During the first nine months of 2015, Israel killed 26 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and injured, on average, 45 Palestinians every week. Over the last fortnight, the total Palestinian fatalities for the year have more than doubled, and the number of injuries has jumped off the charts.
At the time of writing, 33 Palestinians have been killed since October 1, the vast majority shot by Israeli occupation forces suppressing protests, in addition to those killed conducting attacks or alleged attacks against Israelis. Read more
Last week, Palestinian activist Muhammad Kanaaneh was due to address Tel Aviv University students at an event marking Land Day, a commemoration of the bloody state repression of anti-land expropriation protests in 1976. However, following pressure by right-wing Zionist activists, university authorities stepped in to ban Kanaanehfrom delivering his speech on campus.
The opposition to Kanaaneh’s lecture, including from Members of the Knesset, was on the basis that he was a so-called “convicted terrorist”, apparently jailed for “involvement with” or “passing on information to” Hezbolllah. But few bothered to examine the claims being made about Kanaaneh, or look beyond the shouts of ‘terrorist’. To do so would be to reveal another side to this affair, beyond the repression of Palestinian political activism at Israeli academic institutions. Read more
The refrain from Israeli politicians and the country’s allies and apologists is familiar: There can be no peace deal until the Palestinians “recognize” Israel as “a Jewish state.” While this can sound reasonable to the casual listener in the West, this demand actually points to critical flaws in the “peace process” and the way in which the international community approaches the Palestine/Israel question.
This is because such a demand, and understanding why it is so unacceptable to Palestinians, means going back to 1948 – when hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed, their inhabitants forbidden from returning by the new Jewish state — and throwing the spotlight on two groups of Palestinians that the so-called peace process has ignored or marginalized: the refugees of ‘48 (and their descendants) and the Palestinian minority that’s left inside Israel. The unpleasant reality is that Israel as “a Jewish state” means the permanent exile and dispossession of the former, and the colonial control of the latter. Read more
Israel’s Palestinian minority has always been subject to discriminatory policies, but some now say that a more open conflict between the Israeli establishment and its Palestinian citizens appears to be brewing.
In May, Ameer Makhoul, the director of Ittijah, a network for Palestinian NGOs, was taken from his home in the middle of the night by the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service.
Once the media gag was lifted, it emerged that Makhoul and another Palestinian citizen, Omar Said, a natural medicine expert and Balad party activist, were facing serious security-related charges.
Both men were denied access to lawyers for approximately a fortnight.
Makhoul’s wife, Janan Abdu, says she feels that her husband is being made an example of. Read more
Last Thursday, in the early hours of the morning, a Palestinian community leader’s home was raided by Israeli security forces. In front of his family, the wanted man was hauled off to detention without access to a lawyer, while his home and offices were ransacked and property confiscated.
While this sounds like an all-too typical occurrence in West Bank villages such as Bil’in and Beit Omar, in fact, the target in question this time was Ameer Makhoul, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and head of internationally renowned NGO network Ittijah.
After being snatched last week, Makhoul’s detention was subject to a court-enforced gagging order, preventing the Israeli media from even reporting that it had happened. This ban was finally lifted yesterday, as Israeli newspapers were being forced to report on angry protests by Palestinians in Israel without explaining the specific provocation. Read more