‘Let Them Wait’: A Palestinian Man on a Stretcher

June 1, 2023

A young Palestinian man trying to cross the Qalandiya checkpoint. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Tamar Fleishman

Kafr ‘Aqab is a northern Palestinian Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. It is part of the area that was illegally annexed by Israel in 1967. Most of the residents here hold a blue Israeli ID.

Yet despite the fact that they regularly pay taxes to Jerusalem’s municipality, they struggle with a lack of essential services. The only advantage is that they are entitled to medical treatment at hospitals in Jerusalem.

However, Israeli hospitals are located far away and sometimes patients reach them too late.

The Boy of Qalandiya: He Is Not Idiot, and This Is Not ‘Security’

As I was standing at the Palestinian side of the Israeli military checkpoint of Qalandiya, I saw a Palestinian teenager walking on crutches.  His name is Mohammad Jaber. He is a 14-year-old boy who lives … Continue readingThe Boy of Qalandiya: He Is Not Idiot, and This Is Not ‘Security’

Palestine Chronicle

As I was standing at the Qalandiya military checkpoint, I met a Palestinian resident of Kafr ‘Aqab who was on a stretcher as he had been injured in a traffic accident. He needed to be hospitalized but reaching Jerusalem from Kafr ‘Aqab is not an easy process. 

On that day, dozens of Palestinian men, women, and children were patiently standing in line hoping to cross. But the gate would not open.

I went closer to the Israeli soldiers manning the checkpoint. “What’s going on? When will you open the gate?” I screamed at them. 

Resistance and Ramadan at Qalandiya: A Boy’s Tears for Al-Aqsa Mosque (PHOTOS)

I spent the first Friday of Ramadan at the Israeli military checkpoint of Qalandiya. Despite earlier claims by a spokesman for the Israeli military that Israel will be easing restrictions on Palestinians during the holy … Continue readingResistance and Ramadan at Qalandiya: A Boy’s Tears for Al-Aqsa Mosque (PHOTOS)

Palestine Chronicle

“It will take time,” the soldier told me. “You can cross through the vehicle track”.

“And them?” I asked, pointing to the crowd of Palestinains waiting for hours.

“For them, it is not possible, they will have to wait. As I said, it will take time” she said.

I thought of the man on a stretcher. For him, time was running too fast. But the Israeli soldier did not seem to care. 

(Translated by Tal Haran, edited by Romana Rubeo)

– As a member of Machsomwatch, Tamar Fleishman documents events at Israeli military checkpoints between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Her reports, photos and videos can be found on the organization’s website: http://www.machsomwatch.org. She is also a member of the ‘Coalition of Women for Peace’ and a volunteer in ‘Breaking the Silence’. Tamar Fleishman is The Palestine Chronicle correspondent at the Qalandiya checkpoint.  

Donate NOW  Learn More  Watch Video(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)


Gaza Rallies for Cancer-Stricken Palestinian Prisoner, Walid Daqqa

May 31, 2023

Palestinian activists in Gaza rally in solidarity with Palestinian prisoner, Walid Daqqa. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Palestinian activists in Gaza continued their show of support for Walid Daqqa, a 60-year-old cancer patient held in Israeli prison. 

Daqqa is not the only Palestinian with terminal illness held by Israel. His deteriorating health, however, has given his struggle greater urgency. 

The latest rally in support of Daqqa took place near the Beit Hanoun, or Erez Checkpoint.

On Wednesday, an Israeli prison administration committee, known as the Early Release Committee, postponed the decision regarding a possible early release of Daqqa. 

Despite his rapidly worsening health condition, the Palestinian prisoner recently was moved back to the Ramleh prison.

The Committee referred the decision to another commission, responsible for Palestinian prisoners who were sentenced to life imprisonment. 

In response to the decision, the Daqqa family commented that by delaying the prisoner’s release, the Israeli occupation authorities are practically executing him. 

The family called on legal bodies, popular movements, and all the Palestinian people to put pressure on Israel to release Daqqa. 

Daqqa has been imprisoned by Israel since 1986 after being accused and convicted by an Israeli military court for being part of the Palestinian Resistance and for allegedly killing an Israeli soldier.

Last year, Daqqa was diagnosed with a malignant stage of Myelofibrosis – a rare form of bone marrow cancer.

In March, the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association Addameer called for the “immediate grant of humanitarian release”, in view of “Daqqa rapidly deteriorating health”. 

Addameer demanded “prompt access to advanced and timely treatments prescribed by medical specialists to Walid Daqqa by the Israeli Prison Service”.

Addameer accused Israeli authorities of denying Daqqa the treatment he was prescribed. 

“The instrumentalization of medical negligence to denigrate, demoralize, and punish Palestinian prisoners is emblematic of Israel’s illegal and inhumane prison system,” the group said in its statement.

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

Donate NOW  Learn More  Watch Video(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)



MAY 25TH, 2023



Though the United States remains a strong supporter of Israel, there are some indications that the supposed ‘unbreakable bond’ with Tel Aviv is faltering, though more in language than in deeds.

Following the provocative ‘Flag March’ on May 18, which is carried out annually by Israeli Jewish extremists in the Occupied Palestinian city of East Jerusalem, the US joined other countries around the world in condemning the racism displayed at the event.

The language used by the US State Department was firm but also guarded. Spokesman Matthew Miller did not condemn the racist, provocative march – which involved leading Israeli officials – but the language used by the large crowds, most of whom are strong supporters of the far-right government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The United States unequivocally opposes racist language of any form,” Miller tweeted. “We condemn the hateful chants such as ‘Death to Arabs’ during today’s marches in Jerusalem.”

Carefully articulated not to appear as a condemnation of Israel itself, the US position is still more ‘balanced’ than previous positions, where Palestinians were often the ones associated with the US use of words such as “condemnation,” “incitement,” and the like.

On the other hand, during the Israeli bloody five-day war on Gaza, starting on May 9, Washington had resorted to the same old script, that of Israel having the ‘right to defend itself,’ thus entirely misrepresenting the events which led to the war in the first place.

This US position on Israel’s war on Gaza suggests that Netanyahu is the ‘defender’ of Israel against supposed Palestinian violence and ‘terrorism.’ But this purported champion of Israeli rights is yet to be invited to the White House five months after he returned to power at the helm of Israel’s most rightwing government in history.

Some want to believe that the decision by the Joe Biden administration to distance itself from Netanyahu was entirely altruistic. But that cannot be the case, as the US continues to back Israel militarily, financially, politically and in every other way.

The answer lies in Netanyahu’s major miscalculations of the past when he crossed a dangerous line by turning against the Democratic Party and allying his country entirely with Republicans. His tactics paid dividends during the term of Republican President Donald Trump but backfired when Trump left the White House.

Biden is unquestionably pro-Israel. Per his own repeated remarks, his support for Israel is not only political but ideological as well. “I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist,” he has repeated, and proudly so, on several occasions.

But the US President is also anti-Netanyahu, a dislike that even preceded the Trump-Netanyahu love affair. It mostly dates back to Barack Obama’s two terms in office, when Biden was the vice president.

Netanyahu’s political shenanigans and relentless attacks on the Obama Administration at the time taught Biden that Netanyahu simply could not be trusted.

Yet, Biden, with historically low ratings among ordinary Americans, cannot possibly, on his own, challenge Netanyahu and Israel’s stronghold on Washington through its influential lobby.

Something else is at work, namely, the fact that the Democratic Party as a whole had shifted allegiances from Israel to Palestine.

This assertion would have been unthinkable in the past, but the change is real, confirmed time and again by credible polling companies. The latest was in March.

“After a decade in which Democrats have shown increasing affinity toward the Palestinians, their sympathies … now lie more with the Palestinians than the Israelis, 49% versus 38%,” the Gallup poll concluded.

The fact that such growing ‘affinity’ with Palestine has been taking place for at least a decade suggests that the position of the Democrats was a generational one, not an outcome of a single event.

Indeed, numerous organizations and countless individuals are working on a daily basis to create a link between ‘affinity’ and policy.

Buoyed by the growing sympathies for Palestine, a long-time advocate of Palestinians’ rights in the US Congress, Rep. Betty McCollum reintroduced, on May 5, the ‘Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act’.

Co-sponsored by 16 other members of Congress, the legislation demands that Israel must be prohibited from using “US taxpayer dollars in the Occupied West Bank for the military detention, abuse or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.”

Two years earlier, the Intercept had reported that McCollum and her supporters were pushing towards barring US aid to Israel from “subsidizing a wider array of Israeli occupation tactics.”

Alex Kane wrote this is “an indication of just how far the debate over the US aid to Israel has come in the past six years,” a reference to 2015 when McCollum introduced the first legislation on the matter.

Since then, things have moved forward at an even more accelerated speed. The effort to hold Israel accountable has now reached the New York state assembly.

On May 16, The New York Post reported that legislation was introduced by several Democratic lawmakers aimed at blocking registered US charities from funneling money to fund illegal Israeli Jewish settlements.

The legislation, “Not on Our Dime!: Ending New York Funding of Israeli Settler Violence Act,” dares to challenge Israel on multiple fronts: the traditional power of the pro-Israel lobby, questioning US funding of Israel and confronting the channeling of funds to illegal settlements in the name of charity work.

Several reasons compel us to believe that the shift in US policy on Palestine and Israel, though slow, nuanced and, at times, symbolic, will likely continue.

One is the fact that Israel is turning towards far-right nationalism, which is increasingly difficult to defend by US liberal government and media.

Two, the steadfastness of Palestinians and their ability to overcome mainstream media restrictions and censorship that had prevented them from having any fair representation.

And finally, the dedication of numerous civil society organizations and the widening network of support for Palestinians throughout the US, which allowed courageous lawmakers to push for substantive change in policy.

Time will tell what direction Washington will take in the future. But, considering the current evidence, support for Israel is dwindling at rates that are unprecedented

Al-Khiam Detention Center: Scenes of Torture That Beat Hollywood’s!

May 25, 2023

Designed by Al-Ahed News


MAY 23RD, 2023


By Miko Peled

The annual display of Jewish Supremacy in Palestine, known as the Flag March, is not limited to the Old City of Jerusalem. It is part of a campaign of intimidation in cities around the country that have a significant Palestinian population. This year this racist, violent display of supremacy took place in Jerusalem, Yafa ad El-Lyd.


What could be more innocuous than a seed? A Torah seed is a seed through which the Torah grows and spreads. Building bridges, connecting people to their ancient traditions, aiding those who are in need and generally developing communities steeped in the values of charity and goodwill. This is the veil behind which the Settler community is planting itself in what are known as “mixed cities.”

The world, and most Israeli Jews, concentrate only on the fanatic, racist gangs of settler communities in the West Bank. However, for several decades the same political, quasi-religious movement that created these awful communities has been moving into municipalities known as “mixed cities.” These include Yafa, El-Lyd, Ramle and a few others with large Palestinian populations.

Their purpose is twofold:

• To “plant the Torah seen in the Jewish communities,” or in other words, win the hearts and minds of poor, disenfranchised Israeli Jews, who typically live in “mixed cities.”

• To terrorize and eventually push out the Palestinian communities from these cities, making them pure and Jewish. 

This, of course, has nothing to do with Judaism. It is yet another expression of the racist ideology which created the State of Israel and is known as Zionism.


Claiming ownership of Palestine has always been an important Zionist talking point. What the Torah Seed groups are doing is marching through Palestinian neighborhoods to make that point. “We are the landlords,” we heard Itmar Ben-Gvir saying as he walked through the holy sanctuary of Al-Aqsa, and this they yell into the megaphones throughout Palestinian neighborhoods, in Yafa, El-Lyd, Ramle, Hebron, and, of course, Jerusalem.

These settlers – who many people think are confined to the West Bank – are taking over by squeezing Palestinians out. We no longer see trucks with soldiers evicting Palestinians like in 1948 or 1967. Instead, we see settler gangs armed with police protection terrorizing Palestinians and making their lives unlivable. Because these cities are within the boundaries of 1948 Palestine, it is not the army that protects these thugs but the police.


In order to claim ownership of the land, Zionists have been obsessed with demographics. It was clear from the beginning that on that front, they are losing, and so they found a formula that makes it seem as though there is a Jewish majority and an Arab minority in “Israel.”

Another sign of the Zionist obsession with demographics is that the state of Israel conducts a census almost every year – and year after year for as long as I can remember, they end up with the same calculation. Not that the numbers don’t grow, but the percentage of Arabs always remains more or less at twenty percent of the total population.

We know that for decades Palestinians account for much more than twenty percent, so how does Israel do this? Well, it is not magic; they simply lie about the numbers. Israel does not count all the Palestinians, only the ones who live in the pre-1967 borders. In other words, while Jewish Israelis are counted regardless of where they live within the country, only Palestinians who live in 1948 Palestine are accounted for. This means that the state of Israel is leaving out more than five million Palestinians from their figures.

This makes sense when one considers that successive Israeli governments and Israeli society more generally see no connection to Palestinians living in the territories taken by Israel in 1967. While Palestinians who remained in 1948 are referred to as citizens, the ones who were added as a result of the 1967 occupation have no status and, therefore, do not (officially) exist.


In the city of Yafa, which officially is part of the Tel Aviv municipality, the Settlers conduct two flag marches per year. One on Israeli Independence Day and one on Jerusalem Day. The city claims that it is an expression of diversity, not unlike days when Palestinians hold a Christmas parade or a Ramadan market. But there is a difference; neither the Christmas nor Ramadan events include harassment by uniformed militarized police and plain-clothed detectives.

During these parades of racism and supremacy, Palestinian citizens of the city are instructed to stay out of sight. They are subjected to searches and seizures, and they are confined to areas where they will be out of the way of the parading gangsters with flags of hate.

In the city of El-Lyd, thousands of settlers marched through the old town, through Palestinian neighborhoods and businesses, harassing and terrorizing anyone in their path. Over the years, El-Lyd has seen some of the worst violence by settler gangs, and this parade of hate and supremacy is there to let the Palestinians in the city that El-Lyd is not theirs. In 1948, the area had been subjected to brutal massacres and of the city’s 40,000 citizens, only 400 remained. Today, the Palestinian population makes up between 30% and 40% of the population.


Many people still refer to 1948 Palestine as Israel and to the West Bank as Palestine. However, these people would do well to remember that until May 1948, it was all known as Palestine and that Palestinians live throughout the entire country and endure the same hate and violence regardless of where they live, what identification card they carry or whether they are counted by the Apartheid State or not.

Besieged Gaza Surprises Bibi: After An “Israeli” was Killed, More in Store

May 12, 2023

By Staff, Agencies

As “Israeli” occupation continues to bomb the besieged Gaza strip and slaughter its civilians, the Palestinian Resistance succeeded in scoring more achievements on the ground.

In details, an “Israeli” settler was killed and several others wounded when a rocket from the Gaza Strip hit “Rehovot” settlement.

Video shared on social media immediately after the attack showed the inside of the building with extensive damage, including holes in the ceiling and floor.

13 other settlers were injured in the Palestinian shelling on the settlement.

The rocket impact came as part of a large barrage fired from the Palestinian besieged enclave that targeted settlements further north the entity than the previous days.

This comes as the Islamic Jihad movement vowed to keep up its retaliatory strikes against the occupied territories until the “Israeli” regime stops its deadly acts of aggression against the Gaza Strip, where the Palestinian resistance group is headquartered. 

“Israel” has assassinated dozens of Palestinians, including at least five of the movement’s commanders since Tuesday, when it began to significantly escalate its airstrikes against Gaza. The Al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, has fired hundreds of rockets towards the occupied territories in response.

Speaking on Thursday, Anwar Abu Taha, an Islamic Jihad spokesperson, warned that “our weapons, our resistance, and our missile strikes will not stop until the aggression stops, specifically the policy of assassinations against our leaders and our people.”

Taha said the intense reprisal served to send a strong message to the “Israeli” enemy that the Brigades and the resistance have many surprises in store, which can compel the regime to stop its continuous brutality.

“[‘Israeli’ Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is delusional that the Islamic Jihad will weaken and be broken in light of the assassination of its military leaders, and we tell him that the Islamic Jihad, by assassinating its leaders, is getting stronger and sticking to the option of jihad and resistance,” the Palestinian official noted.

He further mentioned: “The enemy should not test our patience and strength, because we have a lot in store, and in this round, all the suburbs of Tel Aviv are under the range of missiles.”

Related Posts

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (Weekly Update 04– 10 May 2023)

11. 05. 2023

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continue their widescale aggression on the Gaza Strip for the second consecutive day as it began at dawn on Tuesday, 09 May 2023, when 3 commanders of Al-Quds Brigades (AQB), the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), were assassinated by bombing their houses over their families and neighbors’ heads. During the aggression, which continues up to the preparation of this report, IOF conducted extensive airstrikes and artillery shelling against residential houses, agricultural lands, sites of Palestinian armed groups, and others. As a result, so far 25 Palestinians, including 13 civilians, 6 children and 4 women, have been killed, and 63 others, including 15 children and 15 women, have been wounded. These attacks on civilian areas reflect Israel’s blatant disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians and non-observation of the principle of distinction and proportionality binding on IOF under international law. The bombing has also caused complete and partial destruction to dozens of housing units, rendering dozens of families homeless, as PCHR’s fieldworkers are still documenting the destruction. Meanwhile, PCHR is still investigating certain incidents that inflicted losses among civilians and property. PCHR’s preliminary investigations indicate casualties fell after homemade rockets had fallen in three incidents, during which 3 civilians, including 2 children, were killed and 26 others were wounded, including 7 children and 5 women.

The following are the most significant developments:

On 09 May 2023, IOF launched an aggression on the Gaza Strip, conducted extensive air raids and bombed a vehicle and 4 apartments on the heads of their residents. As a result, 15 Palestinians, including 4 children and 4 women, were killed, and 20 others, including 4 children and 4 women, were wounded. IOF warplanes fired 2 missiles at 2 floors of a 6-storey residential building in al-Rimal neighborhood in central Gaza City, resulting in the killing of 6 Palestinians, including a woman and 2 children, and injury of 6 others, including 2 women. Those killed were identified as Jamal Saber Mohammed Khaswan (52), a dentist and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al-Wafaa Charity Association; his wife, Mervat Saleh Mohammed Khaswan (44); and their son Yousef (19), a student at the Faculty of Dentistry. All of them were civilians and lived on the 6th floor. And those killed on the 5th floor were identified as Tareq Ibrahim Mohammed ‘Izz al-Deen (51), a commander at al-Quds Brigades; and his two children ‘Ali (9) and Mayar (7).

Around the same time, Israeli warplanes fired 2 missiles at family house in eastern Gaza City. As a result, five, including 2 women and 2 girls, were killed, and 6 others, including 3 children and 2 women, were injured. Those killed were identified as Khalil Khaled al-Behtaini (44), a commander at al-Quds Brigades; his wife Laila Majdi Mostafa al-Behtaini (42); his 4-year-old daughter Hajar; a 19-yeat-old girl namely Dania ‘Alaa ‘Ataa ‘Adas and her sister Eman (17), who succumbed to her injuries at around 10:00, noting that Dania and Eman lived adjacent to the targeted building.

Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes targeted at a 1-storey house in Al-Jeneina neighborhood in Rafah. As a result, Jihad Shaker Diab ‘AbdulHafez/Al-Ghanam, Secretary of al-Quds Brigades’ Military Council who was an amputee, and his wife Wafaa Nimr Tawfiq Al-Ghanam (62) were killed, and 6 others sustained various wounds, including a child and the targeted commander’s son. More details are available in PCHR’s press release.

In the same evening, Wael Muhammad Sabri al-Agha (34), and Saed Jawad ‘Abd Farwana (28), members of the Palestinian armed groups, were killed, and two other Palestinians were injured in an Israeli airstrike on a civilian car in al-Qarara, northeast of Khan Yunis.

On 10 May 2023, the bombing continued against agricultural lands, sites of Palestinian armed groups, and houses. As a result, 7 Palestinians were killed, including 3 civilians: 2 were children. PCHR is still investigating the nature of the missile that killed them and injured 36 others, including 8 women and 10 children.

Muhammad Yousef Abu Ta’ima (23) and ‘Alaa Maher Abu Ta’ima (28), who were members of the Palestinian armed groups, were killed in an airstrike that targeted them in an agricultural field in ‘Abasan al-Kabira, east of Khan Yunis.

Meanwhile, Ayman Karam Saidam (26) and ‘Alam Al-Dein Sameer ‘Abdul-‘Aziz (23), who were members of the Palestinian armed groups, were killed, and 2 others were wounded as a result of an Israeli airstrike on an agricultural land in Al-Shokah village, east of Rafah. In addition, 8 Palestinians, including 3 children and 3 women, were wounded in an airstrike on an agricultural land near residential houses in Al-Salam neighborhood, south of Rafah.

Also, Ahmed Mohammed al-Shebaki (50) was killed and his wife Yusra Othman al-Shebaki (50) was seriously injured after a missile fell on their house in Qleibo area in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip. PCHR is still investigating the incident, as initial information raises suspicion that it might be a homemade rocket.

Moreover, Yazan Jawdat ‘Eliyan (16) and Layan Belal Mohammed Modawikh (8) were killed and 12 others, including 2 children and 2 women, were injured after a missile fell on a 5-storey house on al-Sahaba Street in Gaza City. PCHR is still investigating the incident, as initial information raises suspicion that it might be a homemade rocket.

In addition, 13 Palestinians were injured, including 2 women and 5 children; one seriously injured, after a missile fell on a house in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip. PCHR is still investigating the incident, as initial information raises suspicion that it might be a homemade rocket.

Meanwhile, IOF warplanes launched at least 2 missiles at a 3-storey house in al-Qarara area, northeast of Khan Yunis. As a result, the house was destroyed and 4 families of 20, including children and women, were displaced. It should be noted that one of the area residents received a call to evacuate the nearby houses.

Moreover, IOF warplanes launched 2 missiles at a 3-storey house of 3 residential apartments in Beit Lahia, completely destroying it and rendering 4 families of 16, including 4 women and 8 children, homeless. It is worth noting that the house’s owner received a call from IOF only 40 minutes before targeting the house telling him to evacuate.

On 11 May 2023, 3 Palestinians, including 2 brothers; one of them a commander of Al-Quds Brigades, were killed and 7 other civilians, including a girl and 3 women; one was pregnant, were injured after IOF warplanes fired 3 missiles at a residential apartment on the 5th floor of a building in Hamad Residential Compound, west of Khan Yunis. Those killed were identified as: ‘Ali Hasan Ghali (50), member of al-Quds Brigades’ Military Council and head of the rocket launching unit; his brother Mahmoud (23); and their relative Mahmoud Waleed Mohammed ‘Abdul Jawaad (26). All of them were in the targeted apartment, while the other injuries were reported in nearby apartments. IOF announced that IOF and Shin Bet (Shabak) killed in a joint targeted operation the commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s rocket launching force in the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, 8 Palestinians, including a woman, was killed, and 35 others, including 6 children, were injured, while dozens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in IOF’s attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 04 May 2023, IOF killed 3 members of Palestinian armed groups and wounded 3 civilians in an extrajudicial execution crime committed by IOF during their incursion into Nablus’s Old City. (Details available in PCHR’s press release).

On the same day, Eman Ziyad ‘Odah (26) was shot dead by IOF stationed in central Huwara village, southeast of Nablus, claiming that she stabbed an Israeli soldier, as IOF declared.

On 06 May 2023, two members of Palestinian armed groups namely Hamza Jamil Kharyoush (23) and Samer Salah Shaf’y (20) were killed and another Palestinian was injured while 2 others were arrested after one of them was injured during IOF’s incursion into Tulkarm refugee camp, where they cordoned off a house and clashed with Palestinian armed group members who were fortified inside the house.

On 10 May 2023, IOF killed 2 members of Palestinian armed groups namely Ahmed Jamal ‘Assaf (19), from Qabatiya village, and Rani Waleed Qatanat (24), from Jenin refugee camp, and wounded 2 other Palestinians; one seriously injured, during armed clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Qabatiya village in Jenin. Before withdrawing, IOF arrested a Palestinian and confiscated a vehicle as the two Palestinians mentioned above were killed near it.

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF’s incursion into the Palestinian cities and villages, or IOF’s suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians. Twenty Palestinians, including 5 children, were injured in stone-throwing clashes with IOF during the latter’s incursion into several villages in Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. Also, 12 Palestinians, including a child, were injured in Kafr Qaddum weakly peaceful protest, east of Qalqilya. Additionally, 2 Palestinians were injured near the annexation wall in Qalqilya when they were on they way to work in Israel.

So far in 2023, IOF attacks and aggression have killed 136 Palestinians, including 69 civilians; 24 of them were children, and 6 women, and the rest were members of the Palestinian armed groups, including 2 children, 7 killed by settlers, and two died in Israeli prisons. Meanwhile, 274 Palestinians, including 85 children, 21 women and 12 journalists, were injured.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished 6 houses and 6 facilities, including a school that was demolished twice, while Israeli settlers built a settlement road on Palestinian lands in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 04 May 2023, IOF demolished a 70-sqm restaurant, which is a building built of steel, aluminum and wood in Al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 07 May 2023, IOF demolished al-Tahadi Primary School (5) in Jeb al-Deeb village, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C. Dozens of villagers tried to confront the demolition, but IOF attacked them and heavily fired live and rubber-coated bullets and teargas canisters at them, wounding 5 of them. The villagers later re-built the school, but IOF- re-demolished it for the 2nd time on 10 May 2023. It is worth noting that the 170-sqm school serving 60 students is funded by the European Union (EU), and it included 5 classrooms, a tent, a number of bathrooms, a playground, and a container used as a kitchen.

On the same day, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his 82-sqm house in Jabel Mukaber village in occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to an Israeli municipal decision issued under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Also, IOF demolished two 140-sqm houses in Al-Auja village in Jericho and razed a 150-sqm cement slab in al-Jiftlik village, north of Jericho.

On 08 May 2023, IOF notified to cease construction works in a concrete slab and 2 houses in Ma’een village in Hebron, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.

On 09 May 2023, IOF forced a Palestinian to  self-demolish his under-construction house of 50 sqms in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to an Israeli Municipal’s decision issued under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On the same day, Israeli settlers, from “Havat Yair” settlement that is established on Deir Istiya village’s lands in western Salfit, built a new 700-meter-long settlement road leading to “Al-Majur” and “Nuwaitif” water springs on Palestinians’ lands in Qarawat Bani Hassan village. 

On 10 May 2023, IOF demolished an animal barrack in Jabel Mukaber village and two 100-sqm shops in Wadi Qaddoum neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On the same day, IOF demolished a room built of bricks and used as a commercial facility and a 120-meter-long wall in eastern Yatta in Hebron.

Also, IOF demolished a floor housing two 230-sqm apartments belonging to 2 brothers in Jabel Mukaber village in occupied East Jerusalem, rendering 9 persons, including 2 women and 5 children, homeless.

Since the beginning of 2023, IOF have made 69 families homeless, a total of 439 persons, including 86 women and 192 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 76 houses; 18 were forcibly self-demolished by their owners and 8 were demolished on grounds of collective punishment. IOF also demolished 70 other civilian objects, razed other property, and delivered dozens of notices of demolition and cease-construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Settler-attacks and retaliatory acts:

Three Palestinians were injured; 2 of them with live bullets, in settlers’ attacks in the West Bank. Details are as follows:

On 05 May 2023, Israeli settlers broke into Maghayir al-‘Abeed area in eastern Yatta in Hebron, where they made their sheep step on the agricultural crops. Later, an Israeli force arrived and detained a Palestinian whom the settlers were attempting to assault, while the settlers later left the area.

On 10 May 2023, 3 Palestinians were injured; 2 of them sustained live bullet injuries and the third sustained bruises in an attack carried out by at least 30 settlers on Deir Dibwan village, east of Ramallah.   

Since the beginning of the year, settlers have conducted at least 193 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property. As a result, 7 Palestinians were killed, and dozens of others were injured; most of them after being beaten and thrown with stones. Also, dozens of houses, vehicles and civilian facilities were set ablaze.

IOF incursions and arrests:

IOF carried out 204 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, at least 108 Palestinians were arrested, including 13 children and a writer. In the Gaza Strip, on 08 May 2023, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern al-Maghazi refugee camp.

So far in 2023, IOF have conducted 3,703 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 2215 Palestinians were arrested, including 25 women and 265 children.  Also, IOF arrested 34 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip; 12 were fishermen and 19 were trying to infiltrate into Israel, and 3 travelers at Erez Crossing. IOF also conducted 12 incursions.

Israeli closure and restrictions on freedom of movement and collective punishment policy:

Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 16-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.

At dawn on 09 May 2023, IOF closed Gaza crossings coinciding with its military offensive against various targets, including civilian objects. The closure of crossings threatens hundreds of patients’ lives and impairs the already frail health system due to the Israeli-imposed closure on Gaza Strip for 16 years. (Details available at PCHR’s press release).

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 110 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 121 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, where they arrested 7 Palestinians.

This week, IOF closed the military checkpoints several times in occupied East Jerusalem and Bethlehem and blocked traffic.

So far in 2023, IOF have established 2204 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 116 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

Sources to Al Mayadeen: ‘Israel’ seeks ceasefire, Resistance steadfast

10 May 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Sources from the Palestinian Resistance factions’ joint operations room confirm to Al Mayadeen that the Resistance is ready for long-term confrontations and warned of expanding the ring of fire if required.

Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile system fires to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip towards Occupied Palestinian territories, near “Sderot” Settlement, Gaza envelope, Occupied Palestine, Wednesday, May 10, 2023. (AP)

Sources in the Palestinian Resistance factions’ joint operations room told Al Mayadeen, on Wednesday, that “the occupation pressed through various mediators to push for a ceasefire,” noting that “the resistance remained steadfast in its demand for a clear [Israeli] commitment to stopping the assassinations policy.”

The sources also expressed the Resistance’s “readiness to fight for the longest time period yet and to expand the ring of fire if necessary.”

In this regard, the Political Affairs expert Ahmed Abed Al-Rahman told Al Mayadeen, “The [Palestinian Islamic] Jihad movement was subjected to tremendous pressure regarding the ceasefire negotiations, but the movement’s leadership rejected all of these pressures.”

Abed Al-Rahman further added that “the resistance’s response to the aggression came in 3 phases, starting at noon and ending at 9:00 p.m. with a half-ton Badr rocket.”

He explained that “the rockets launched by the Al-Quds Brigades at nine o’clock targeted occupied Askalan, and were loaded with explosive warheads weighing half a ton.”

Israeli media quoted a senior official involved in the negotiations as saying, “There are difficulties in implementing a ceasefire.”

The Israeli media reported that “the knot in the negotiations is the Islamic Jihad’s request that Israel commits to stopping the assassinations.”

Israeli media also quoted an Israeli forces spokesman who said that 469 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip until 9:30, claiming that 153 were intercepted.

In the context, sources in the resistance confirmed to Al Mayadeen that “in the event that the enemy does not adhere to the conditions of the resistance, the decision will be to go toward expanding the ring of fire.”

The sources further noted that the recent bombing of “Tel Aviv”, Beer Al-Seba, and other occupied cities and settlements came to confirm that there is no truce except on the terms of the resistance.

In turn, Talal Abu Zarifa, a member of the political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said, “The Palestinian resistance cannot surrender to what the occupation wants,” adding that “the Israeli occupation committed a crime,” and that “it must pay the price for that.”

Moreover, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine affirmed that “the renewed Zionist aggression on Gaza is an integral part of the open war,” and praised the Resistance for confronting the aggression on Gaza and responding to it unified.

Simultaneously, Israeli media reported that there was non-stop rocket firing against the Gaza envelope settlements, following the joint statement of the Occupation government Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Israeli Minister of Security, Yoav Gallant.

During his statement, Galant reported that about 400 rockets were fired at “Israel,” while the Israeli media reported that “100 rockets were fired at Israel in the last hour.”

The Palestinian Resistance continues to launch rocket barrages towards the occupied Palestinian territories according to the Al Mayadeen correspondent which reported the firing of successive barrages of rockets from Gaza.

Read more: Chance to establish ‘long-term deterrence is low’: Israeli NSC chief

Gaza resistance pummels Israel, threatens to fight ‘for longest period of time’

May 10 2023

(Photo Credit: Sputnik)

ByNews Desk

Israeli warplanes have continued to bombard dozens of locations in the Gaza Strip, leaving several civilians dead

Hundreds of Palestinian rockets continued to rain down on Israeli settlements and cities on 10 May, sending settlers fleeing for bomb shelters and causing significant damage to buildings in the settlements of Ashkelon and Sderot.

According to Israeli officials, at least 469 rockets have been fired so far from the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) resistance group. Reports from the besieged enclave claim the resistance has also fired several missiles.

BREAKING NEWS: Palestinian resistance in Gaza launches fresh rocket barrages into Israel following a statement by Netanyahu pic.twitter.com/5hV62rMCov

— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) May 10, 2023

Israel’s missile defense systems reportedly intercepted 153 of the rockets fired, while 107 fell inside Gaza.

In response, Israeli jets have been conducting airstrikes across Gaza, killing at least four Palestinians, bringing the death toll in two days of Israeli bombardment to 21 – including two Palestinians killed in the West Bank.

Several women and children are among the dead, and at least 64 Palestinians have been wounded.

The crossfire continued despite Egyptian media reports of a “ceasefire” earlier in the day.

As the situation escalated during the night, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke with his US counterpart and expressed the army’s “readiness for every operational scenario, including a prolonged campaign and multi-front challenges.”

The rockets from Gaza began flying early on Wednesday in retaliation for Israel’s assassination of three PIJ commanders on Tuesday during an unprovoked attack that also killed several civilians.

“We have hit Islamic Jihad with the most significant blow it has ever suffered,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday about the brutal airstrikes, boasting that the PIJ commanders and their sleeping families were killed “in two seconds in the middle of the night.”

“The campaign is not over,” Netanyahu added.

Speaking to Al-Mayadeen, PIJ sources said that Israeli authorities “pushed through various mediations to beg for a cease-fire” in the wake of resistance attacks that reached all the way to Tel Aviv and occupied Jerusalem.

“The resistance adhered to its position of a clear commitment to stopping the assassinations,” the PIJ added, stressing their “readiness to fight for the longest period of time and to expand the circle of fire if necessary.”

Palestinian sources told Al Jazeera that the ceasefire talks failed after Israel refused to agree to stop the targeted assassinations.

Earlier in the day, other resistance factions joined the PIJ to release a statement saying, “Targeting civilian homes and assassinating our men and heroes is a red line that will be confronted with full force.”

“The resistance is ready for all options, and if the occupation persists with its aggression … dark days await it,” the statement provided to Al Jazeera continued.

Related Videos

Special Coverage | Six o’clock coverage
Special Coverage | Reactions to the Israeli escalation and the ongoing aggression on the Gaza Strip
Special Coverage | A new missile strike from the joint operations room of the resistance in Gaza
Special Coverage | The Israeli aggression on Gaza and the response of the resistance
Special Coverage | Israeli incursions into the West Bank
Special Coverage | The unified response of the resistance to the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip
Special Coverage | The latest developments after Operation Revenge of the Free
Special Coverage | Developments of the situation in occupied Palestine
Special Coverage | Developments are continuing in occupied Palestine
Special Coverage | The Israeli occupation targets residential buildings in the Gaza Strip

Related Articles

The Boy of Qalandiya: He Is Not Idiot, and This Is Not ‘Security’

May 8, 2023

Mohammad Jaber, 14, was prevented from crossing the Qalandiya checkpoint for treatment. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman, The Palestine Chronicle)
– As a member of Machsomwatch, Tamar Fleishman documents events at Israeli military checkpoints between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Her reports, photos and videos can be found on the organization’s website: http://www.machsomwatch.org. She is also a member of the ‘Coalition of Women for Peace’ and a volunteer in ‘Breaking the Silence’. Tamar Fleishman is The Palestine Chronicle correspondent at the Qalandiya checkpoint.  

By Tamar Fleishman

As I was standing at the Palestinian side of the Israeli military checkpoint of Qalandiya, I saw a Palestinian teenager walking on crutches. 

His name is Mohammad Jaber. He is a 14-year-old boy who lives in the neighborhood of Shaja’iya, in the besieged Gaza Strip. 

Mohammad was at Qalandiya because he needed to cross the checkpoint to reach the Hadassah Hospital, which is located inside Israel, for treatment.

A Palestinian man, who had spoken with the teenage boy, drew my attention to the problem and asked me if I can be of help. 

The man told me that Mohammad was coming from a Ramallah hospital, to which he had been referred by Hadassah, so that they may run a few tests. Israeli soldiers, however, would not allow him to cross the checkpoint to complete his treatment at Hadassah.

The man thought that maybe there had been some miscommunication, so he asked me to go and talk to the soldiers on the boy’s behalf in Hebrew.

I walked slowly, along with Mohammad. It was clear, from his face, that every step caused him pain. We proceeded to the checkpoint’s ID inspection booth.

When the Israeli security guard saw us, he immediately yelled: “Who are you? If you are Israeli, you are not allowed to be here.”

He seized my ID and summoned the police. A policewoman checked me and said it was okay. Then, they checked Mohammad’s documents and insisted that he could not cross the checkpoint. 

I asked her to look at him: What danger could the boy pose as he could hardly even walk. 

“This is the law”, the guard said with a stern face. “He needs to come back tomorrow, with a special medical permit.”

At that point, there was nothing we could do. 

Then, the Israeli security guard turned towards Mohammad and he yelled in Hebrew: “Go on, git!” – meaning idiot. The boy did not understand, but I did.

I told the guard that no human being should be addressed this way. 

“Go on, you are git, too”, he yelled at me. 

I do not know if Mohammad could obtain the required medical permit to cross the checkpoint the following day. What I know is that clearly, Israel’s concern has nothing to do with ‘security’, as the boy clearly didn’t pose any threat. 

It was something else entirely. 

(Translated by Tal Haran, Edited by The Palestine Chronicle)


Resistance Confronts Israeli Tripartite Aggression in Al-Quds, Gaza, Lebanon

 April 7, 2023

Smoke rise in south Lebanon following Israeli strikes on open areas on Thursday, April 7, 2023 (photo by Al-Manar reporter Ali Shoeib).

The Israeli occupation goes ahead with its aggression in Palestine’s Gaza and Al-Quds, with Lebanon coming on the scene on Friday as Israeli warplanes launch several strikes on the country’s south.

Al-Manar correspondent Samer Hajj Ali said three Israeli strikes targeted at dawn on Thursday open areas in Qlayle, Ras Al-Ein and region surrounding Rashidiyya refugee camp.

For its part, the Israeli occupation military confirmed the strikes, claiming they targeted “infrastructure” of Hamas resistance movement in Lebanon.

Israeli army will not allow Hamas “to operate from Lebanon and considers the state of Lebanon responsible for all fire from its territory,” the occupation military said in a statement.

Al-Manar reporter Ali Shoeib posted a photo showing damage caused by the strikes on an open area in Qlayle valley and the vicinity of Rashidiyya camp.

Following the strike, Hamas issued a statement, stressing that the Israeli occupation bears full responsibility for the attack on Rashidiyya camp.

It stressed that the attack represents the true image of the Israeli occupation’s criminality.


Meanwhile in Al-Quds (Jerusalem), thousands of Palestinian worshipers defied Israeli attacks and repressive measures and performed Al-Fajr (dawn) prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Following the prayers, Palestinians took to courtyards of the holy compound and held a protest, voicing support to the resistance and chanting anti-Israel slogans.

Earlier, Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad Palestinian resistance movement, warned the Israeli enemy that Al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line.

In a video, Al-Quds Brigades fighters were shown preparing rockets to fire at the occupied territories in a clear warning to the Israeli occupation.

The video was concluded with a statement in Arabic and Hebrew: “Al-Aqsa is a red line.”

Meanwhile, Al-Quds Brigades spokesman Abu Hamza that the resistance is proceeding its retaliation in support of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On his Telegram account, Abu Hamza said: “Our Jihad is going ahead.”

Gaza Strikes

On the other hand, Gaza was subjected to aerial attacks that targeted several areas across the coastal enclave, with the Paslestinian resistance retaliating with firing rockets at the settlements bordering Gaza.

Palestinian media reported several strikes across Gaza, as the occupation military claimed targeting sites belonging to Hamas.

The resistance, meanwhile, fired several barrages of rockets at Israeli settlements bordering Gaza, with Israeli media reporting that at least 40 missiles were launched.

Source: Palestinian adn Israeli media (translated and edited by Al-Manr English Website)

Related Articles

Israel bombs Lebanon and Gaza in response to daring resistance attack

April 07 2023

As Israel reportedly dropped ’50 tons’ of explosives on the besieged Gaza Strip, dozens of rockets were launched by the resistance towards adjacent settlements

(Photo Credit: Twitter)

By News Desk

Israel launched overnight airstrikes targeting several locations in southern Lebanon and the besieged Gaza Strip on Saturday 7 April, in retaliation for rocket attacks launched from Lebanese territory that hit several Israeli settlements on Thursday morning.

Sources in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre say three loud explosions were heard at dawn on Friday near the Rashidieh camp for Palestinian refugees.

While the Israeli army claims the attack hit “terrorist infrastructures belonging to Hamas,” local reports say the missiles hit a banana plantation causing no material damage or casualties.

At the same time, Israeli jets conducted an indiscriminate blitz of the besieged Gaza Strip, dropping at least “50 tons of bombs” on alleged Hamas sites, according to an Israeli army spokesman.

The attack on what many consider to be the world’s largest open-air prison caused damage to dozens of civilian homes, agricultural land, and to the Al-Durrah Children’s Hospital in Gaza City, according to WAFA news agency.

In response to the blitz, the resistance in Gaza fired at least 44 rockets targeting adjacent Israeli settlements. No casualties were reported.

Israel’s overnight attack on Lebanon and Gaza was launched in response to a daring rocket attack launched by the Palestinian resistance on Thursday morning from southern Lebanon against northern Israeli settlements.

Early on Friday, the Lebanese army claimed to have found “several rockets prepared for launch” in a field in southern Lebanon.

Thursday’s resistance attack was set off by Israel’s brutal assault of Palestinian worshippers observing Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

Speaking from Beirut, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Thursday that the Palestinian resistance “will not sit with their arms crossed” in the face of Israeli “aggression” against Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Similarly, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, warned that: “The resistance front has a high number of long-range missiles in its arsenal; but it is not using them at the moment.”

“One of the options that resistance fighters would take in case the Zionists commit a folly would be the launch of a significant number of ballistic missiles at sensitive Israeli centers,” Nasrallah stressed.

In response to Thursday’s attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency meeting of the security cabinet, during which he said that Israel “will hit back at our enemies, and they will pay the price for every act of aggression.”

“Our enemies will learn again that during times that we are tested, Israeli citizens stand together united,” the Israeli premier said.

Hebrew media reported on Friday morning that “the army will not resume its bombing if new attacks do not occur from Gaza and Lebanon,” as security restrictions were lifted on Israeli settlers living in towns close to the border with the Gaza Strip.

IOF Attacks Worshippers in Al-Aqsa, Resistance in Gaza Responds

 April 5, 2023

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Israeli occupation forces conducted a raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Al-Quds, where Palestinians were carrying out the religious practice of Itikaf during the holy month of Ramadan.

The occupying forces brutaly assaulted the Palestinians stationed there and forced worshippers out of the sacred mosque and Al-Qibli prayer hall to secure the raid by illegal settler groups.

Zionist Settlers were reported to have stormed the mosque during the incursion. Palestinians responded by chanting anti-Israel slogans.

As a result of the raid, dozens of Palestinians were injured, including women, with hundreds others being arrested. Occupation forces prevented medics from reaching the scene of the attack to aid and evacuate the wounded.

Worshipers were heard calling for resistance to retaliate to the brutal Israeli attack.

Palestinians, including women, were subjected to bullets and tear gas bombs by Israeli occupation forces, who used batons and guns to brutally assault them.

Palestinian media reported that Israeli occupation forces have threatened those inside Al-Qibli prayer hall at Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the defenders remained determined to stay and protect the third holiest site in Islam

Palestine Center for Prisoners Studies director Riyad Al-Ashqar told journalists that the Israeli occupation forces detained over 200 Palestinians during the raid.

This wave of aggression comes after the Israeli occupation forces raided the Al-Aqsa mosque on Sunday, intending to expel Palestinian worshippers from the holy compound and its Al-Qibli prayer hall. However, the Palestinians stationed inside the hall, locked the doors from the inside and prevented the IOF from entering.

Adding fuel to the fire, an Israeli group called “Return to Temple Mount” has offered monetary rewards for those who sacrifice animals inside the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque for the Jewish Passover.

Similar incidents occurred last year during the early days of the holy month of Ramadan, with dozens of settlers storming Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of Israeli occupation forces.

Gaza responds with rockets

After a raid by the Israeli occupation forces on the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday, the Palestinian resistance in Gaza responded with several rocket attacks towards occupied territories in 1948, reportedly hitting several Israeli military targets.

Explosions were heard in the Israeli settlement of Sderot in the Gaza envelope. In response, the Israeli occupation forces carried out air strikes targeting several resistance sites, including the Abu Jrad, Badr, and Al-Nuseirat camp locations.

The Israeli aggression did not result in any casualties, Palestinian sources reported. The Israeli military has described Wednesday as “sensitive and dangerous day”, urging settlers in the settlements bordering Gaza to stay in shelters, while 10 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards the area.

SourcePalestinian and Israeli media (translated and edited by Al-Manar English Website)

An Israeli plane crashes, two soldiers are wounded, and the resistance shakes Israel… New details

More than ‘Democracy’ is at Stake in Israeli Protests

APRIL 5, 2023

Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, Chair of Global law, Queen Mary University London, and Research Associate, Orfalea Center of Global Studies, UCSB.


Photograph Source: Oren Rozen – CC BY-SA 4.0

There are two interwoven conflicts currently playing out in Israel, but neither, despite the Western liberal spin, relates to the threatened demise of Israeli democracy. That concern presupposes that Israel had been a democracy until the recent wave of extremism arising from the new Netanyahu-led Israeli government’s commitment to ‘judicial reform.’ A euphemism hid the purpose of such an undertaking, which was to limit judicial independence by endowing the Knesset with the powers to impose the will of a parliamentary majority to override court decisions by a simple majority and exercise greater control over the appointment of judges. Certainly, these were moves toward institutionalizing a tighter autocracy in Israel as it would modify some semblance of separation of powers, but not a nullification of democracy as best expressed by guaranteeing the equal rights of all citizens regardless of their ethnicity or religious persuasion.

To be a Jewish State that confers by its own Basic Law of 2018 an exclusive right of self-determination exclusively on the Jewish people and asserts supremacy at the expense of the Palestinian minority of more than 1.7 million persons undermines Israel’s claim to be a democracy, at least with reference to the citizenry as a whole. As well, Palestinians have long endured discriminatory laws and practices on fundamental issues that over time have come to have its government process widely identified as an apartheid regime that is operative in both the Occupied Palestine Territories and Israel itself. If language is stretched to its limits, it is possible to regard Israel as an ethnic-democracy or theocratic democracy, but such terms are vivid illustrations of political oxymorons.

Since its establishment as a state in 1948, Israel has denied equal rights to its Palestinian minority. It has even disallowed any right of return to the 750,000 Palestinians who were coerced to leave during the 1947 War, and are entitled by international law to return home, at least after combat has ceased. The current bitter fight between religious and secular Jews centering on the independence of Israel’s judiciary is from most Palestinian points of view an intramural squabble, as Israel’s highest courts through the years have overwhelmingly supported the most internationally controversial moves ‘unlawfully’ restricting Palestinians, including the establishment of settlements, denial of right of return, separation wall, collective punishment, the annexation of East Jerusalem, house demolitions, and prisoner abuse.

On a few occasions, most notably with respect to reliance on torture techniques used against Palestinian prisoners, the judiciary has shown slight glimmers of hope that it might address Palestinian grievance in a balanced manner, but after more than 75 years of Israel’s existence and 56 years of its occupation of Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, this hope has effectively vanished.

Nevertheless, Israel’s control of the political narrative that shaped public opinion allowed the country be to be legitimized, even celebrated by hyperbolic rhetoric as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East,’ and as such, the one country in the Middle East with whom North America and Europe shared values alongside interests. In essence, Biden reaffirmed this canard in the text of the Jerusalem Declaration jointly signed with Yair Lapid, the Prime Minister at the time, during the American president’s state visit last August. In its opening paragraph, these sentiments are expressed: “The United States and Israel share is an unwavering commitment to democracy…”

In the years before Israel’s election last November resulted in a coalition government regarded as the most right-wing in the country’s history, the U.S. government and diaspora Jewry have been at pains to ignore the devastating civil society consensus that Israel was guilty of inflicting an apartheid regime to maintain its ethnic dominance was subjugating and exploited Palestinians living in Occupied Palestine and Israel. Apartheid is outlawed by international human rights law, and treated in international law as a crime with a severity second only to genocide. Notable opponents of the extreme racism of South Africa, including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and John Dugard have each commented that Israeli apartheid treats Palestinians worse than the cruelties that South Africa inflicted on their African majority population, which was condemned at the UN and throughout the world as internationally intolerable racism. Allegations of Israeli apartheid have been documented in a series of authoritative reports: UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (2017), Human Rights Watch (2021), B’Tselem (2021), and Amnesty International (2022). Despite these condemnations, the U.S. Government and liberal pro-Israel NGOs have avoided even the mention of the apartheid dimension of the Israeli state, not daring to open the issue for debate by refuting the allegations. As Dugard pointed out when asked what was the greatest difference between fighting apartheid in South Africa and Israel, he responded: “..the weaponization of antisemitism.” This has been borne out in my own experience. There was opposition to anti-apartheid militancy with respect to South Africa but never the attempt to brand the militants as themselves wrongdoers, even ‘criminals.’

From these perspectives, what is at stake in the protests, is whether Israel is to be treated as an illiberal democracy of the sort fashioned in Hungary by Viktor Orban, diluting the quality of the procedural democracy that had been operative for Israeli Jews since 1948. The new turn in Israel gestures toward the kind of majoritarian rule that has prevailed for the last decade in Turkey, involving a slide toward an outright intra-Jewish autocracy. Yet we should note that in neither Hungary nor Turkey have governance structures of an apartheid character emerged, although both countries have serious issues involving discrimination against minorities. Turkey has for decades has rejected demands from its Kurdish minority for equal rights and separate statehood, or at least a strong version of autonomy. These instances of encroachment on basic human rights at least have not occurred within a framework of settler colonialism that in Israel has made Palestinians strangers, virtual aliens, in their own homeland where they have resided for centuries. Racism is not the only reason to dissent from the democracy-in-jeopardy discourse, dispossession may be the more consequential one. If native people were to be asked whether they worried about the erosion or even the abandonment of democracy in such settler colonial ‘success stories’ as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. the question itself would have no current existential relevance to their lives. Native peoples were never meant to be included in the democratic mandate that these encroaching national cultures adopted so proudly. Their tragic fate was sealed as soon as the colonial settlers arrived. It was in each instance one of marginalization, dispossession, and suppression. This indigenous struggle for ‘bare survival’ as distinct peoples with viable culture and ways of life of their own making. Its destruction amounts to what Lawrence Davidson has called ‘cultural genocide” in his pathbreaking book of 2012, which even then included a chapter condemning Israel’s treatment of Palestinian society.

Underneath the encounter among Israeli Jews, which allegedly discloses a chasm so deep as to threaten civil war in Israel lies the future of the settler colonial project in Israel. As those that have studied ethnic dispossession in other settler colonial contexts have concluded, unless the settlers manage to stabilize their own supremacy and limit international solidarity initiatives, they will eventually lose control as happened in South Africa and Algeria under very different schemes of settler domination. It is this sense that the Israel protests going on need to be interpreted as a double confrontation. What is explicitly at stake is a bitter encounter between secular and ultra-religious Jews the outcome of which is relevant to what the Palestinians can expect to be their fate going forward. There is also the implicit stake between those who favor maintaining the existing apartheid arrangements resting on discriminatory control but without necessarily insisting on territorial and demographic adjustments and those who are intent on using violent means to extinguish the Palestinian ‘presence’ as any sort of impediment to the further purification of the Jewish state as incorporating the West Bank, and finally fulfilling the vision of Israel as coterminous with the whole of the ‘the promised land’ asserted as a biblical entitlement of Jews as interpreted by way of a Zionist optic.

It is a mystery where Netanyahu, the pragmatic extremist, stands, and perhaps he has yet to make up his mind. Thomas Friedman, the most reliable weathervane of liberal Zionism weighs in with the claim that Netanyahu for the first time in his long political career has become an ‘irrational’ leader that is no longer trustworthy from the perspective of Washington because his tolerance of Jewish extremism is putting at risk the vital relationship with the U.S. and discrediting the illusion of reaching a peaceful resolution of the conflict by of diplomacy and the two-state solution. Such tenets of a liberal approach have long been rendered obsolete by Israeli settlements and land grabs beyond the 1948 green line.

Politically, Netanyahu needed the support of Religious Zionism to regain power and obtain support for judicial reform to evade being potentially held personally accountable for fraud, corruption, and the betrayal of the public trust. Yet ideologically, I suspect Netanyahu is not as uncomfortable with the scenario favored by the likes of Itamar Ben-Gvir and Benezel Smotrich as he pretends. It allows him to shift blame for dirty deeds in dealing with the Palestinians. To avoid the dreaded South African outcome, Netanyahu seems unlikely to oppose another final round of dispossession and marginalization of the Palestinians while Israel completed a maximal version of the Zionist Project. For now, Netanyahu seems to be riding both horses, playing a moderating role with respect to the Jewish fight about judicial reform, while winking slyly at those who make no secret of their resolve to induce a second nakba (in Arabic, ‘catastrophe’), a term applied specifically to the 1948 expulsion. For many Palestinians, the nakba is experienced as an ongoing process rather than an event limited by time and place with highs and lows.

My guess is that Netanyahu, himself an extremist when addressing Israelis in Hebrew, has still not decided whether he can continue to rise both horses or must soon choose which to ride. Having appointed Ben-Gvir and Smotrich to key positions vesting control over Palestinians and as the chief regulators of settler violence it is pure mystification to consider Netanyahu as going through a political midlife crisis or finding himself a captive of his coalition partners. What he is doing is letting it happen, blaming the religious right for excesses, but not unhappy with their tactics of seeking a victorious end of the Zionist Project.

Liberal Zionists should be deeply concerned about the degree to which these developments in Israel give rise to a new wave of real antisemitism, which is the opposite of the weaponized kind that Israel and its supporters around the world have been using as state propaganda against critics of state policies and practices. These targeted critics of Israel have no hostility whatsoever to Jews as a people and feel respectful toward Judaism as a great world religion. Rather than respond substantively to criticisms of its behavior, Israel has for more than a decade deflected discussion of its wrongdoing by pointing a finger at its critics and some institutions, especially the UN and International Criminal Court, where allegations of Israeli racism and criminality have been made on the basis of evidence and scrupulous adherence to existing standards of the rule of law. Such an approach, emphasizing the implementation of international law, contrasts with the irresponsible Israeli evasions of substantive allegations by leveling attacks on critics rather than either complying with the applicable norms or engaging substantively by insisting that their practices toward the Palestinian people are reasonable in light of legitimate security concerns, which was the principal tactic during the first decades of their existence.

In this sense, the recent events in Israel are dangerously portraying Jews as racist criminals in their behavior toward subjugated Palestinians, done with the blessings of the government. The unpunished settler violence toward Palestinian communities has even been affirmed by relevant government officials as in the deliberate destruction of the small village of Huwara (near Nablus). A photo-recorded aftermath of settlers dancing in celebration amid the village ruins is surely a kind of Kristallnacht, which of course is not meant to minimize the horrors of Nazi genocide, but unfortunately invites comparisons and disturbing questions. How can Jews act so violently against vulnerable native people living amongst them, yet denied basic rights? And will not this kind of grotesque spectacle perversely motivate neo-Nazi groups to castigate Jews? In effect, Israel by both cheapens the real menace of antisemitism in this process of attaching the label where it doesn’t belong and at the same time arouses hatred of Jews by documented renditions of their inhuman behavior toward a people forcibly estranged from their native land. By so acting, Israel is making itself vulnerable in a manner potentially damaging to Jews everywhere, which is an inevitable global spillover from this inflammatory campaign of the Netanyahu government to victimize even more acutely the Palestinian people, aimed at their total submission, or better their departure.

Mass Funeral for Palestinian Martyrs in Jenin after Brutal Israel Raid

March 17, 2023

Funeral of 4 Palestinian martyrs in Jenin (March 16, 2023).

Palestinians bid farewell to four martyrs who fell after Israeli occupation forces raided Jenin on Thursday.

Mass funeral were held in Jenin, hours after the attack that claimed the life of four Palestinians, including a 16-year-old boy.

Among the martyrs were Nidal Hazem, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement’s Al-Quds Brigades and and Youssef Shreim, a member of Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades.

Another 20 Palestinians were wounded by gunfire, four of them seriously.

Thursday’s raid saw special forces from the Israeli occupation military along with the Shin Bet security service and Border Police enter the city center in the middle of the day.

A witness said the attack started after occupation forces arrived in two cars and stopped in the middle of a street.

Following the raid, Palestinian resistance movements warned the Israeli enemy that the blood of the martyrs won’t go in vain, vowing that the Palestinian people will go ahead with all forms of resistance against the occupation.

Israeli raids in the West Bank have become increasingly deadly since the start of the year, with occupation forces brutally attacking the Palestinian cities and towns, causing high number of casualties.

The number of Palestinians martyred since the start of 2023 has surpassed 80, Palestinian media reported.

Source: Palestinian and Israeli media (translated and edited by Al-Manar English Website)

‘No Monopoly on Grief’: How Antisemitism is Used to Normalize Israeli Racism

February 7, 2023

Protest against the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of Antisemitism in London. (Photo: Video Grab)
– Jamal Kanj is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America, and other books. He writes frequently on Arab world issues for various national and international commentaries. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle

By Jamal Kanj

Imagine in post-apartheid South Africa if blacks practiced racism against whites, and then African American rights groups defended those policies under the pretext of slavery and past oppression of Africans.

There’s no need to imagine, that is exactly what major Jewish rights organizations, such as the Anti -Defamation League (ADL) had done to normalize Israel’s depopulation of Palestine since 1948, and continue to defend Israel’s apartheid practices against Palestinians, today. Not because of Jewish historical grievances against Palestinians, Arabs, or Muslims, but rather for the maltreatment of Jews in Europe.

To ensure the hegemony of the Zionist narratives, ADL, American Jewish Committee, Jewish Congress, AIPAC, etc., used the antisemitism label as an intellectual terror tool to silence critics of Israel equating them with Jewish haters. To the point where Jewish rights organizations’ adherence to the political Zionist project, Israel, is evident in their willingness to whitewash anti-Jewish tropes so long as the Jewish hater is inexplicably a friend of Israel. Conversely, they’d eagerly defile proven anti-racist civil rights pundits, including Jews, and international rights organizations if they dare to challenge Israeli policies.

The term, anti-Jewish hatred, is applied here instead of the sweeping antisemite political label so as not to clump Jewish haters with well-established Israeli and international rights groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, …etc. This is particularly important when supposed Jewish rights organizations purposefully convolute Jewish hate with fact-based political criticism of Israel.

Furthermore, the term Semite is often misused when ascribed to Jews with no proven genetic connections to the original Semites of Mesopotamia, and with an implicit racist intent to exclude non-Jewish Semitic people.

I’m cognizant of the sensitivity when comparing political Zionism to supremacist groups like the Nazis. However, as a Palestinian victim of the Zionist political project, who grew up in a refugee camp, and the son of parents who were refused the right of return to their own homes, simply because they were not Jewish, I understand the ills of dehumanization just like European Jews who suffered under the Nazi program.

To contextualize my proposition, I watched with disgust the appointment of the Jewish racist, Bezalel Smotrich, as a minister in the current Israeli government. The Ukrainian Jewish descendant once addressed a native Palestinian (Israeli) lawmaker stating: “You’re here by accident because (David) Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job.”

The “job” the most likely Khazar Jewish convert refers to is Ben-Gurion’s order to forcefully evict my parents, along with 780,000 other Palestinians from their homes in 1948, and razing more than 500 villages to the ground. The Palestinian (Israeli) lawmaker was an offspring of the 150,000 natives who managed to stay under the newly imposed state.

In juxtaposing the quintessential racist nature of the maligned oppressors, I am in no way comparing historical Jewish suffering to Palestinians’ pain. Just as I wouldn’t draw any comparison between the slavery of Africans and the ordeal of Aboriginals in the new world. Rather than competing on the scale of grief and victimhood, it would be more productive for all of us to acknowledge that pain is distinctive, individualistic, and real.

Equally, and in order to draw the appropriate conclusions, those experiences should be introduced within a contemporary context. For example, within roughly 15 years, WWII crimes against Jews were recognized, the new Germany acknowledged the harrowing atrocities of the Nazis, compensated victims or their progeny, and restituted their right to go back to their homes.

In contrast, 75 years later, the people of Palestine continue to endure Israeli apartheid occupation, and the expelled population or their descendants are refused the right of return to their original homes.

According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), when I demand justice for my expelled parents or when I contrast the sins of the Nazi attempts to depopulate Europe of Jews, and the Zionist depopulation of Palestine, IHRA characterizes this as “Anti-Semite.”

ADL, IHRA and others use the “antisemitic” political label as a blanket defense to censor public discourse, more so when they fail to argue facts and deeds regarding indefensible Israeli malevolent policies. For them, Israel is a sacred cow, and unlike other political entities they’d give themselves the right to criticize, Israel is untouchable, and above all, is immune from reproach by a Jew or gentile.

Additionally, they fail to provide empirical evidence that criticizing Israeli policies leads to Jewish hatred, nor is there any validation that revering Israel―the Anglicans and Trump’s veneration are just examples―curbs the rise of hate. To the contrary, there are reasons to believe that observed spikes of anti-Jewish incidents are linked to Jewish rights groups’ efforts to conflate Jewish values with Israel’s immoral policies more than anything else.

ADL, IHRA et al. have no monopoly on grief. Having been a victim of past injustice does not exonerate any group from inflecting future injustice. To quote the prominent Palestinian scholar, Edward Said, in his book Culture and Resistance, “there is a great difference between acknowledging Jewish oppression and using that as a cover for the oppression of another people.”

Exploiting the “antisemite” political label to blackmail critics of Israel is a cover for oppression, and it does not advance the fight against Jewish hatred. Instead, it exposes the hypocrisy of the tribal organizations, such as the ADL, and normalizes Israeli (Jewish) apartheid practices against Palestinians.


JANUARY 27TH, 2023



For how long will I be in captivity? After so many years, where are the state and the people of Israel? These were the words, uttered in Hebrew, of a person believed to be Avera Mengistu, an Israeli soldier of Ethiopian origin who was captured and held in Gaza in 2014.

Footage of Mengistu, looking nervous but also somewhat defiant, calling on his countrymen to end his 9-year incarceration mostly ended speculation in Israel on whether the soldier was alive or dead.

The timing of the release of the footage by Hamas was obvious, and is directly linked to the Palestinian group’s efforts aimed at conducting a prisoner exchange similar to the one carried out in 2011, which saw the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

The main target audience of Hamas’ message is the new government and, specifically, the new military leadership. Israel now has a new army chief, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, who has replaced the departing chief, Aviv Kochavi. The latter seemed disinterested in Mengistu’s cause, while the new chief arrives with lofty promises about uniting the country behind its military and opening a new page where the army is no longer involved in everyday politics.

It may appear that Hamas and other Gaza groups are in a stronger position than the one they enjoyed during Shalit’s captivity, between 2006 and 2011. Not only are they militarily stronger but, instead of capturing one Israeli, they have four: aside from Mengistu, they also have Hisham al-Sayed, and what is believed to be the remains of two other soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.

But this is when the story gets particularly complicated. Unlike Shalit, who is white and holds dual Israeli-French citizenship, Mengistu and al-Sayed are Ethiopian Jew and Bedouin, respectively.

Racism based on color and ethnicity is rife in Israel. Although no Israeli officials will admit to this openly, Israel is in no rush to rescue two men who are not members of the dominant Ashkenazi group, or even of the socially less privileged Sephardic or Mizrahi Jews.

Black Jews and Bedouins have always been placed at the bottom of Israel’s socio-economic indicators. In 2011, the Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post shared numbers from a disturbing report, which placed poverty among children of Ethiopian immigrants at a whopping 65 percent. The number is particularly staggering when compared to the average poverty rate in Israel, of 21 percent.

Mengistu, pictured right, poses in an undated family photo released to the media

Things have not improved much since then. The Israeli Justice Ministry’s annual report on racism complaints shows that 24 percent of all complaints are filed by Ethiopians. This racism covers most aspects of public life, from education to services to police mistreatment.

Not even enlisting in the military – Israel’s most revered institution – is enough to change Ethiopians’ position in Israeli society.

The famous story of Demas Fikadey in 2015 is a case in point. Then only 21, the Ethiopian soldier was beaten up severely by two Israeli police officers in a Tel Aviv suburb for no reason at all. The whole episode was caught on camera, leading to mass protests and even violent clashes. For Ethiopian Jews, the humiliation and violence carried out against Fikadey was a representation of years of suffering, racism and discrimination.

Many believe that the government’s lackluster response to Mengistu’s prolonged capture is directly linked to the fact that he is black.

Israel’s discriminatory behavior against African asylum seekers, which often leads to forceful deportation following humiliating treatment, is well known. Amnesty International described this in a report in 2018 as “a cruel and misguided abandonment of responsibility”.

But discriminating against a black soldier, who, by Israel’s own estimation, is believed to suffer from mental illness, is a whole different kind of ‘abandonment.’

A former Israeli army official, Col. Moshe Tal did not mince words in a recent national radio interview when he said that Mengistu and al-Sayed are a low priority for the public “on the account of their race,” Haaretz reported.

“If we were speaking about two other citizens from other backgrounds and socio-economic statuses … the amount of interest would be different,” Tal said. In contrast to Shalit’s story, the government’s “attention to the affair (and) the media pulse is close to zero.”

Israel’s Ethiopian Jews number around 170,000, hardly an important political constituency in a remarkably divided and polarized society. Most of them are immigrants or descendants of immigrants who arrived in Israel between 1980 and 1992. Though they are still known as the Falasha, they are sometimes referred to by the more dignified name of ‘Beta Israel’ or ‘House of Israel.’

Superficial language alterations aside, their struggle is evident in everyday Israel. The plight of Mengistu, as expressed in his own question, “where are the state and the people of Israel?” sums up the sense of collective loss and alienation this community has felt for nearly two generations.

When Mengistu arrived with his family at the age of 5 in Israel, escaping a bloody civil war in Ethiopia and historic discrimination there, the family, like most Ethiopians, hardly knew that discrimination would follow them, even in the supposed land of ‘milk and honey’.

And, most likely, they also knew little about the plight of Palestinians, the native inhabitants of that historic land, who are victims of terrible violence, racism and much more.

Palestinians know well why Israel has done little to free the black soldier; Mengistu and his Ethiopian community also understand how race is an important factor in Israeli politics. Although a prisoner exchange could potentially free Mengistu and an unspecified number of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, the suffering of the Palestinians at the hands of Israel and discrimination against Ethiopian Jews will carry on for much longer.

While Palestinians are resisting Israel’s military occupation and apartheid, Ethiopian Jews should mount their own resistance for greater rights. Their resistance must be predicated on the understanding that Palestinians and Arabs are not the enemy but potential allies in a joint fight against racism, apartheid and socio-economic marginalization.

‘Israel’ urges settlers to downplay ‘identity’ at Qatar World Cup


Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Israeli media urges illegal Israeli settlers in the Qatar World Cup to be less visibly Israeli, after being shunned by fans around the world.

Israeli media reported that the occupation’s government urged Israelis attending the World Cup tournament in Qatar “to be less visibly Israeli”. 

The Israeli occupation pressed Israelis to keep a low profile, most notably hiding Israeli symbols — in reference to “Israeli flags and Stars of David”.

While Israeli officials voiced hope that “a positive, hassle-free Israeli presence in Qatar could advance “Israel’s” ambitions to further integrate into the region after the normalization deals,” as per Israeli media, the situation on the ground dashed their hopes, as football fans from all around the world have been snubbing Israeli journalists in the country.

Israeli journalists failed to interview World Cup fans, most notably Arabs, despite exerting strained efforts, illustrating that the normalization deals inked by four Arab countries with the Israeli occupation don’t convey the sentiments of their nationals.

Meanwhile, fans around the world also shunned Israeli journalists in protest against the brutal human rights violations “Israel” commits against Palestinians.

Since the World Cup kicked off, there have been various videos that went viral of fans refusing to be interviewed by Israeli media.

Israeli Channel 12’s reporter hinted that Israeli authorities are “concerned about what is happening with the Israelis in Qatar.” In response, Channel 12‘s Nir Dvori backed the occupation’s request that Israelis conceal their “identity”.

Occupation media also revealed that “the occupation authorities protested against the treatment of Israelis in Qatar.”

“The Qatar World Cup has brought ‘Israel’ face to face with an unpleasant truth and harsh reality that is extremely painful for Israelis, as for the first time all those Israelis who to date have been so enthusiastic about the Arab or Persian Gulf, have now had their first bitter taste of the rejection, disregard, and refusal to accept Israelis in an Arab Muslim state,” according to an article in the Israeli newspaper “Israel Hayom” titled “Qatar World Cup shows ‘Israel’ is still hated.”

“All those who claim that the inhabitants of the Gulf states harbor no ill will toward the ‘State of Israel’, have now seen their theory shot to pieces and have woken up to an entirely different reality,” it added.

Related Stories

How it Feels to Visit an Apartheid Country

An advertisement alongside the separation wall in East Jerusalem. Here the wall divides a Palestinian neighbourhood so as to limit the numbers of Palestinians in official Jerusalem. Photo by Philip Weiss.

Philip Weiss


Racial profiling in Israel is rampant. Abuse and invective are normal. This is the daily machinery of separating Jews from Arabs

Every time I visit Israel and Palestine I come home so struck by the injustice that I say to myself, Well you are a writer, you should be able, in 1,000 words or so, to convey the enormity of what you have seen so that the system falls apart like a house of cards for an American reader. This is my latest effort to do just that.

The main impression I had on this visit, is the feeling of Separation. I was bowled over by how separate the Israeli Jews are from the Palestinians, and the huge efforts undertaken to prevent mixing of cultures. When you go through the airport or West Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, you feel like you are in a city in Eastern Europe. I saw no men in the airport in traditional Arab dress. I saw a few women wearing the hijab. You don’t see many Arabic signs. You don’t see displays of Arab crafts or furnishings, you don’t see the sights and smells of Arab markets or street life. No, the Zionists brought their own society to the Middle East.

All the time you are here you reflect that you are plunk in the middle of the “Arab world.” Not long ago, the culture here was largely Muslim. A few decades ago, you could catch a bus from Jerusalem to Damascus, or Beirut, or Cairo, or Amman or Baghdad. Now you can’t do any of that. Jerusalem has been declared the “eternal capital of the Jewish people,” and there are high walls topped by concertina wire to separate it from the Arab masses. A historic Palestinian neighbourhood was bulldozed so that Jews could sanctify the Western Wall, ala the Vatican. And even liberal Zionists idealize this separation. The late novelist Amos Oz said that Jews and Palestinians need a “divorce” and separate houses, and he is a hero to J Street and Americans for Peace Now.

Israel really has established an outpost of civilization, as it conceives these matters, in a very traditional colonial mindset.

Any time you cross over into that other world, you must go through militarized checkpoints, and the culture is entirely different. The roads are narrower, the signs are mostly in Arabic. Many people wear traditional dress, and the street life strikes this foreigner as Arab.

The amazing thing about Israel is that it has pulled off colonization in an anti-colonial era. But I am not trying to analyze it, just to convey the feeling. It feels weird and unfair that the Zionists have imposed this order, and they understand this. They know it’s unfair, and so there are guns everywhere and the voters have lately elevated a racist fascist, Itamar Ben-Gvir, because Israelis know that Palestinians don’t like being a subject people, so they must preserve the order through brute force and power politics. You see the brute force all around. All the young soldiers on the buses or in the roads with their guns dangling at their sides. They’re not here for the Syrians or the Egyptians or the Jordanians, or Iraqis, Israel’s enemies of old. No, they’re here for the Palestinians on the other side of those concrete walls, because Palestinians resist the whole idea of a “Jewish state.”

As you would too if it were established in your city.

The racial profiling is rampant before your eyes. I sauntered through Damascus Gate at midnight. The young Palestinian just behind me got stopped by soldiers demanding his ID card.

Of course, Israelis speak of what a bad neighbourhood they live in. The only answer to that propaganda is that if you throw people out of their houses and off their land and live there for 75 years without any gesture to make things right, no you just keep on taking their property, I promise you—you will live in a bad neighbourhood.

Here is a simple proof of the unfairness. Every day Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories use money on which is imprinted the portraits of men who directed their ethnic cleansing and massacres. They travel inside Israel on roads named after these men too. I found this unsettling and embarrassing, being a witness to such humiliation. In talking to Palestinians in Haifa, I caught the name Ben-Gurion Avenue in my throat—I was afraid the mere utterance would damage their dignity.

I often thought about the promotion back in the U.S. of the “startup nation,” with its biotech and cyber industries that are said to help the world. The miraculous startup nation justifies its presence with its material advantages and Nobel Prizes (one Nobelist came to a shiva I attended in Jerusalem) as if that makes its rule acceptable to Palestinians. But of course it doesn’t. They have fewer or no rights, and it is rubbed in their faces all the time. There is something crude and dispiriting about this; you don’t perpetuate apartheid without consequences to all concerned. The journalist Tom Dallal shared with me this photo of riding a train with a soldier who pointed his gun between his legs the whole time without regarding it as rude or unusual.

When a Palestinian in Ramallah asked if it was offensive to American Jewish visitors to compare Israeli soldiers to Nazis, my colleague Scott Roth shook his head and said the Holocaust is pertinent. “You can’t build a society on trauma. They built Israeli society on trauma.”

Roth says that Israel brings out the worst in people. He wandered into the King David Hotel lobby one morning and saw a group of American visitors looking at the famous signatures set in tiles in the floor, and one began jumping up and down on Obama’s signature, laughing as she called out expletives. This kind of abuse and invective is normal here. Just look at the picture Itamar Ben-Gvir posted recently of the Palestinian politician Ahmad Tibi wheeling a suitcase in Ben Gurion airport. “Great news. Leave and don’t come back” (Michael Koplow’s translation).

You feel that crudeness and the tension. A Palestinian friend told me that when he visited New York recently he experienced visceral shock in a restaurant when he heard a loud Israeli conversation at a nearby table. “There is a word in Arabic that means to feel electrocuted—batkahrab,” he said. “These are the same voices that when I usually hear them, they are shouting at me that I have done something wrong.” Yes, young soldiers, barking at my friend, an architect in his 40s.

You feel the tragedy of it. You observe that Palestinians are human beings just like anyone with aspirations and dreams and pride and dignity, and yet you see them being put down before your eyes and having to bear it to survive. I keep thinking of a girl of 20 or 21 with earphones and fashionable clothing getting off the bus at Qalandiya checkpoint with her bag over her arm, that said, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. She reminded me of me and my friends at her age, showing off our taste. But she has no freedom of movement, and no political rights.

That’s my overwhelming sense of this visit. People not very different from me are persecuted at every turn. Many international human rights organizations have now laid out the apartheid argument in systematic legal analyses. I can only tell you about the feeling of it: Everywhere you go these Arab people are to be separated from the Jewish state and their culture erased. The shame I felt as a Jewish person is unquantifiable, and is the reason I will keep doing this work. Jewish values meant one thing when I was raised—“That which is obnoxious to you don’t do to another person,” in Hillel’s words. Or as Americans say, the Golden Rule. That value is trashed everywhere I went in Israel and Palestine.

It can’t last. When you see an unfair arrangement balanced totally on massive military and financial advantage and power politics, but unbearable to the subjugated people, history tells you it can’t last. Even the State Department acknowledges this when they say “the status quo is unsustainable.” When and how it falls who can say. But it can’t last.

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005.

This article originally appeared on Mondoweiss.net.

Netanyahu returns, but Israel’s political and military landscape has changed

Bibi is back, leading Israel’s most right-wing government but also facing unprecedented Palestinian resistance and global turmoil.

November 06 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Abdel Bari Atwan

While the Arab Summit in Algeria affirmed its adherence to the so-called ‘Arab Peace Initiative’ as a final solution to the Palestinian issue, Israel’s response came quickly and resolutely with the return to power of Benjamin Netanyahu and the anti-Arab religious Likud bloc.

In the 1 November legislative elections, Israelis voted in large numbers for the anti-Arab, racist, religious parties, which openly embrace a policy of killing and expelling Palestinians from all of occupied Palestine, and promote a solely Jewish-Zionist identity of the country.

The “Jewish Power” party, which won 15 seats, and is led by the two most racist figures in the short history of the Jewish state, Bezael H. Cherish and his deputy Itamar Ben Gvir, will be the backbone of Netanyahu’s coalition government.

The leader of this party, which will be the most prominent partner of the Arab monarchs who signed peace agreements with Israel, has called for killing Arabs, expelling them and wrapping the bodies of the martyrs in pigskin “in honor” of them.

Normalization the new norm

Nonetheless, it is likely that red carpets will be laid out for Ben Gvir and Netanyahu in Arab capitals, where they will enjoy Arab hospitality and drink from their gilded goblets. Indeed, there is no difference between the winning Israeli coalition and the defeated one (Lapid-Gantz).

Both converge on their mutual hostility and hatred of Arabs and Muslims. General Benny Gantz, the Israeli Minister of Defense in the previous government, used to boast that he was the Israeli who killed the largest number of Arabs – and this is true, as his government has killed 166 Palestinians since the beginning of this year.

There is a silver lining, however: This racist government will hasten Israel’s demise and lead to its inevitable end, not at the hands of the battered Arab armies, but at the hands of the Palestinian resistance and their regional allies, their missiles and drones.

There are three steps that the Netanyahu government and his extremist coalition may take upon assuming power:

First, a return to reviving the Trump-era ‘Deal of the Century,’ the annexation of the West Bank, and the deportation of most of its Palestinian residents to Jordan as an “alternative homeland.”

Second, the escalation of incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the consolidation of Jewish control over East Jerusalem, and the obliteration of its Arab and Islamic identity. The first step may be dividing it on the model of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, then demolishing it, and erecting the alleged “temple” on its ruins.

Third, the canceling or freezing of the maritime border demarcation agreement with Lebanon, similar to what happened to the Oslo Accords with Palestinians. Netanyahu announced his intent to do so openly in his election campaign.

This option appears especially likely given that extraction of gas and oil from the Karish field has already begun, while the Qana field, which was “partially” recognized as Lebanese, remains untouched, with no surveys or exploration conducted until this moment.

It is likely that the Lebanese gas fields will lay dormant for the foreseeable future. The same US mediators did not guarantee the implementation of even 1 per cent of the Oslo Accords, and they will most likely not guarantee the rights of the Lebanese people.

Renewed Palestinian armed resistance

But Netanyahu is set to assume control over a very different state of affairs, both domestically and internationally. For starters, Israel is facing an escalating internal conflict, and most importantly, a revived intifada in the form of West Bank armed resistance.

We cannot talk about West Bank resistance without discussing the phenomenon of The Lions’ Den whose political and military influence is expanding, while the Palestinian public’s embrace of the movement is growing. Not a day passes without witnessing a commando operation in various parts of the West Bank; in Nablus, Jenin and Hebron – later in Ramallah, and then in the pre-1948 occupied Palestinian territories.

Netanyahu may succeed in including one or two more Arab governments in the Abraham Accords, which was signed under his last premiership. However, such political acrobatics will have no value in light of the “awakening” of the Palestinian people and their return to armed resistance.

The returning Netanyahu will not forget the May 2021 battle of the “Sword of Jerusalem” that humiliated him, and its missiles that isolated the occupying state for more than 11 days, forcing millions of Israeli settler-colonizers into shelters and bunkers.

These missiles are still present and ready, along with hundreds of armed drones. Perhaps it is also worth reminding the incoming Israeli Prime Minister of how he ended an electoral meeting in the city of Ashdod (my ancestors’ hometown) and fled in terror from the 400 missiles launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement in retaliation for the assassination of its leader, Baha Abu al-Atta.

Just another day in the office?

The “Israel” to which Netanyahu returns is not the same Israel he left, and the world he knew when he was last in power, is not the same world today. His US supporter is mired in an unprecedented proxy war of attrition with Russia in Ukraine, where his co-religionist, Volodymyr Zelensky, has so far lost about a fifth of his country’s territory, and has plunged it into darkness and despair.

While Netanyahu is viewed as as being close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, that friendship had deepened before the Ukraine war. The situation has now changed dramatically, and he will be forced to choose between Washington and Moscow in an era of multipolarity.

As for the Lions’ Den, they have effectively changed all the equations and rules of engagement in occupied Palestine – and perhaps in the Arab world as well – and within this context will actually “welcome” the hardliner Netanyahu’s return to power.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

%d bloggers like this: