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Another Round of Israeli Military Vandalism at Umm-Al-Kheir

Another Round of Israeli Military Vandalism at Umm-Al-Kheir

Yesterday morning, Thursday September 8 2011, around 7 AM, the IDF military regime’s “Civil Administration” officials arrived at Umm-Al-Kheir, accompanied by a bulldozer and military forces, to destroy homes. The residents of Umm-Al-Kheir – situated in the West Bank, roughly 8km north of its southernmost border – are Bedouins, originally living on land that became part of Israel. They were driven out following the 1948 war (see more details here), and in the 1950s purchased the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discrimination, On The Ground Reports

More from the Salem Music Center: Q&A with the Kids

More from the Salem Music Center: Q&A with the Kids

The Villages Group continues to work closely with Salem’s Music Center, leading to ever-expanding relationships between the Center and the music-education community in Israel. Below (in reverse chronological order) are descriptions of two visits from Tel Aviv to Salem that took place over the past few weeks. The opposite type of visit is far harder to arrange, although we did manage to pull one such visit off earlier this year. The June 24 visit (scroll down … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports

Update: Palestinian imprisoned for flashing the peace sign

Update: Palestinian imprisoned for flashing the peace sign

Update x2: Clarification from the lawyers: Khaled Zwahra was detained on 5.6.2011 during Naksa Day protests in Qalandia while blocking an army vehicle that was about to invade further into residential areas of Qalandia. He was taken to Atarot police station (in Qalandia industrial area, operated by the border police), where he was suspected of participating in an unauthorized demonstration and disturbing a policeman/soldier on duty. Only the following day, 2 border policeman  - one of whom … Read entire article »

Filed under: Human Rights Activists in the Crosshairs

Second School Year Opens at Salem’s Music Center

Second School Year Opens at Salem’s Music Center

On Saturday February 19 we visited the Salem Music Center. We were accompanied by three professionals – Fuad, a music teacher from Tel Aviv-Yaffa, Ram – principal of Tel Aviv’s art high school, and Ruti – head of that school’s music department. The occasion was the opening of a second school year at the Center, absorbing a second cohort of students in addition to last year’s students who continue their work (see here for a description … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports

Please Help Rebuild 13 Water Cisterns Destroyed by the Israeli Army

Please Help Rebuild 13 Water Cisterns Destroyed by the Israeli Army

crossposted from the Villages Group blog) The situation of the Palestinian cave-dwellers in South Hebron Hills continues to be difficult. They suffer from permanent harassment carried out by the military and settlers. This year, however, has been even more difficult, due to a severe drought. As if it wanted to capitalize on the harsh conditions, on December 16th, the Israeli military destroyed 13 water cisterns belonging to Palestinian families in South Hebron hills. (direct link to video here; … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports

Free documentary on Israeli women soldiers; UPDATED with disclaimer

Free documentary on Israeli women soldiers; UPDATED with disclaimer

Check out Link Tv’s Doc Debut feature,where you can watch the entire one hour film,  To See if I am Smiling Israel is the only country in the world where 18-year-old girls are drafted for compulsory military service. In the award-winning documentary To See If I Am Smiling, the frank testimonials of six female Israeli soldiers stationed in Gaza and the West Bank pack a powerful emotional punch. The young women revisit their tours of duty … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports

Salem Music Center: 3-Year Plan

Salem Music Center: 3-Year Plan

The Salem Music Center is a venture developing gradually thanks to the ongoing cooperation between its local Palestinian initiators, from the village of Salem near Nablus, the Israeli volunteers of the Villages Group, and donors from Israel and abroad (especially from Australia and the U.S). The first stage of this project, based on a proposal submitted last year, started on March 2010. The center’s founding team includes the project initiator Mr. Jubier Ihstayya (who serves … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports

Strengthening Those Who Belong to the Land: Mahmud from Susya, the Organic Farmer

(crossposted from The Villages Group Blog, where more pics can be found) Mahmud from Susya got up one day from his depression, and built a very basic green house. With simple tools and techniques he succeeded to surprise us with excellent organic vegetables. The vegetables are an essential addition to the family’s poor diet, based mainly on dairy products from the herd which is their main source of making a living. And while both herding and growing grains is restricted by the settlers/army, green-housing is a brilliant solution for growing food which does not require much land. One day Mahmud discovered a vegetable disease on the leaves of his tomatoes. We could not help with the disease, but by suggested to finance for him an agricultural course. When he returned from his two … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports, Victories for Democracy

Expanded Military Powers of Deportation in West Bank; Palestinian Leaders Charge “Ethnic Cleansing”

Expanded Military Powers of Deportation in West Bank; Palestinian Leaders Charge “Ethnic Cleansing”

A military order to take effect April 13th so drastically expands the IDF’s power to deport people from the West Bank that it threatens mass arrests and exile, according to Hamoked Center for the Defense of the Individual in Israel. In a request to the military commander, Hamoked asks that implementation of the order be delayed until there is input from the non-military sector of Israel, including human rights organizations like Hamoked. In order to clarify the extremity of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discrimination, Featured