US President Donald Trump’s continued threats to cut funding to vital aid organizations such as UNRWA has marked an escalation in the widening rift between Palestinians and the U.S. after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December. This has spurred a nationwide boycott of the American government and prompted Palestinians to take to the streets in protest.
Palestinian activists shut down a meeting in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday between a delegation from the U.S. Consulate and Palestinian city officials, marking an escalation in the widening rift between Palestinians and the U.S. after Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December. After interrupting the meeting with banners comparing Trump to Nazis and ISIS, and shouting “you are not welcome anymore!” the American officials abruptly walked out of a conference room at the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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.”
Palestinian teenager Nadim Nuwara, 17, was shot dead by Israeli border police officer Ben Deri during a demonstration marking the 66th anniversary of the Nakba in May 2014. Following the killing, which was widely publicized after it was caught on CNN and CCTV surveillance camera footage, Deri was arrested and initially charged with second-degree murder. However, his charges were later significantly reduced, when the Israeli prosecution struck a surprise plea deal with him. The Nuwara family is fighting the deal that was reached without their knowledge. “[I’m fighting] hard for my son and for every Palestinian child,” Nuwara’s father tells Mondoweiss.
On the night of December 12, Israeli soldiers threw stun grenades at the home of Hamda Zubeidat, a mother of 12 in her late 70s, triggering her death by heart attack. Israeli police have not returned calls about consequences for the killing deep in occupied territory, as Hamda’s family struggles to make sense of her loss. A report by Yumna Patel from Hamda’s village in the Jordan Valley.
Though Jerusalem’s nearly 350,000 Palestinians were barely featured in Donald Trump’s 12-minute-long speech, it is their livelihoods, that will likely be impacted the most as a result of US declaration to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “If these decisions really go into effect, my life here in Jerusalem will become like a prison,” Abdullah Abu Jumua, 19, told Mondoweiss on Wednesday night, moments after the announcement. “I will not accept a reality in which I am living in my homeland, but under the name of another country,” the teenager said, “Jerusalem is ours and no one can take it from us.”
Over half of the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank has been declared an active military “firing zone” by the Israeli army. The Israeli military conducts military exercises in these areas, even if Palestinian villages still exist there. Ibziq is one such village. Uday Nawaja’a was recently killed there while tending to a flock of goats after stumbling upon an unexploded ordnance left behind by the Israeli army. “I was tending to the flock, as Uday was wandering underneath a tree, about 30 meters away,” Nawaja’a’s uncle told Mondoweiss. “Suddenly, I heard an explosion. I ran over to Uday to see what happened. But a few seconds later, he was dead.”
The West Bank village Shoshahla, located south of Bethlehem, was built in the 1870’s and by 1985 every Palestinian in the village had either been forced out or intimidated to leave by Israeli forces and settlers. But 7 years later one family did the unthinkable — they returned home. And they have been fighting to stay on their land ever since.
Wadi Qana was once a lush valley filled with diverse crops and livestock where dozens of Palestinian families farmed and thrived off the land. Now after years of Israeli settlements dumping their wastewater in the area, there is little life left in the valley.
Almost one month after Israeli forces shot him seven times during a night raid in Deheisha refugee camp, 22-year-old Raed al-Salhi succumbed to his wounds on Sunday in Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital. Israeli forces had warned Raed al-Salhi in late July that they were coming for him. “They called him and told him ‘we will shoot you in front of your mother’,” Khaled, 24, one of Raed’s four older brothers told Mondoweiss. Two weeks after the call, on August 9, 2017, Israeli forces shot Raed in the courtyard behind his home at 4 a.m, as his mother sat inside the family’s living room just feet away.