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900 Gazans are still in need of care for injuries sustained in 2014 war

Kate on
A mother and son in the orthopedic department at Ash Shifa hospital, Gaza City, October 2015 (Photo: UN/OCHA)

UN: “In early July 2014, the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Gaza’s struggling health sector was near to collapse due to the severe shortages of medicines, medical disposables and fuel, and the lack of capacity to expand services to meet population needs. In the days and weeks following that warning, the health sector was confronted with over 11,200 injuries, among them more than 3,800 children, which is the highest number of injuries for such period of time it had ever faced. The challenge to the health system posed by the 2014 hostilities has extended into the present; approximately 900 of those injured sustained some form of permanent disability and require continued attention, while a significant part of the health infrastructure was damaged.”

Separation and conquest: Israel’s ideological barrier

Amjad Alqasis on
A masked Palestinian protestor climbs Israel's separation wall during a weekly demonstration against Israeli occupation in the West Bank village of Nilin, on December 02, 2011. (Photo: Issam Rimawi/ APA Images)

Twelve years have passed since the International Court of Justice declared that Israel’s Annexation Wall is contrary to international law. A particular concern was the location of the Wall which the ICJ noted would lead to “further alterations to the demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” But, Amjad Alqasis says, the Wall is just another tool deployed by Israel to continue the process of colonizing Mandate Palestine: “Simply put, the Israeli endeavor aims at emptying Mandate Palestine from its indigenous inhabitants, including areas that lie today within the borders of Israel proper. The Wall is not only built by concrete stone, it is seeded in the Zionist ideology of separation and conquest.”

Answering Yair Lapid’s (contemptuous) questions about refugees

Jonathan Ofir on
Yair Lapid at his party's headquarters in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Edi Israel/Israel Sun)

After UNRWA criticized Israeli house demolitions in Qalandiya refugee camp as collective punishment, Israeli centrist Yair Lapid challenged UNRWA over its protection of refugees and the very definition of refugees. Jonathan Ofir takes him on.

Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi: A study in contrasts

David Shasha on
Primo Levi (Photo: MENCARINI MARCELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

It is hard not to compare the careers of late Elie Wiesel and the Italian-Sephardi Primo Levi who both survived the hell of Auschwitz, but who took very different paths to express their witness. David Shasha says the stark contrast between their approaches could not be more pronounced: Levi was very much a man of rationalism, science, and literature who sought to provide a more humanistic understanding of the tragedy he experienced, while Wiesel emphasized Jewish ethnocentrism and remained wedded to the alienated Ashkenazi view of the world.

In Photos: Palestinians celebrate Ramadan in Gaza

Mohammed Asad on
Nisreen, 7, plays under Ramadan decorations at Al-balad in downtown Gaza City, June 27, 2016. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Muslims across the world have spent June observing the religious month of Ramadan. In Gaza, where reconstruction after three wars in six years has stalled, the celebrations, fasts followed by feasts, and prayer has brought a welcomed sense of normalcy. Palestinian photographer Mohammed Asad brings a glimpse of how Gazans enjoy the month of Ramadan.

Israeli siege brings life to a halt in the southern West Bank

Allison Deger on
Entrance to Bani Na'im, cordoned of by Israeli forces. Bani Na'im is the hometown of a Palestinian teen who killed a 13-year old Israeli on Thursday. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Days away from the Eid holiday Shafooq Baloot, 25, does not know how or when she will do her annual clothes shopping. “We can’t go everywhere whenever we would like,” the English teacher tells Allison Deger. The Israeli army shut the main entrance to Baloot’s town with cement blocks and an earth mound after a teen from her village killed a 13-year old Israeli in a nearby settlement last Thursday. Over the weekend Israeli forces barricaded at least 20 more villages in the Hebron area, along with the southern entrance to the city of Hebron itself.

O Jerusalem — please forget me

Liz Rose on
Moshe Safdie architects created the Mamilla mall, that makes apartheid a consumer sport

West Jerusalem’s apartheid: Look no further than Gap, North Face, American Eagle, Clarks, Timberland, the fancy shops in the Mamilla mall that erases the difference between the Old City and the city west of the green line.

Israeli defense minister Lieberman calls Palestinian lawmaker a ‘terrorist’

Jonathan Ofir on
Saban Forum 2013: A Conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, moderated by David Ignatius, Columnist, The Washington Post. (Photo: Ralph Alswang)

The leader of the Israeli political party the Joint List, Ayman Odeh, referred a demand Thursday to the Government Judicial Advisor to open an investigation against the Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman due to suspicion of incitement to violence, when he referred to Member of Knesset Hanin Zoabi as a terrorist.

Pregnant Palestinian woman, 27, is killed in Hebron

Kate on
Sara Daoud Tarayra, image from IMEMC

For the second time in two days, a Palestinian from the occupied village of Bani Naim was killed by Israeli soldiers after an alleged attack. Sara Daoud ata-Tarayra, 27, was pregnant and going to the mosque in Hebron; witnesses disputed the police account that she attacked anyone, saying she ran when pepper-gassed.

‘We Are Not Numbers’ shares the daily struggles and triumphs of Palestinian life

Annie Robbins on
We are Not Numbers

We can’t say enough great stuff about We Are Not Numbers, a project with more than 75 writers from Gaza that aims to share the daily struggles and triumphs of Palestinian life through personal stories anyone can relate to. Annie Robbins writes about the project’s current fundraiser — give them a boost to carry on their important work.

Poems: Return is Inevitable and Love Under Apartheid

Neta Golan on
A Palestinian citizen of Israel waves Palestinian flag as he marches during a protest to mark the right of return for refugees who fled their homes during the 1948 war, near Tiberias in northern Israel April 23, 2015. (Photo: Saeb Awad/ APA Images)

They can not erase, the sharp metallic taste of absence of the hands that terraced these mountains and planted cacti and olives, the heart’s left behind
I will sing your name from the minarets, even after they transformed the mosques into bars, until
the inevitable, Return.

Read two poems by Neta Golan, “Return is Inevitable” and “Love Under Apartheid.”

Palestinian teen is killed after allegedly killing 13-year-old Jewish girl in settlement

Kate on
Kiryat Arba settlement

A Palestinian teen, Muhammad Nasser Tarayra, was killed on Thursday morning in Kiryat Arba, an Israeli settlement in the southern occupied West Bank outside Hebron, after reportedly carrying out an attack against a young settler girl [Hallel Yaffa Ariel,13], who later succumbed to her wounds, as one other Israeli was wounded in the case.

Video: All hell breaks loose in Knesset as Zoabi demands apology following Israel-Turkey agreement

Allison Deger on
Screen shot of Knesset plenary session.

Israel’s parliament sank into bedlam yesterday as the Joint List’s Hanin Zoabi addressed the recent rapprochement between Israel and Turkey over the flotilla raid and demanded an apology for a 2010 session in Knesset where Zoabi was shouted down as a “terrorist” for her comments on the deadly attack. This time, members of government once again jumped out of their seats, with more than a dozen rushing towards Zoabi, yelling “terrorist”– to which she responded, “hit me!” An official in the Zoabi’s faction described the scene as the most volatile inside of the Knesset halls in recent memory.

The view from Gaza: ‘The Turkish government has sold us out and wants us to be grateful’

Haidar Eid on
Palestinians hold their national flag during a protest against the blockade of Gaza in 2009.  (Photo: Thaer Mahmoud/ APA Images)

Israel and Turkey have reached an agreement to normalize ties six years after an Israeli naval attack that killed 10 Turkish activists and 9 years after the imposition of a deadly siege that has left Gaza unlivable. Gaza-based academic and activist Haidar Eid writes, “A quick reading of the deal proves that it is a stab in the back of Gaza. Improving the conditions of oppression, or rather slowing down the genocide, is a form of complicity because Gaza for the Turkish government is just a humanitarian case. In a nutshell, the Turkish government has sold us out and wants us to be grateful!”

Despite Turkish posturing, detente with Israel won’t change the Gaza blockade

Allison Deger on
Palestinians hold flags during a rally marking the 6th anniversary of the Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla incident, at the seaport of Gaza City May 31, 2016. Nine activists, eight Turkish and one Turkish-American, died on May 31, 2010, when Israeli commandos raided the Mavi Marmara ship, which was part of a flotilla seeking to break the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/ APA Images)

Israel and Turkey announced an end to the six-year diplomatic rift that began in 2009 after Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish nationals during the seizure of a passenger ship, which departed from Turkey as part of the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla.” As a term of the agreement, Turkey will pass a law to make illegal any “criminal and civil claims” against Israel or it’s military forces for the death of the activists, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Rome. Netanyahu added the blockade over the Gaza Strip, which was an area of dispute between the two countries, will remain in full.

Turkish humanitarian organization responsible for Gaza flotilla rejects reconciliation deal with Israel

Kate on
Palestinian schoolgirls hold Turkish flag and gather next to a statue erected as a memorial for the victims of the Turkish flotilla Mavi Marmara in the port of Gaza City on March 23, 2013. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/ APA Images)

Israel and Turkey reached agreement to normalize ties, ending a rift over the Israeli navy’s killing of 10 Turkish pro-Palestinian activists who tried to sail to the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2010. The Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, which organized the flotilla to Gaza, rejects the agreement between Turkey and Israel stating, “The blockade of Gaza is unlawful and a crime against the humanity. The blockade has to be lifted”

Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen by ‘mistake’

Kate on
15-year-old Mahmoud Raafat Badran (Photo: Ma'an News)

Ma’an News: 15-year-old Mahmoud Rafat Badran and his family had been driving home from a swimming pool late Sunday night when Israeli forces showered their car with gunfire, killing Mahmoud, and seriously injuring his two brothers 16-year-old Amir and 17-year-old Hadi, as well as Daoud Abu Hassan, 16, and Majd Badran, 16.The Israeli army later admitted they “mistakenly” opened fire on the innocent bystanders after Palestinian youth were reportedly throwing stones at Israeli settler vehicles nearby. Israeli media initially reported that Mahmoud and his teenage companions were “terrorists.”

Emad Khalil’s story as a Gazan worker in Israel

Mohammed Saleem on
Palestinian farmers work at their fields during the Workers' Day, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip May 1, 2016. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Gaza-based writer Mohammed Saleem writes, “Skin tanned and hands calloused from working forty-two years under the sun, Emad Khalil, a sixty-one year old retired laborer, sits in front of me. For thirty of those years, he worked in Israel. His story documents a tremendous change in attitude and policy towards Palestinian freedom of movement, employment opportunities, healthcare, and relations between Palestinians and Israelis.”