stab them. On Wednesday and Thursday, 16-year-olds were shot near Nablus and Hebron, one of them as Israeli soldiers “ambushed youths.”
Palestinians in Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp have expressed their mounting anxiety over a US decision to slash funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Ahmad Abu Salem, who owns a small shop in Aida camp, tells Mondoweiss, “UNRWA is all we have. We don’t have any alternatives if they continue cutting services. We would have no jobs and nowhere to go. If these cuts continue the situation here could explode. Without UNRWA we have nothing.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman says that Israeli poet Yehonatan Geffen should be banned from the media for comparing Ahed Tamimi to Jewish heroes Hannah Szenes and Anne Frank.
Palestine was not empty. The Jewish people are not a nation with a homeland in the Middle East. Palestine was not ‘redeemed’, it was colonized. Its people did not flee, they were ethnically cleansed. Jews are not all Zionists. These are some of the myths that scholar Ilan Pappe exposes in his new book.
The Israeli military spying unit 8200 came to public attention in 2014 when reserve soldiers refused to serve as “tools for the deepening of the military regime in the occupied territories.” Now, facing a shortage of soldiers the unit will be seeking to get its recruits from the 10th grade.
Israeli officials in the Population and Immigration authority have begun distributing an ‘information page’ for African refugees at the Holot desert detention center. The document is chilling. It does not name the third country the refugees would be deported to, but ends with a warning that “if you do not agree to leave voluntarily to a third country, enforcement and deportation steps will be taken against you.” Not mentioned in the document is the new rule that refusal to leave will entail indefinite incarceration. The document ends with a “best of luck” wish.
Gaza is effectively an open-air prison, an extremely overcrowded one, with only a few hours of electricity a day and its groundwater polluted by seawater and sewage. After a decade of this horrifying experiment in human endurance, the Israeli army finally appears to be concerned about whether Gaza can cope much longer.
There was no end to the denunciation by Israelis of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech last Monday: “Laced with vile antisemitic conspiracy theories,” Abbas has “lost his marbles,” “disgraceful lies.” But Abbas’s crime, as Gideon Levy points out, is correctly identifying Zionism as a colonial project. That must not be said, and marks Abbas as an extremist.
Israeli forces killed Ahmad Ismail Jarrar, 31, during a raid Thursday on the occupied Jenin refugee camp as a reprisal for a settler’s killing last week. But Palestinian sources said the man’s cousin, Ahmad Nasser Jarrar, escaped the attack; and he had been accused of killing the settler.
Why did Rawan Yaghi not see her family in Gaza for four years as she studied at Oxford? Why did she miss her brother’s wedding? Because of Israeli borders that turn Palestinian territories into prisons. “Qalandia checkpoint looks like a slaughterhouse. As soon as the bus moved, I could then see the wall, the massive wall that now stood between me and my sister. The grey force pressed down on my chest and I burst into tears. I haven’t seen my sister since then,” she writes.
The well-being of millions of Palestinian refugees is now being used as a weapon in the Trump administration’s political assault on Palestinians. Reduced U.S. funding to UNRWA, the U.N. agency responsible for offering services to Palestinian refugees, will result in direct cuts to education, healthcare, social services, infrastructure, microfinance, and emergency assistance. Mohamed Mohamed says, “It is no exaggeration to say that without these services, I might not be alive today.”
Archives of Israel’s leftleaning Labor Party in the years after the country’s creation reveal that David Ben-Gurion and other leaders vacillated between relating to Palestinian citizens as dogs or as donkeys. Moshe Dayan looked forward to the opportunity of expelling the remaining 170,000 Palestinians, and Ben-Gurion said if differences between the people were eliminated, “the Jewish people” would be eradicated.
In a sign that the United States is ratcheting up pressure on Palestinian leadership, the Trump administration sent notice to the United Nations Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) that it is withholding over half of this year’s annual commitment, paying $60 million and freezing another $65 million. The move indicates the U.S. is leveraging its financial support to pressure Palestinian officials into acquiescing to its vision for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.
An Israeli military court ruled today to keep 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi and her mother Nariman in prison until the end of their trial. “I expect the worst from the occupation,” Ahed’s father Bassem told Mondoweiss. “This is life under occupation. I think we represent and show the real suffering of Palestinians under occupation. This is the real image.”
Ahed Tamimi, 16, has been held in an Israeli prison for nearly a month since her arrest last December 19 for slapping a soldier. Today a military court in Ofer prison inside occupied territory extended her detention indefinitely, till she is tried.
Munther Amira, a highly respected activist in the West Bank, was arrested on December 27 during a nonviolent protest and Israel has brought 12 charges against him, including throwing stones and organizing unpermitted marches. “It’s important to note that Israeli military courts have over a 99% conviction rate, and in Munther’s case, I think there is a clear political motivation here,” Jonathan Pollak, a member of Amira’s legal team, tells Mondoweiss, “it’s obvious that Munther’s political activism is not tolerated by the Israeli regime.”
The Trump administration informed the United Nations yesterday it would cut aid for Palestinian refugees by more than half, withholding $65 million in funds. For Mariam Oraif, 74, and many other Palestinians who depend on UNRWA health services the cuts could be a matter of life or death. When asked what she will do if UNRWA is no longer able to provide her with insulin and her weekly treatment, Oraif said of Trump, “He wants to kill us.”
In a fiery two-hour speech on Sunday where Mahmoud Abbas unloaded on the Trump administration, Israel and Arab partners, the Palestinian president confirmed a report published more than a month ago about back channel peace talks where the U.S. pitched, along with Saudi Arabia, Palestinians should accept the West Bank town of Abu Dis as its future capital. “The deal of the century is the slap of the century,” Abbas said of the Trump administration.
Ma’an News reports the Israeli army declared the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh — home to imprisoned teenage activist Ahed al-Tamimi — a closed military zone on Saturday, closing off all entrances and exits.
There are many parallels between Martin Luther King Jr’s call for “direct political action” leading to a crisis for the Jim Crow South, in his letter from Birmingham jail in 1963, and Ahed Tamimi’s courageous slap of a soldier after her cousin was maimed in occupied Nabi Saleh last month, leading to her imprisonment for nearly a month already.