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The missing data on the Palestinian revolt

On Wednesday, Palestinian youths from a village in the northern West Bank attacked Israeli Border Police officers outside Damascus Gate, in Occupied East Jerusalem, killing one and wounding another. The three assailants were killed on the spot.

With nearly daily bloodshed, most news agencies have been using ‘copy and paste’-style paragraphs to provide context for readers. Here are three such summaries, taken from reports of Wednesday’s attack by Reuters, The Associated Press, and AFP. Read more

The Apartheid Fear

Apartheid, in the words of the Rome Statute, is when inhumane acts are committed “in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

Increasingly, Israel’s “inhumane acts” against the Palestinians are being understood not as mere aberrations or excesses, but as part of a system of discrimination and segregation: an Israeli form ofapartheid. In response, support for campaigns like Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) is growing.

Recognising these developments, pro-Israel lobby groups are worried. In 2014, one such organisation, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, orBICOM, published a booklet called ‘ The Apartheid Smear’, written by staffer Alan Johnson. Read more

Why Israel invented the concept of ‘settlement blocs’

“We are here to stay.” These were the words of Israel’s Science and Space Technology Minister Ophir Akunis, as he attended the ceremonial opening of a new “heritage centre” in Ariel settlement on 17 January. “I want to send the EU ministers a message from here, the city of Ariel,” the minister said. “No step or decision that you take will remove us from our land.”

Ariel, established in 1978, is one of the largest Israeli settlements in the West Bank, with some 20,000 residents, as well as a university. The colony lies some 12 miles from the “Green Line”, and was “strategically built to wind its way along a mountain ridge surrounded by Palestinian towns and villages on all sides.” The Ariel “finger”, or bloc, includes a dozen or so separate, official settlements. Read more

Silencing Dissent: Palestine Solidarity under Attack

Students at Palestine Technical University in the Occupied West Bank face an unusual challenge in pursuit of their studies: the Israeli military has built a training facility on campus. The university may be the only one in the world where an occupying army has not only built a firing range on campus, but also regularly shoots and detains student protesters; in one six week period recently, some 350 Palestinian students were injured by the Israeli army. Read more

New study details sexual torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention

***TRIGGER WARNING***

This article, and pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

A new academic study in the peer-reviewed medical journal ‘Reproductive Health Matters’ has revealed dozens of cases of “alleged sexual torture or ill-treatment” of Palestinian male prisoners detained by Israel.

The article, ‘Sexual torture of Palestinian men by Israeli authorities’, claims to be “a first in the investigation of torture and ill-treatment of a sexual nature, allegedly carried out by Israeli security authorities on Palestinian men.” Read more

Truth and Lies

Ever since the the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip began in 1967, successive Israeli governments have taken advantage of every opportunity at hand to increase the settlers’ population  in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

The illegality of Israel’s settlements has been affirmed by the United Nations Security Council, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, settlement policy is a war crime.

Aside from being a grave breach of international law—and, as Amnesty International has put it: “inherently discriminatory”—the settlements are also a substantial obstacle to the establishment of a viable, sovereign Palestinian State in the OPT. Read more

Israel debates how to stop BDS even as it continues to lose friends abroad

On Wednesday, a debate was held in the British Parliament on the issue of Palestinian child prisoners detained by Israeli forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

The same day, two thousand miles away, Israel’s Knesset hosted a discussion on how to combat the growing, Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Together, these two parliamentary meetings serve as a useful illustration of why Israel’s international image continues to deteriorate – and why it is not likely to improve any time soon. Read more

Concern over Israel’s attacks on NGOs betrays anti-Palestinian racism

Two weeks ago, the Israeli cabinet gave itsapproval to proposed legislation that would “impose new regulations on Israeli non-profit groups that receive funds from foreign governments.”

The ‘Transparency Bill’ will compel NGOs that receive more than half of their funding from foreign governments to state so in all official publications, and to “provide details about that funding in any communication with elected officials.” Read more

Israel offers its Palestinian citizens development without decolonisation

Hundreds of Jewish Israelis demonstrated on Saturday in the northern city of Afula, after construction tenders issued for new housing were won by Palestinian citizens from nearby villages.

The demonstrators, who are calling for the tenders to be revoked, included “senior officials” from the Afula city council, as well as David Suissa, chief of staff to Israel’s Housing Minister. “The fight in Afula has set off many warning bells”, said Suissa, adding that the protest was on behalf of “anyone who grew up in the city and wants to safeguard its character.” Read more

Chicago law professor praised right-wing Israeli settler group in West Bank lecture

A law professor at Chicago’s Northwestern University gave a lecture as the guest of a right-wing Israeli organisation whose head supports the “transfer” of Palestinians, it has emerged.

Eugene Kontorovich, described on his faculty website as an expert in international law, is a public apologist for Israel’s illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). In a recent op-ed for The New York Times, he attacked the European Union’s guidelines for the labelling of settlement produce. Read more

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