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Um al-‘Amad Update: April 21, 2012

Several large families–among them, Ihrizat, Ihraini, and Abu Samra–belong to Um al-‘Amad, perched on a high hill west of the desert and directly across from the drab and violent settlement of Otniel. In fact, Otniel sits on the Abu Samra family’s lands. Like all other settlements, Otniel has also drawn a wide perimeter fence around itself, effectively annexing another large chunk of Palestinian land; still worse, for the last thirteen years the settlers and soldiers have denied the Palestinians access to the relatively fertile grazing and agricultural land in the wadis just under the settlement. Israeli courts have confirmed Palestinian title to these lands in the wadis, but in itself this is by no means a promise of access. Quite the contrary: like in most places in south … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, On The Ground Reports

When My Partner Went to Jail

Me and Mousa in court. Jonathan Pollak going to jail Originally posted on A lot has been written recently about my good friend Jonathan Pollak’s recent incarceration in Israel for his participation in demonstrations. Understandably, there was international outrage at his sentence—3 months for non-violent assembly. It made me reflect, however, on a totally different incarceration in my life, one that can only further illustrate the extent of Israel’s apartheid. Jonathan’s partner, activist Eilat Maoz, wrote a piece about walking Jonathan to prison, and the glimpse it gave her of the life of the families of other political prisoners. I also got a feel for that life, with one critical difference: my partner is Palestinian. In December, 2007, I said goodbye to my then fiance (now husband), and left Palestine for a trip … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discrimination, Featured

Omissions, Half-Truths, Lies: Ambassador Oren on Foreign Policy

Originally posted on the 972Mag Website In a piece recently published, Israel’s Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren rejected claims regarding anti-democratic trends in his country, and compared the legal status of Palestinians in the West Bank to that of American citizens in Washington DC and the U.S. territories. A response. When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed Prof. Michael Oren – a historian and researcher at the conservative Shalem institute, author of a popular book on the 1967 war – as his ambassador to Washington, he was probably hoping to capitalize on the latter’s name-recognition and credibility, especially with the political establishment and the Jewish elites. And indeed, as criticism of the occupation and of various Knesset legislative initiatives intensified, Dr. Oren has published numerous articles in leading publications, defending … Read entire article »

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Palestinian Prisoner Khader Adnan Stops Hunger Strike after 66 Days, Having Defeated the Regime

Ma’an: The Palestinian Authority minister of prisoners affairs said Tuesday that Israel intends to release hunger striking prisoner Khader Adnan after he completes his current administrative detention term. In return, Adnan agreed to end his strike, according to Issa Qaraqe, the prisoners minister. The term will end April 17, he said. Adnan has not confirmed he intends to end the hunger strike, but prisoners rights group Addameer said one of Adnan’s lawyers negotiated a deal with the Israeli military prosecutor freeing him on April 17 instead of in May. He also received guarantees the term will not be extended, the group said. …Israel’s Justice Ministry confirmed the deal to end the strike. “There is a deal. (Khader Adnan) will stop his hunger strike. They will not extend his administrative detention and he will … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discrimination, Featured, Victories for Democracy

Sheldon Adelson has already bought a politician: Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu

Newt Gingrich’s South Carolina primary victory has brought onto the spotlight his campaign’s main benefactor, Sheldon Adelson. Relatively to his wealth and the manner in which he has acquired it, Adelson has managed to stay away from the limelight – despite his quoted bragging of being “The world’s richest Jew” (he’s not, btw; but his wealth is currently estimated at >$20B). Because of this relative obscurity, Adelson’s political exploits in Israel remain unexplored. Robert Scheer might wonder about the details of the “business” transaction between magnate Adelson and candidate Gingrich. For a casino billionnaire, it is amusing to see Adelson put his pocket change ($10M and counting) on such long odds. His bet in the Israeli scene has been much larger – yet far safer and more successful. Well, over there … Read entire article »

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Six Common Misconceptions About Gaza That Are So 2011

Reposted with permission from In sixth place: “The civilian closure has been lifted and only security restrictions remain”. Gaza is not as isolated from the rest of the world as it was a few years ago, but it is still cut off from the West Bank and it’s hard to find convincing security reasons why. For example, Israel prohibits students from traveling from Gaza to the West Bank – individual security checks are not even an option because the ban is sweeping. Israel does not allow goods from Gaza to be sold in the West Bank or Israel, while at the same time allowing exports from Gaza to Europe to be transferred through its own airports and seaports. It also imposes restrictions on the import of building materials into … Read entire article »

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IDF Investigations: Will There Be Justice for Tamimi?

IDF policy requires a criminal investigation be launched immediately when military operations in the occupied Palestinian territories cause death. But a defective system essentially ensures that the investigation will not be conducted in a fair and impartial manner, enabling soldiers to continue to act with impunity. This article was first published in The Jerusalem Post and is reprinted with permission. The death of 28-year-old Mustafa Tamimi of the village of Nabi Saleh last month raises questions about the Israeli military establishment’s investigative processes. Tamimi was only the latest casualty of the IDF’s abundant use of tear gas to disperse Palestinian popular protest. Dozens of people have been seriously injured or killed in recent years, including Bassem Abu Rahma, who died in 2009 after being shot in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Human Rights Activists in the Crosshairs, On The Ground Reports

Update about Sausan and Amal, 2 Palestinian Girls Arrested as their Home was Demolished

Update about Sausan and Amal, 2 Palestinian Girls Arrested as their Home was Demolished

Our last Villages Group post reported the demolition of structures, including homes and a mosque, in the Palestinian village of Al-Mufaqara (also known as Umm-Faqra) in southern West Bank. The destruction was perpetrated on November 24 by Israeli civilian contractors (see here for a brief report in Ha’aretz). They were hired by the deceptively named “Civil Administration” – an arm of Israel’s military Occupation apparatus which poses as a legitimate governing body. The name “Civil Administration” … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discrimination, Featured, On The Ground Reports

“Law Enforcement” Destroys Prayer House, Homes, School – Just Because They’re for Arabs

“Law Enforcement” Destroys Prayer House, Homes, School – Just Because They’re for Arabs

Last Thursday, November 24, employees of the Israeli company “E.T. Legal Services”, hired by the deceptively named “Civil Administration” arm of Israel’s military Occupation regime in the West Bank, demolished a mosque. Among other things. To add insult to injury, Occupation forces arrested two young women for passive nonviolent resistance (see the video below). This is not your vanilla American “Occupy” arrest-and-release, get lawyer-and-defendant-rights arrest. The girls were entered into a sealed military vehicle … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discrimination, Featured, On The Ground Reports

Shalit Deal – A Teaching Moment [1] DEATH OF THE “NO PARTNER” LIE

Israeli POW Gilad Shalit is finally back home after 5+ years in illegal solitary confinement. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners were also released, with hundreds more to follow. Many of them will not be able to return home like Shalit, and probably none of them are really free — being, still, under Occupation — but my best wishes and congratulations go to their families and to the Shalit family. To those released prisoners who still believe in violence, I wish them to come to their senses before they hurt others or be killed themselves. You will probably be shocked to discover that the MSM, in Israel too but especially in the US, is focusing on the wrong aspects of this prisoner-release deal, right? Right?! Duh. In this particular instance, we are fed … Read entire article »

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