Tali Shapiro continues her weekly instalments of the Bil’in protests against Israeli apartheid at Pulse. This week the villagers dress as assassinated famous Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali’s iconic Handala and carry the symbolic key of 1948, to remember the hideous zionist-inflicted Nakba.
Palestinian rights advocate, Ali Abunimah makes mincemeat of Israeli strategist Mordechai Kedar, who froths with hateful racial supremacist fury.
In an interview with Al Aribya TV, Obama indicates US policy has changed in regard to the Middle East:
Much of the interview was spent defining the new approach that the United States would implement in that region: respectfulness over divisiveness, listening over dictating, engagement over militarism.
INTERVIEW OF THE PRESIDENT BY HISHAM MELHEM, AL ARABIYA
5:46 P.M. EST
Q Mr. President, thank you for this opportunity, we really appreciate it.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much.
Q Sir, you just met with your personal envoy to theMiddle East, Senator Mitchell. Obviously, his first task is to consolidate the cease-fire. But beyond that you’ve been saying that you want to pursue actively and aggressively peacemaking between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Tell us a little bit about how do you see your personal role, because, you know, if the President of the United States is not involved, nothing happens — as the history of peacemaking shows. Will you be proposing ideas, pitching proposals, parameters, as one of your predecessors did? Or just urging the parties to come up with their own resolutions, as your immediate predecessor did?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the most important thing is for the United States to get engaged right away. And George Mitchell is somebody of enormous stature. He is one of the few people who have international experience brokering peace deals.
And so what I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating — in the past on some of these issues — and we don’t always know all the factors that are involved. So let’s listen. He’s going to be speaking to all the major parties involved. And he will then report back to me. From there we will formulate a specific response.
Ultimately, we cannot tell either the Israelis or the Palestinians what’s best for them. They’re going to have to make some decisions. But I do believe that the moment is ripe for both sides to realize that the path that they are on is one that is not going to result in prosperity and security for their people. And that instead, it’s time to return to the negotiating table.
And it’s going to be difficult, it’s going to take time. I don’t want to prejudge many of these issues, and I want to make sure that expectations are not raised so that we think that this is going to be resolved in a few months. But if we start the steady progress on these issues, I’m absolutely confident that the United States — working in tandem with the European Union, with Russia, with all the Arab states in the region — I’m absolutely certain that we can make significant progress.
Q You’ve been saying essentially that we should not look at these issues — like the Palestinian-Israeli track and separation from the border region — you’ve been talking about a kind of holistic approach to the region. Are we expecting a different paradigm in the sense that in the past one of the critiques — at least from the Arab side, the Muslim side — is that everything the Americans always tested with the Israelis, if it works. Now there is an Arab peace plan, there is a regional aspect to it. And you’ve indicated that. Would there be any shift, a paradigm shift?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, here’s what I think is important. Look at the proposal that was put forth by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia —
THE PRESIDENT: I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal, but it took great courage —
THE PRESIDENT: — to put forward something that is as significant as that. I think that there are ideas across the region of how we might pursue peace.
I do think that it is impossible for us to think only in terms of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and not think in terms of what’s happening with Syria or Iran or Lebanon or Afghanistan and Pakistan. These things are interrelated. And what I’ve said, and I think Hillary Clinton has expressed this in her confirmation, is that if we are looking at the region as a whole and communicating a message to the Arab world and the Muslim world, that we are ready to initiate a new partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest, then I think that we can make significant progress.
Now, Israel is a strong ally of the United States. They will not stop being a strong ally of the United States. And I will continue to believe that Israel’s security is paramount. But I also believe that there are Israelis who recognize that it is important to achieve peace. They will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side.
And so what we want to do is to listen, set aside some of the preconceptions that have existed and have built up over the last several years. And I think if we do that, then there’s a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs.
Q I want to ask you about the broader Muslim world, but let me — one final thing about the Palestinian-Israeli theater. There are many Palestinians and Israelis who are very frustrated now with the current conditions and they are losing hope, they are disillusioned, and they believe that time is running out on the two-state solution because — mainly because of the settlement activities in Palestinian-occupied territories. Will it still be possible to see a Palestinian state — and you know the contours of it — within the first Obama administration?
THE PRESIDENT: I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian state — I’m not going to put a time frame on it — that is contiguous, that allows freedom of movement for its people, that allows for trade with other countries, that allows the creation of businesses and commerce so that people have a better life.
And, look, I think anybody who has studied the region recognizes that the situation for the ordinary Palestinian in many cases has not improved. And the bottom line in all these talks and all these conversations is, is a child in the Palestinian Territories going to be better off? Do they have a future for themselves? And is the child in Israel going to feel confident about his or her safety and security? And if we can keep our focus on making their lives better and look forward, and not simply think about all the conflicts and tragedies of the past, then I think that we have an opportunity to make real progress.
But it is not going to be easy, and that’s why we’ve got George Mitchell going there. This is somebody with extraordinary patience as well as extraordinary skill, and that’s what’s going to be necessary.
Q Absolutely. Let me take a broader look at the whole region. You are planning to address the Muslim world in your first 100 days from a Muslim capital. And everybody is speculating about the capital. (Laughter.) If you have anything further, that would be great.
How concerned are you — because, let me tell you, honestly, when I see certain things about America — in some parts, I don’t want to exaggerate — there is a demonization of America.
THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely.
Q It’s become like a new religion, and like a new religion it has new converts — like a new religion has its own high priests.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
Q It’s only a religious text.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
Q And in the last — since 9/11 and because of Iraq, that alienation is wider between the Americans and — and in generations past, the United States was held high. It was the only Western power with no colonial legacy.
THE PRESIDENT: Right.
Q How concerned are you and — because people sense that you have a different political discourse. And I think, judging by (inaudible) and Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden and all these, you know — a chorus —
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I noticed this. They seem nervous.
Q They seem very nervous, exactly. Now, tell me why they should be more nervous?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that when you look at the rhetoric that they’ve been using against me before I even took office —
Q I know, I know.
THE PRESIDENT: — what that tells me is that their ideas are bankrupt. There’s no actions that they’ve taken that say a child in the Muslim world is getting a better education because of them, or has better health care because of them.
In my inauguration speech, I spoke about: You will be judged on what you’ve built, not what you’ve destroyed. And what they’ve been doing is destroying things. And over time, I think the Muslim world has recognized that that path is leading no place, except more death and destruction.
Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries.
Q The largest one.
THE PRESIDENT: The largest one, Indonesia. And so what I want to communicate is the fact that in all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I’ve come to understand is that regardless of your faith — and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers — regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams.
And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.
But ultimately, people are going to judge me not by my words but by my actions and my administration’s actions. And I think that what you will see over the next several years is that I’m not going to agree with everything that some Muslim leader may say, or what’s on a television station in the Arab world — but I think that what you’ll see is somebody who is listening, who is respectful, and who is trying to promote the interests not just of the United States, but also ordinary people who right now are suffering from poverty and a lack of opportunity. I want to make sure that I’m speaking to them, as well.
Q Tell me, time is running out, any decision on from where you will be visiting the Muslim world?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’m not going to break the news right here.
THE PRESIDENT: But maybe next time. But it is something that is going to be important. I want people to recognize, though, that we are going to be making a series of initiatives. Sending George Mitchell to the Middle East is fulfilling my campaign promise that we’re not going to wait until the end of my administration to deal with Palestinian and Israeli peace, we’re going to start now. It may take a long time to do, but we’re going to do it now. We’re going to follow through on our commitment for me to address the Muslim world from a Muslim capital. We are going to follow through on many of my commitments to do a more effective job of reaching out, listening, as well as speaking to the Muslim world.
And you’re going to see me following through with dealing with a drawdown of troops in Iraq, so that Iraqis can start taking more responsibility. And finally, I think you’ve already seen a commitment, in terms of closing Guantanamo, and making clear that even as we are decisive in going after terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians, that we’re going to do so on our terms, and we’re going to do so respecting the rule of law that I think makes America great.
Q President Bush framed the war on terror conceptually in a way that was very broad, “war on terror,” and used sometimes certain terminology that the many people — Islamic fascism. You’ve always framed it in a different way, specifically against one group called al Qaeda and their collaborators. And is this one way of —
THE PRESIDENT: I think that you’re making a very important point. And that is that the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations — whether Muslim or any other faith in the past — that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name.
And so you will I think see our administration be very clear in distinguishing between organizations like al Qaeda — that espouse violence, espouse terror and act on it — and people who may disagree with my administration and certain actions, or may have a particular viewpoint in terms of how their countries should develop. We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down.
But to the broader Muslim world what we are going to be offering is a hand of friendship.
Q Can I end with a question on Iran and Iraq then quickly?
THE PRESIDENT: It’s up to the team —
MR. GIBBS: You have 30 seconds. (Laughter.)
Q Will the United States ever live with a nuclear Iran? And if not, how far are you going in the direction of preventing it?
THE PRESIDENT: You know, I said during the campaign that it is very important for us to make sure that we are using all the tools of U.S. power, including diplomacy, in our relationship with Iran.
Now, the Iranian people are a great people, and Persian civilization is a great civilization. Iran has acted in ways that’s not conducive to peace and prosperity in the region: their threats against Israel; their pursuit of a nuclear weapon which could potentially set off an arms race in the region that would make everybody less safe; their support of terrorist organizations in the past — none of these things have been helpful.
But I do think that it is important for us to be willing to talk to Iran, to express very clearly where our differences are, but where there are potential avenues for progress. And we will over the next several months be laying out our general framework and approach. And as I said during my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.
Q Shall we leave Iraq next interview, or just —
MR. GIBBS: Yes, let’s — we’re past, and I got to get him back to dinner with his wife.
Q Sir, I really appreciate it.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much.
Q Thanks a lot.
THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate it.
Q Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
END 6:03 P.M. EST
Listening would be a start – yet Mitchell will still have to deal with Hamas, who are the only legitimate democratically elected government of the Palestinian people.
France is working on easing up the Quartet’s views of Hamas, while Israel works even harder to prevent Hamas being present at the negotiating table. Legitimate representation of the Palestinian people is dangerous for Israel, as then it would have to deal with legitimate requirements for land and peace for Palestine, compensation for Palestinian refugees and the end of the Occupation. While Israel tries to insist on Fatah and the PLA being representative, the Palestinian people themselves are unlikely to accept such puppetry.
Israeli diplomats in Europe have been reporting a new willingness in various European capitals to reevaluate international policy toward Gaza as well as the Quartet’s conditions for recognizing Hamas since the end of Operation Cast Lead. The latter includes abandoning terror, recognizing Israel and recognizing previous agreements between Israel and the PA.
Israeli officials are particular perturbed about recent comments by French diplomats, in off-the-record meetings, which claim Hamas cannot be ignored.
“We cannot return to the status quo that existed in Gaza before the Israel Defense Forces operation, and we must come up with creative solutions,” one diplomat said.
According to a senior source in Jerusalem, there has been a recent French effort to change the Quartet’s terms for recognizing Hamas. French diplomats have told their European colleagues, as well as Israel, that a Palestinian unity government including Hamas cannot be ruled out, pointing to Hezbollah’s participation in Lebanon’s government as an example.
“If the paralysis in the peace process and in the rehabilitation of Gaza continues, the efforts to soften the Quartet conditions will persevere,” an Israeli official said. “It’s uncertain that the boycott of Hamas will continue for much longer, especially if a Palestinian unity government is formed.”
Indicating that a unified Palestinian ‘government’ might be an acceptable as negotiator, France is showing the way forward for Mitchell. Will such a body be acceptable to Palestinians?
Chevallier said France was prepared to work with a Palestinian national unity government.
“We are ready to work with a national unity government that will respect the principles of the peace process and commit itself to negotiations with Israel to obtain the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security,” Chevallier said.
His comments followed remarks by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which Ban said the United Nations could work with any united Palestinian government to rebuild the Gaza Strip.
Hamas softens its stance to Obama:
After earlier dismissing Obama as following the same policies as his predecessor, officials from the militant Palestinian Hamas group softened their stance against the new president Tuesday.
“In the last couple of days there have been a lot of statements (from Obama), some of them very positive, and choosing this George Mitchell as an envoy,” said Ahmed Youssef, a senior Hamas official interviewed on the Doha-based Al-Jazeera news network. “I think there are some positive things we have to count.”
Some debate has occurred as to why Obama would choose Al Aribya instead of the much worthier Al Jazeera network – the Fringe particularly longs for Riz Khan to interview Obama.
A very well-informed (and well-connected) source in Saudi Arabia sent me this (she/he does not want to be identified): “Apparently, it [al-Arabiyya TV] has become unpopular in Saudi Arabia after Gaza. A man said, they never referred to the victims as martyrs(shohadaa) and the Saudi audience became incensed with their reference to the victims in Gaza. Actually, it has become hated.”
Committing a grave tactical error and displeasing Israeli shillseverywhere, Rice compared life in U.S. south to Palestinians’ plight:
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told a closed meeting of Arab and Israeli envoys in Annapolis this week that her childhood in the segregated U.S. south helped her to understand the plight of Palestinians and the fear felt by Israelis, the Dutch representative to the summit, Franz Timmermans, told the Washington Post on Thursday.
“I know what its like to hear that you can’t use a certain road, or pass through a checkpoint because you are a Palestinian. I know what it is like to feel discriminated against and powerless,” Rice was reported as saying.
Rice described her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama during the era of segregation and the killing of four young girls in the bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963. Rice said the bombing, which killed one of her classmates, helps her understand the fear of terrorism felt by Israelis.
“Like Israelis, I understand what it’s like to go to sleep not knowing if you will be hurt in an explosion, the feeling of terror walking around your own neighborhood, or walking to your house of prayer,” Rice was quoted in the Washington Post as saying.
The Washington Post’s article dealt with events that took place behind closed doors at the Annapolis summit on Tuesday.
According to the Post, Rice reportedly closed her statements by saying that both sides in the conflict had endured great pain and for far too long.
Henceforth Condi was to be marginalised, leading to her embarrassment by Olmert as he jumped over her head to Bush when it came to the US vote on UN Sec Council Res 1860.
Condi and Bush’s previous mistakes with Palestine are legend.
According to Dahlan, it was Bush who had pushed legislative elections in the Palestinian territories in January 2006, despite warnings that Fatah was not ready. After Hamas—whose 1988 charter committed it to the goal of driving Israel into the sea—won control of the parliament, Bush made another, deadlier miscalculation.
Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. The plan was for forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America’s behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. (The State Department declined to comment.)
But the secret plan backfired, resulting in a further setback for American foreign policy under Bush. Instead of driving its enemies out of power, the U.S.-backed Fatah fighters inadvertently provoked Hamas to seize total control of Gaza.
Some sources call the scheme “Iran-contra 2.0,” recalling that Abrams was convicted (and later pardoned) for withholding information from Congress during the original Iran-contra scandal under President Reagan. There are echoes of other past misadventures as well: the C.I.A.’s 1953 ouster of an elected prime minister in Iran, which set the stage for the 1979 Islamic revolution there; the aborted 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, which gave Fidel Castro an excuse to solidify his hold on Cuba; and the contemporary tragedy in Iraq.
Within the Bush administration, the Palestinian policy set off a furious debate. One of its critics is David Wurmser, the avowed neoconservative, who resigned as Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief Middle East adviser in July 2007, a month after the Gaza coup.
Wurmser accuses the Bush administration of “engaging in a dirty war in an effort to provide a corrupt dictatorship [led by Abbas] with victory.” He believes that Hamas had no intention of taking Gaza until Fatah forced its hand. “It looks to me that what happened wasn’t so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted before it could happen,” Wurmser says.
The botched plan has rendered the dream of Middle East peace more remote than ever, but what really galls neocons such as Wurmser is the hypocrisy it exposed. “There is a stunning disconnect between the president’s call for Middle East democracy and this policy,” he says. “It directly contradicts it.”
In public, Rice tried to look on the bright side of the Hamas victory. “Unpredictability,” she said, is “the nature of big historic change.” Even as she spoke, however, the Bush administration was rapidly revising its attitude toward Palestinian democracy.
Some analysts argued that Hamas had a substantial moderate wing that could be strengthened if America coaxed it into the peace process. Notable Israelis—such as Ephraim Halevy, the former head of the Mossad intelligence agency—shared this view. But if America paused to consider giving Hamas the benefit of the doubt, the moment was “milliseconds long,” says a senior State Department official. “The administration spoke with one voice: ‘We have to squeeze these guys.’ With Hamas’s election victory, the freedom agenda was dead.”
The first step, taken by the Middle East diplomatic “Quartet”—the U.S., the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations—was to demand that the new Hamas government renounce violence, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and accept the terms of all previous agreements. When Hamas refused, the Quartet shut off the faucet of aid to the Palestinian Authority, depriving it of the means to pay salaries and meet its annual budget of roughly $2 billion.
Israel clamped down on Palestinians’ freedom of movement, especially into and out of the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip. Israel also detained 64 Hamas officials, including Legislative Council members and ministers, and even launched a military campaign into Gaza after one of its soldiers was kidnapped. Through it all, Hamas and its new government, led by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, proved surprisingly resilient.
Washington reacted with dismay when Abbas began holding talks with Hamas in the hope of establishing a “unity government.” On October 4, 2006, Rice traveled to Ramallah to see Abbas. They met at the Muqata, the new presidential headquarters that rose from the ruins of Arafat’s compound, which Israel had destroyed in 2002.
On June 7, there was another damaging leak, when the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Abbas and Dayton had asked Israel to authorize the biggest Egyptian arms shipment yet—to include dozens of armored cars, hundreds of armor-piercing rockets, thousands of hand grenades, and millions of rounds of ammunition. A few days later, just before the next batch of Fatah recruits was due to leave for training in Egypt, the coup began in earnest.
Fatah’s Last Stand
The Hamas leadership in Gaza is adamant that the coup would not have happened if Fatah had not provoked it. Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas’s chief spokesman, says the leak in Al-Majd convinced the party that “there was a plan, approved by America, to destroy the political choice.” The arrival of the first Egyptian-trained fighters, he adds, was the “reason for the timing.” About 250 Hamas members had been killed in the first six months of 2007, Barhoum tells me. “Finally we decided to put an end to it. If we had let them stay loose in Gaza, there would have been more violence.”
“Everyone here recognizes that Dahlan was trying with American help to undermine the results of the elections,” says Mahmoud Zahar, the former foreign minister for the Haniyeh government, who now leads Hamas’s militant wing in Gaza. “He was the one planning a coup.”
Zahar and I speak inside his home in Gaza, which was rebuilt after a 2003 Israeli air strike destroyed it, killing one of his sons. He tells me that Hamas launched its operations in June with a limited objective: “The decision was only to get rid of the Preventive Security Service. They were the ones out on every crossroads, putting anyone suspected of Hamas involvement at risk of being tortured or killed.” But when Fatah fighters inside a surrounded Preventive Security office in Jabaliya began retreating from building to building, they set off a “domino effect” that emboldened Hamas to seek broader gains.
Just like it used Election Day in the U.S. as a chance to break the ceasefire, Israel used the Gaza invasion as a chance to confiscate even more West Bank land. Land confiscations in the West Bank are continuing, said Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs Jamal Bawatneh, and soon “there will be no land to hold a Palestinian state.” In a Tuesday letter the minister expressed his concern over the continued confiscations while “whole world was preoccupied with Gaza,” and accused Israel of using the attacks as a free-ticket to act in the West Bank. Hundreds of dunnums of lands in Yatta village [south of] Hebron were confiscated” during the Gaza invasion, said Bawatneh. He called on Arab and Islamic leaders to pay attention to the land grabs, and speak out against them.
There’s excellent historical coverage of Israeli military and terrortorial domination of Palestine in an article by Avi Shlaim at the The American Conservative Magazine “Captive Nation – How Gaza Became a Palestinian Prison”.
In August 2005, a Likud government headed by Ariel Sharon staged a unilateral Israeli pullout, withdrawing settlers and destroying the houses they left behind. Sharon presented the withdrawal as a contribution to peace based on a two-state solution. But the year after, another 12,000 Israelis settled on the West Bank, further reducing the scope for an independent Palestinian state. Land-grabbing and peace-making are simply incompatible.
The real purpose behind the move was to redraw the borders of Greater Israel by incorporating the main settlement blocs on the West Bank to the state of Israel. Withdrawal from Gaza was thus not a prelude to peace but to further Zionist expansion on the West Bank. It was a unilateral move undertaken in what was seen as the Israeli national interest.
Israel’s settlers were withdrawn, but Israeli soldiers continued to control all access to the Gaza Strip. The Israeli air force enjoyed unrestricted freedom to drop bombs, make sonic booms by flying low and breaking the sound barrier, and terrorize the hapless inhabitants.
Israel portrays itself as an island of democracy in a sea of authoritarianism. Yet Israel has never done anything to promote democracy on the Arab side and has done a great deal to undermine it. Israel has a long history of secret collaboration with reactionary Arab regimes to suppress Palestinian nationalism. Despite all the handicaps, the Palestinian people succeeded in building the only democracy in the Arab world with the possible exception of Lebanon. In January 2006, free and fair elections brought to power a Hamas-led government. Israel, however, refused to recognize the democratically elected government, claiming that Hamas is purely a terrorist organization.
America and the EU joined Israel in demonizing the Hamas government and trying to bring it down. A surreal situation thus developed with a significant part of the international community imposing sanctions not against the occupier but against the occupied.
Israel’s propaganda machine purveys the notion that the Palestinians are terrorists, that they reject coexistence with the Jewish state, that their nationalism is little more than antiSemitism, that Hamas is just a bunch of religious fanatics. But the truth is that the Palestinians are a normal people with normal aspirations. They want a piece of land on which to live in freedom and dignity.
Oppression by Israel on the West Bank continues – IOF Arrests 31 Palestinians in West Bank –
Palestinian security sources reported that IOF arrested, Tuesday, twenty four Palestinians, ten of whom in Hebron, one in Rafat village near Ramallah, two in Bethlehem, and four from Nablus villages.
One the same day, seven children were arrested from Toura Al-Gharbeyya village, near Jenin. The seven children were between 13 and 17 years of age.
On Wednesday, IOF attacked several villages in the West Bank, and arrested eight Palestinians; seven of whom from Qaryout village near Nablus, and one from Qabatya town south of Jenin.
In West Bank : Welcome to the Occupation, Scott Harris has a look at life in Israel’s ‘other’ concentration camp, or rather series of concentration camps in the West Bank.
Opposition to the wall has meant years of legal challenges and protests by the residents of Jayyous, often resulting in clashes with the IDF. In recent weeks, the IDF has fired live ammunition during marches to the southern gate, where many of the protests take place, or during army incursions into the village. On January 9, Khalil Ryash, a photojournalist from the Ma’an News Agency, was shot in the leg with live ammunition while covering a demonstration, as were two residents of the village the following week after IDF soldiers entered the village.