Life in Ruins: Gaza One Year On

B’Tselem, 08 May 2022

For 11 days, Israel relentlessly bombarded the Gaza Strip, one of the most crowded places on earth, killing 232 Palestinians. Almost a quarter of those killed were minors, and more than half were not taking part in the hostilities. Many were killed at home, with nowhere to run or hide. Thousands were injured and thousands lost everything they owned. A year on, B’Tselem’s field researchers in Gaza talked to people who lost their loved ones and homes. These are their testimonies.

Israeli forces kill two more Palestinians, another dies of wounds


Deceased on Wednesday: Bilal Awad Kabaha and Ayman Mahmoud Mheisin.

If Americans Knew, June 2, 2022

Invading Israeli forces have killed three Palestinians in 24 hours in separate incidents; a fourth died of wounds inflicted by Israel in May 2021.

Israeli forces also attacked the funeral procession for the young Palestinian woman killed, firing live bullets at mourners and tear gas directly into the crowd. At least one Palestinian was seriously wounded and being treated in hospital after being hit by a live bullet during the funeral.

Below are two reports on recent deaths of Palestinians at the hands of Israel.

By Al Jazeera Staff, reposted from Al Jazeera

Two Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank in separate incidents. [Another died in Egypt from wounds inflicted during Israel’s attack on Gaza in May 2021; a fourth died less than 24 hours ago.]

Ayman Mahmoud Mheisen, 29, was killed on Thursday morning during a pre-dawn Israeli military raid on the Dheisheh refugee camp in the southern city of Bethlehem, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Mheisen was the third Palestinian to be shot dead in the occupied West Bank in less than 24 hours. He was a father of three and a former prisoner who spent three years in Israeli jails, Palestinian prisoner rights groups said.

Separately, Israeli forces killed 24-year-old Bilal Awad Qabaha during a raid on the village of Yabad, outside of Jenin city in the northern West Bank late on Wednesday, the ministry said.

Qabaha was in a critical condition when he was transferred to a hospital in Jenin, where he died.

The army had raided Yabad in the evening to destroy the home of Diaa Hamarsheh, who carried out a shooting attack on March 29 in the town of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, killing five people. Hamarsheh was killed in a shoot-out with Israeli police at the scene.

The army also arrested Hamarsheh’s 59-year-old father, Ahmad, after the demolition.


[Translation: The moment the Diaa Hamarsheh family home was blown up in Yabad south of Jenin]

Israel destroys the homes of Palestinian assailants as part of a policy that has long been criticised by rights groups as collective punishment towards their families and towns.

Confrontations broke out with the Israeli army in Yabad shortly after the raid began, with several serious live ammunition injuries reported.

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If Not Now on Masafer Yatta

On Sunday, we saw Jewish supremacists march through the streets of Jerusalem, shouting racist chants like “Death to the Arabs” and “May your village burn.” We saw protesters spit on and pepper spray an elderly Palestinian woman. We saw violence against journalists – by marchers and police alike. From Jerusalem to the West Bank to Gaza, Palestinians face the endless, dehumanizing violence of occupation and apartheid.

It is our moral obligation to condemn this violent system, and to stand in its way wherever we can.

In a few days, I’ll be joining other IfNotNow members on a delegation of 50 diaspora Jews will arrive in the West Bank – to join with Palestinians who are working to save their homes from being demolished.

Masafer Yatta, a region in the West Bank that’s home to thousands of Palestinians, is facing an imminent threat to its existence, as the Israeli government prepares to enact the largest mass expulsion of Palestinians in six decades. Now is the time to get in the way – through co-resistance and disruptive action with Palestinians leading this effort to #SaveMasaferYatta.

What can you do? Amplify the delegation’s co-resistance work.

This trip is taking place through the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, an organization building networks of solidarity and co-resistance with Palestinians.

Sign up for updates and you’ll receive dispatches from the trip that you can share via email or social media.

Across the land, Palestinians are resisting – persevering to stay in their homes and on their land, fighting to live with dignity. They’re calling on us to show up and support their resistance.

We’re heeding the call. Will you?

In solidarity,
Elias Newman
IfNotNow

Act Now: Israel is trying to prevent us from visiting Palestine

Rep. Rashida Tlaib and other progressives are pushing back against Israel’s new procedures


Americans for Justice in Palestine Action

Did you know that new Israeli procedures set to be implemented next month will greatly restrict our ability to travel to the West Bank, live, work, teach, study, and reunite with family members there? They’ll even force U.S. citizens to provide Israel with incredibly intrusive information about the personal details of anyone we plan to visit in the West Bank, as well as any property our family stands to inherit. 

These procedures are meant to cut off relations between Palestinians in the West Bank and everyone in the outside world, deepen Israel’s pervasive surveillance of Palestinians, and to further dispossess Palestinian Americans of their land. 

Fortunately, some Members of Congress, led by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, are pushing back against these procedures and demanding information from the Biden administration to ensure that Israel reverses its discriminatory policies toward US citizens.

TAKE ACTION: Call & Email your Representative
& ask them to sign this Dear Colleague letter

These new Israeli procedures are even more outrageous considering that Israel desperately wants to join the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which would allow visa-free entry of Israeli citizens to the U.S.

However, this program requires that participating countries provide reciprocal, non-discriminatory treatment to U.S. citizens. Instead of ending Israel’s discriminatory policies, these new procedures would dramatically increase the discrimination it metes out to U.S. citizens based on their ethnicity, national origin, religion, and political opinions, something which even the State Department acknowledges has been a huge problem for decades! 

Rep. Tlaib’s Dear Colleague letter seeks to ensure that the U.S. complies with its own laws and refuses to allow Israel to enjoy this privilege at the same time it is ramping up its discriminatory entry policies.

TAKE ACTION today to make sure they join
this important congressional initiative.

How do we know that these procedures are discriminatory? Because they explicitly only apply to Palestinian-Americans, people wishing to visit or live with Palestinians in the West Bank, and study or teach at Palestinian universities. 

Of course, Israel will continue to allow U.S. citizens to live, work, visit, teach, or study in illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land. Another example of Israeli apartheid in action!

We can’t let this stand. Let’s build political pressure by getting your Representative to oppose these discriminatory Israeli policies!

Thank you for taking action against injustice and standing for Palestine; we won’t stop until it’s free. 

Sincerely,
Americans for Justice in Palestine Action

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June 4, 2022
Sidewalk Sale of Olive Oil, Crafts & Jewelry!

    1924 East Dayton Street, Madison
    (First Street between E. Washington and E. Johnson)
    8:00 am – 2:00 pm

    Rain Date is June 11

Palestine Partners, Playgrounds for Palestine, and Knitting for Peace would like to invite you to a Sidewalk Sale!

Palestine Partners will have beautifully hand-embroidered tote bags, pouches, purses, scarves, and pillow covers, and handmade earrings, necklaces and other crafts from the Women in Hebron Fair Trade Cooperative, all celebrating Palestine.

Playgrounds for Palestine will have Kufiyas, the beautiful traditional scarves of Palestine made by Palestine’s last surviving factory in Al Khalil, Hebron; Fair Trade Olive Oil from small farms in Palestine, Olive Oil Soap, and Zataar spice.

Plus Madison’s Knitting for Peace will offer beautifully hand-knit hats and other treasures made by women from Iraq and Syria who have resettled in Madison.

Stand with Palestine Yard Signs will also be available for purchase.

Hosted by Palestine Partners and Playgrounds for Palestine, with special guests from Knitting for Peace.

Celebrate Summertime! Please come out and support Palestinian artisans, farmers, and their communities as they continue to struggle against the health and economic impacts of COVID and increasing settler aggression throughout the West Bank.

You can also shop online at Palestine Partners, Playgrounds for Palestine, and Knitting for Peace.

June 3, 2020
Rev. Mitri Raheb Speaks in Madison

Rev. Mitri Raheb from Bethlehem speaks about his new book The Politics of Persecution: Middle Eastern Christians in an Age of Empire.

Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb served as pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, Palestine and is now the president of Bethlehem’s Dar al-Kalima University. Rev. Raheb’s newest book presents a less-familiar narrative about the situation of Christians in the Middle East.

Register online in advance or in person at the door.

Sponsored by Bright Stars of Bethlehem.

Save Masafer Yatta

change.org, 5 May 2020

Update: Israel’s High Court of Justice dismissed all the petitions against the forcible transfer of up to 1,200 Palestinians in a large part of Masafer Yatta that Israel has declared a closed military zone.


Masafer Yatta is an area in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank, which is home to twelve Palestinian villages totaling about 1,300 residents. The area is spread out over about 35,000 dunam of land, where agricultural communities have lived for generations.
In opposition to international law, which prohibits the expulsion of a population from its land and the use of occupied land for military training, in the early 1980s, the Israeli army declared the area Firing Zone 918, in order to dispossess Palestinians from their homes and strengthen Israeli settlements in the area.

Since this declaration, residents have lived under the daily threat of demolitions, evictions, and dispossession. Families in Masafer Yatta are denied access to their land, roads, sources of water, schools, medical services, and hospitals. This is in addition to nearly daily violence from settlers in the region.

The legal outcome for the area remains a question, as residents await a court ruling which will determine their futures. On March 15, 2022, the Israeli Supreme Court held a hearing to discuss the fate of the communities of Masafer Yatta. In the coming months, the court is likely to make a final decision in the case and determine whether hundreds of families will be forcibly expelled from their lands and homes. If the Supreme Court decides to permit the expulsion of residents, it will be one of the largest expulsions carried out by the State of Israel in recent decades, an alarming precedent that could lead to further expulsions across the West Bank, and a further escalation of Israel’s policies of annexation and Apartheid.

We must not stand by quietly as Israel evicts entire communities. We cannot allow Apartheid to go unchallenged.

Sign the petition.

Please join our Facebook group to receive updates on the situation.

Jewish mobs attack Palestinians during Jerusalem rampage


Israeli Jewish extremists marching through the Old City of Jerusalem to celebrate its occupation and colonization, on 29 May 2022. (Mustafa Bader, ZUMA Press Wire)

Tamara Nassar, The Electronic Intifada, 30 May 2022

Tens of thousands of Israeli Jewish ultranationalists marched through Jerusalem on Sunday to demonstrate their hatred towards Palestinians and assert dominance over the militarily occupied city.

Many attacked Palestinians and chanted for genocide.

This was part of the annual “March of the Flags” on Jerusalem Day, a holiday invented by Israel to celebrate its occupation and colonization of the city in 1967.

Over 2,600 extremists entered the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday, an unprecedented number, according to Israeli media.

A large crowd also gathered at the iconic Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City, waving the flags of Israel and the anti-Palestinian Jewish nationalist group Lehava:

Israeli Jews began their provocations early in the day. Reporters noted that they were more violent and confrontational on Sunday than in previous years.

Footage shared by Haaretz journalist Nir Hasson shows Israelis throwing a chair and other objects at Palestinians, who throw objects back:

A Word from Jeff Halper on “Jerusalem Day”

Jeff Halper, ICAHD, May 29, 2022

Today, Sunday, May 29, the Jewish state of Israel will carry out a government-sponsored pogrom on the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. “Jerusalem Day,” the annual Israeli celebration of the conquest and illegal annexation of the Old City and “East” Jerusalem, has been called the “national holiday of the settlers.” If Independence Day on May 15 marks the UN vote in 1948 that approved (with no authority) the establishment of the state of Israel on the majority of historic Palestine, then Jerusalem Day, by contrast, marks the displacement of the Palestinians from Palestine — the Judaization of Palestine whose flip-side is de-Arabization, the erasure of the very Palestinian Arab presence in the country. Just two weeks ago the Israeli police attacked the funeral of the murdered Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and tore the Palestinian flag off her casket; it is illegal to display a Palestinian flag in an Arab city in a historically Arab country that still has an Arab majority despite Israel’s massive expulsions and displacement.

It is not enough to displace Palestinians from their lands, homes and communities (more than 530 entire Palestinian villages, towns and urban areas were systematically demolished inside what became Israel in 1948, and 85% of the Palestinian population driven from the country; since 1967, Israel has demolished 60,000 Palestinian homes, schools, mosques, agricultural facilities and community structures). It is not enough to replace the Palestinian population with Israeli settlers. It is not enough to eliminate by force and by law every expression of Palestinian resistance to their own national erasure. Israel must send “the Arabs” – Israelis do not say “Palestinians” – a clear message: You have three choices: submit and accept the fact your country is now a Jewish state and you will never have civil rights, get out, or die.

Jerusalem Day is when Israel annually reaffirms this message, and it uses the religious settlers as its eager messenger. The Russian government and the others of Eastern and Central Europe sponsored hundreds of pogroms against their Jewish communities with exactly the same message, albeit with the emphasis on “get out or die.” Jews were ideally controlled, contained and intimidated into submission by the population rather than by the military or police, populations inculcated with virulent anti-Semitism. Israel uses its religious settler population, including pupils from virtually every Jewish religious school in the country, for the same purpose, supported by governments elected by an Israeli Jewish population inculcated by a virulent hatred of “Arabs,” seen as “terrorists” whose elimination is therefore justified.

Pogroms against Palestinians are daily occurrences, of course. Even the United States has protested against “settler violence,” the euphemism used for progroms. But government-sanctioned pogroms – military attacks on densely-crowded refugee camps or the Gazan concentration camp of 2 million people; the displacement of entire populations such as that of Masafer Yatta, approved by the Supreme Court; massive demolitions of Palestinian homes and confiscation of land; nightly raids on sIeeping families to “demonstrate a presence”; detention of thousands of Palestinian children and teens; a virtual hunting season on Palestinian men; the storming of al-Aqsa mosque – are carried out by official arms of Israeli state terrorism, whether the legal system and the courts, the military or police, or their settler agents.

Tomorrow’s pogrom will see thousands of religious Israelis (primarily kids, the ones still in need of indoctrination) carrying Israeli flags through the Damascus Gate and down the main street of the Muslim Quarter shouting “Death to Arabs!”, damaging stores, businesses and homes, and attacking any Palestinian they find in their way. True, there will not be mass murders tomorrow as there were in European pogroms, but there will be mass murders, simply spread out over the mini-pogroms carried out daily. Diluted rather than concentrated killings. Israel killed 319 Palestinians in the Occupied Territory in 2021, 71 of them children, according to the Israeli human rights organization, B’tselem.

Your media may or may not cover the “March of Flags” on tomorrow’s Jerusalem Day. But a state-sponsored pogrom is about to happen.

Thank you for your continuing support.

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