Said Odeh’s Legacy, Months after Israeli Forces Killed Him

Three months ago I wrote to you with the news that Israeli forces shot dead 16-year-old Said Yousef Mohammad Odeh in Odala, a village located near Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

Since then, my team spoke with Said’s family and friends to hear their reflections on his life and the impact of his brutal killing. I’d like to invite you to watch and share this four-minute video where Said’s mother, father, cousin, football teammate, and uncle—who was the paramedic that reached Said’s body after being blocked by Israeli soldiers—grieve the loss of Said.

These four minutes paint a picture of a tight-knit community in a small Palestinian village living under Israeli occupation. When Israeli soldiers kill a Palestinian child, it affects all of us. Please share this video on Facebook and Twitter to honor Said’s memory and call for accountability for his killing.

In solidarity,
Ayed Abu Eqtaish
Defense for Children International – Palestine

Israeli soldiers killed an 11-year-old Palestinian boy

Then, during his funeral, they killed someone else


YUMNA PATEL, Mondoweiss, JULY 29, 2021

Moayyad al-Alami loved bringing his three children along with him when he would run errands in his hometown of Beit Ummar in the Hebron district of the southern occupied West Bank. 

It was something he enjoyed doing, as it was a chance for him to spend time with his kids when he wasn’t working. So on Wednesday afternoon when his wife asked him to pick up some groceries before lunch, Moayyad took his three children, Mohammed, 11, Anan, 9, and Ahmed, 5, along with him. 

“We arrived at the entrance of our street, and Mohammed asked me to turn around and go back to the store, because he forgot to buy a snack that he really wanted,” al-Alami told Mondoweiss, adding that there were Israeli soldiers in the area — not an uncommon site for the family, who live right next to a permanent Israeli military base at the entrance of the town. 

“So I put the car in reverse and started turning around, and all of a sudden I heard shouting and gunshots,” he recounted. “I just started driving away, and yelled at the kids to put their heads down. I didn’t know what to do”

After driving for about 200 meters, with his head ducked down beneath the steering wheel, al-Alami lifted his head up to turn to the back seat and see if his kids were okay. 

“I saw Ahmed crouched on the floor, and Mohammed was laying in his sister’s lap,” he said. “I started telling Mohammed that he could get up, and that the soldiers were gone, but he wouldn’t get up. And then I saw the blood.”

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Watch My Neighbourhood, the story of Sheikh Jarrah

A remarkable, nonviolent struggle against settlement expansion in East Jerusalem

Mohammed El Kurd is a Palestinian boy growing up in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in the heart of East Jerusalem. When Mohammed turns 11, his family is forced to give up part of their home to Israeli settlers, who are leading a campaign of court-sanctioned evictions to guarantee Jewish control of the area.

Shortly after their displacement, Mohammed’s family and other residents begin holding unarmed protests against the evictions, determined not to lose their homes for good. In a surprising turn, they are quickly joined by scores of Israeli supporters who are horrified to see what is being done in their name. Among them is Jewish West Jerusalem resident Zvi Benninga and his sister Sara, who develop a strong relationship with Mohammed and his family as they take on a leading role in organizing the protests.

Through their personal stories, My Neighbourhood goes beyond the sensational headlines that normally dominate discussions of Jerusalem and captures voices rarely heard, of those striving for a future of equality and pluralism in the city.

My Neighbourhood follows Mohammed as he comes of age in the midst of unrelenting tension and remarkable cooperation in his backyard. Highlighting Mohammed’s own reactions to the highly volatile situation, reflections from family members and other evicted residents, accounts of Israeli protesters and interviews with Israeli settlers, the film chronicles the resolve of a neighbourhood and the support it receives from the most unexpected of places.

My Neighbourhood is directed and produced by Rebekah Wingert-Jabi, who documented Mohammed’s story over two years, and acclaimed filmmaker Julia Bacha. It is the latest production by Just Vision, an award-winning team of Palestinian, Israeli, North and South American filmmakers, journalists and human rights advocates dedicated to telling the stories of Israelis and Palestinians working nonviolently to achieve freedom, dignity, equality and human security in the region.

When anti-Black and anti-Palestinian racism converge


In his resignation letter Dr Cornel West warns of ‘an intellectual and spiritual bankruptcy’ in US academia [Getty]

Sahar F. Aziz, The New Arab, 23 Jul, 2021

It is no secret that Palestine is taboo in US academia. Harvard’s recent denial of tenure to renowned race scholar Cornel West is the most recent instance. 

For decades, Arab American faculty have faced tenure denial or termination; students have been reprimanded and some even criminally charged; and Middle East studies programmes are under constant threat of defunding.  All based on the fallacious claim that teaching, research, and activism that brings to light Israel’s rampant violations of Palestinian human rights is axiomatically anti-Semitic

Big donors, alumni, and well-funded legal advocacy groups unabashedly command university administrators to cancel classes and programmes aimed to provide students with the experiences and voices of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Never mind that cowering to such demands undermines a university’s most fundamental tenet: academic freedom. 

“Cowering to such demands undermines a university’s most fundamental tenet: academic freedom”

As they become ever more dependent on private donations and external grants to cover operational expenses, university administrators often oblige

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Inside The Deadly Fight to Save a Palestinian Village from Illegal Israeli Settlements

YUMNA PATEL AND MARC STEINER, The Real News Network, JULY 29, 2021

In early May, a group of Israeli settlers arrived with caravans and set up an illegal outpost on the top of Jabal Sabih on the outskirts of Beita, which is located in the northern occupied West Bank. Since then, every single day for more than two months, Palestinian protests against the settlements in the village have been nonstop—and the Israeli response to these protests has been severe and deadly.

Yumna Patel, the Palestine correspondent for Mondoweiss, went to Beita to cover this important story, producing a powerful short documentary, ‘Beita Is Undefeatable’, that details the on-the-ground struggle of Palestinians fighting against the violence of occupation. As part of TRNN’s partnership with Mondoweiss, we are publishing this documentary on our channel, along with an exclusive interview with Yumna Patel conducted by Marc Steiner, host of The Marc Steiner Show, which premieres every Tuesday on TRNN.

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Israeli forces raid DCIP office, confiscate computers and client files


Israeli soldiers confiscated computer equipment and client files in a dawn raid on Defense for Children International – Palestine’s main office in Al-Bireh on July 29. (Source: DCIP)

Defense for Children Palestine, July 29, 2021

Ramallah, July 29, 2021—Israeli forces raided Defense for Children International – Palestine’s headquarters in the central occupied West Bank, confiscating computers and client files, early Thursday morning.

Israeli paramilitary border police forces raided DCIP’s headquarters located in Al-Bireh’s Sateh Marhaba neighborhood, located just south of Ramallah around 5:15 a.m. on July 29. More than a dozen Israeli soldiers forced open the office’s locked front door and confiscated six desktop computers, two laptops, hard drives, and client files related to Palestinian child detainees represented by DCIP’s lawyers in Israel’s military courts. No documents were left in the office to give any indication of the reason for the raid, and they did not leave behind any receipt of materials seized.

“This latest act by Israeli authorities pushes forward an ongoing campaign to silence and eliminate Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations like DCIP,” said Khaled Quzmar, general director at DCIP. “Israeli authorities must immediately end efforts aimed at delegitimizing and criminalizing Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society organizations, and the international community must hold Israeli authorities accountable.”

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Channel 12 News report: Settler violence in the South Hebron Hills

Breaking the Silence, Jul 26, 2021

Last Friday night, 15 minutes of the main evening news broadcast on Channel 12 – one of the programs with the highest viewer ratings in Israel – were dedicated to journalist Yigal Mosko’s report on the unbelievable reality of the South Hebron hills. The report covered several of the main issues we have been campaigning on for years: Palestinian children who need military protection in order to get to and from school every day because of the very real threat of being attacked by settlers; military training exercises taking place inside Palestinian villages; frequent demolitions of Palestinian homes and confiscation of their property; settler violence against Palestinians, while soldiers protect the attackers; and the presence and constant construction of more and more settler outposts – illegal even under Israeli law but connected to Israel’s water and electricity infrastructure.

None of this would be possible if it weren’t for the State of Israel’s complicity, and sometimes even its active encouragement. Children wouldn’t need to be accompanied to school by soldiers every day for the past 17 years if the law were enforced on their settler attackers in the first place. Homes wouldn’t have to be demolished if Israel’s Civil Administration weren’t to reject 97% of requests for permits by Palestinians. And of course, none of this would be the case if Israel weren’t to maintain a military regime in the territories for all of these years.

It’s been far too long since any of this was given the proper, prime-time attention it deserves, exposing the Israeli mainstream to some of the ugliest aspects of the occupation. But people outside of Israel need to be aware of this reality too.

At the start of this post we called this reality ‘unbelievable’ – because it’s so far away from any of the most basic norms that any of us would take for granted in a democratic country. You really need to see it to believe it. Take 15 minutes to watch the report, and once you’ve done so, download our new collection of soldiers’ testimonies on settler violence, many of which describe the exact same reality as shown in the report.

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Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran soldiers who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. We endeavor to stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are engaged in the control of that population’s everyday life. Our work aims to bring an end to the occupation.