For many years now, the Israeli government and disinformation groups like NGO Monitor have been working constantly to attack and smear organisations that draw attention to, and demand accountability for, the war crimes and other rights violations perpetrated by Israeli authorities.
These efforts have focused, in particular, on denigrating Palestinian human rights defenders living under Israeli military occupation, including by alleging involvement in, or links to, “terrorism”.
It’s a particularly nasty tactic given that, under Israel’s military regime, Palestinian political activity and expression is systematically delegitimised as “terrorism”. The tools of repression include military courts, detention without charge, and the banning of more than 411 organisations since 1967.
Since removing settlers and redeploying its armed forces to the perimeter fence in 2005, Israel has subjected Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to numerous devastating assaults, a blockade, and routine attacks on the likes of farmers and fishermen.
Many of these policies have been the subject of substantial condemnation – from Palestinians, of course, as well as Israeli and international human rights groups, and even world leaders and politicians – albeit, critically, with little concrete action at the state level.
Israel, however, has sought to thwart even the possibility of meaningful accountability. Its approach has been very simple: in the face of criticism for breaking the law, change the law. Read more
In recent years, a crackdown by Israeli authorities on human rights NGOs – particularly those focused on Palestinian rights – has caused considerable concern internationally, attracting attention in both the media and at the governmental level.
Yet, perhaps the most egregious case of Israel’s targeting of the humanitarian sector has been taking place over the last three years with almost zero coverage.
In June 2016, Israeli authorities arrested Mohammed Halabi at the Gaza Strip’s Erez crossing. Halabi, a father of five, was working as the Gaza director for the international humanitarian NGO World Vision, and was returning from a meeting in Jerusalem at the time of his arrest. Read more
This summer marks an important but often overlooked anniversary in the history of the Gaza Strip. Thirty years ago, in June 1989, Israel imposed for the first time a magnetic-card system to restrict the exit of Palestinian residents. Anyone denied a card would be prevented from leaving.
While Israel‘s blockade of Gaza is often seen to have originated in 2006-2007 as a response to Hamas’s rise to power, the isolation of the enclave in fact goes back three decades – and for many analysts, this historical perspective is essential for understanding today’s developments. Read more
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
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
As recently as Sunday morning, all signs pointed to a longer-term truce taking hold between Israel and Palestinian factions in the besieged Gaza Strip.
But only a four hours later, that prospect seemed far more distant.
On Sunday evening, the Israeli army launched a secret operation in the coastal enclave that killed seven Palestinians, including a senior commander of the armed wing of Hamas, the group administering the Strip, as well as one of its soldiers. Read more
More than a month has passed since the last significant exchange of fire between the Israeli military and Palestinian factions in the occupied Gaza Strip.
Thus, despite a number of significant and deadly flare-ups, the summer passed without a new large-scale Israeli assault on the blockaded territory materialising.
While Israeli military strategy has long relied on deterrence – the idea that short, sharp shocks to enemy forces and civilian population will secure periods of “quiet” – events this summer beg the question whether Hamas and other factions in Gaza have established their own deterrence. Read more