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Hundreds killed, thousands wounded: A year of Gaza rallies

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are set to mark the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Returnprotests, anticipating more of the same lethal violence that has characterised Israel‘s approach since the demonstrations began.

Last month, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) published a damning indictment of Israeli forces’ conduct in suppressing the protests. Read more

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Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East? Netanyahu’s comments have shattered that illusion

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was back in the headlines on Sunday, after declaring on social media that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens”. The Likud leader later doubled down, telling his cabinet that Israel is “the nation state not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people”. Read more

Are tensions at al-Aqsa reaching another boiling point?

Below the Western media’s radar, tensions have been escalating in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem.

In the last week, a new confrontation has emerged over al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the context of intensifying efforts by Israeli authorities and settlers to change the status quo and take over Palestinian properties in and around the Old City. Read more

Israeli ‘centrism’ and what it means for Palestinians

With less than two months until Israel holds an election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s ruling Likud party is maintaining a strong lead in the opinion polls.

His main rival – and currently the only plausible threat to another Likud-dominated government – is former Israeli military chief Benny Gantz and his newly-formed party Hosen L’Yisrael (Israel Resilience). Read more

In Palestine, even visiting a father’s grave can be a decades-long battle

Later this year, Israel’s Supreme Court will hear a petition filed on behalf of a 70-year-old Palestinian citizen who has one simple request: to visit her father’s grave.

The story of Salwa Salem Copty, of her family’s village and her quest to visit the grave of her father, will, unfortunately, not get the attention from journalists and diplomats that it deserves. Read more

Demolition highway: Israel plans to force Bedouin from homes

As many as 1,000 Bedouin Palestinian families are threatened with forced displacement by the Israeli government under plans for a major new highway in the Naqab (Negev) region.

The route of the new section of Road 6 already entails the forcible relocation of some 100 Bedouin families. In December 2018, however, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel declared he intended to takeadvantage of the situation to expel a further 900 families. Read more

Anti-BDS bill: For Israel, the terrain is shifting unfavourably

A battle over efforts to suppress the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has become headlines news in the United States, in the context of an ongoing federal government shutdown.

Last Thursday, the Senate failed for a second time to advance a bill that includes “The Combating BDS Act” legislation giving cover to states that penalise businesses and individuals who participate in boycotts against Israel and Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. Read more

Amos Oz: The enduring myth of the liberal Zionist

Long marginalised in Israel by an ascendant nationalist right, the so-called “Zionist Left” has retained significant moral and intellectual influence abroad. Author Amos Oz, who died aged 79 on 28 December, was perhaps the best-known embodiment of this political current and was widely revered internationally – as The New Yorker put it in 2004 – as “the godfather of Israeli peaceniks”.

Yet this image of the liberal artist or prophet, aided in no small part by political shifts in Israel that mean even mild critics are now denounced as “traitors,” is in stark contrast to Oz’s views on events past and present, and in particular on what Zionism has meant for the Palestinians. Read more

Israeli occupation: More of the same in 2019

On 13 December, shortly after two Israeli soldiers had been shot dead outside an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, Yaakov Katz, editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post tweeted the following: “They celebrate death and we celebrate life. That is the core of this conflict.”

Katz’s tweet encapsulated the dehumanisation of Palestinians, and utter denial about the reality of occupation and colonialism, that is unfortunately all too common amongst Jewish Israelis. Read more

Israel’s alleged impersonation of Gaza aid workers raises concern

Since the exposure of Israeli undercover forces by Hamas fighters in the occupied Gaza Strip on November 11, an incident that triggered the most intense round of escalation since 2014, a number of reports have emerged about the circumstances surrounding Israel’s thwarted raid.

On November 22, Hamas published photos of individuals it said were involved, images that Israel’s military censor immediately subjected to a publication ban. Read more