Palestine
khan al ahmar

New Israeli admin in West Bank propaganda ploy

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met in Jerusalem with President Isaac Herzog, signaling continued US support for Israel’s new far-right governmentā€”despite the Biden administration’s supposed opposition to its policies such as settlement expansion andĀ annexation of the West Bank. The trip coincided with Israel’s eviction of a wildcat settler outpost in what Israeli authorities callĀ the “Samaria” region of the West Bank.Ā Simultaneously, the Israeli government announced it is preparing to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem, home to at least 180 people.Ā Khan al-Ahmar lies within a key corridor stretching to the Jordan Valley, where Israel aims to expand and linkĀ settlements, effectively cutting the West Bank into two.Ā (Photo: B’Tselem)

Palestine
tel aviv

Israel: protests mount against far-right government

Anti-government protests have mounted in Israel each week since the new far-right administration led by Benjamin Netanyahu took power at year’s end. The most recent saw over 100,000 march in Tel Aviv, while thousands more filled the streets in Jerusalem, Haifa and other cities. The protests have won support from Israel’s traditional political establishment as well as the left opposition. While Israeli flags and slogans such as “Israel, we have a problem” predominate, some demonstrators have raised the Palestinian flag in defiance of an order from new National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to remove all Palestine flags from public places. The demonstrations have included an “anti-apartheidĀ bloc” calling for a secular state and decolonization of Palestinian lands. (Photo via Twitter)

Palestine
Siloam

Political archaeology amid Jerusalem tensions

Israel’s new National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir made a visit to al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, flanked by by a heavy security detailā€”eliciting outrage from the Palestinian leadership. The Palestinian Authority called the move “an unprecedented provocation,” with Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accusing Ben-Gvir of staging the visit as part of an agenda to turn the site “into a Jewish temple.” The fracas comes as Israeli authorities have launched another supposed archaeological project in East Jerusalem which critics say masks an ongoing program of “Judaization” of the Old City. This concerns the Pool of Siloam, a small reservoir believed to have served Jerusalem in biblical times. In making the announcement, officials visited the site, accompanied by a large detachment of policeā€”sparking a spontaneous protest from local Palestinian residents. Three members of a Palestinian family that claims rights to the land in question were detained. (Photo: ŠšŃƒŠæŠ°Š»ŃŒŠ½Ń Š”ŠøŠ»Š¾Š°Š¼, Š˜ŠµŃ€ŃƒŃŠ°Š»ŠøŠ¼ via Wikimedia Commons)

Palestine
Apartheid wall

Robo-Zionist policing of West Bank

The Israeli military has installed robotic weapons that can fire tear-gas, stun-grenades and “non-lethal” bullets in two volatile locations on the West Bank. One is atop a turret at al-Aroub refugee camp; the other in the nearby city of Hebron, where soldiers often clash with Palestinian residents. When young protesters pour into the streets hurling rocks and improvised firebombs at Israeli soldiers, the robotic weapons unleash gas and projectiles on them, according to witnessĀ accounts. The robo-weapons, produced by Israeli firm Smart Shooter, use artificial intelligence to track targets. Israel says the technology saves livesā€”both Israeli and Palestinian. But, as YNet states in its report on the installation, “critics see another step toward a dystopian reality in which Israel fine-tunes its open-ended occupation of the Palestinians while keeping its soldiers out of harmā€™s way.” (Photo: Filippo Minelli)

Africa
igbo jews

Igbo Jews targeted by Nigeria security forces: report

Scores of Jewish worshipers were reportedly arrested when Nigerian state security forces raided a synagogue in the Igbo village of Orji, Imo state. Local media reported that soliders burst into the temple during Shabbat services and fired in the air before taking several away in military vans, apparently on suspicion of supporting the Biafra separtist movement. Although it has received little media coverage outside the immediate region, there have reportedly been several such incidents in the southeasternĀ Biafra region since the recent re-emergence of the independence movement; government forces are said to have razed six synagogues last year, and arrested dozens of Igbo worshipers. (Photo: Rodrex News Africa)

Greater Middle East
Yemeni Jews

Houthis deport last of the Yemeni Jews

The Houthi rebels who control much of Yemen’s north, including the capital Sanaa, deported 13 Jews from three familiesā€”effectively ending the millennia-old Jewish community in the country. One of the 13 deporteesĀ told London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat: “History will remember us as the last of Yemeni Jews who were still clinging to their homeland until the last moment. We had rejected temptations time and time again, and refused to leave our homeland, but today we are forced.” The majority of the country’s Jewsā€”some 45,000ā€”were brought to Israel in the “Operation Magic Carpet” airlift in 1948. The Israeli operation followed local riots in which scores of Jews were killed. Yemen’s Jewish community had dwindled to some 200 when a new wave of pogroms sparked a second exodus beginning 12 years ago. Since they took over Sanaa in 2014, the Houthis have been pressuring the few Jews still remaining in the country to leave.Ā (Photo: Yemeni Jews celebrating Passover in Israel in 1946, via Wikipedia)

Palestine
Apartheid wall

‘Apartheid’ Israel: semantic implications

The Israeli human rights group B’TselemĀ has issued a report with the provocative title: This is Apartheid: A Regime of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. It documents systematic discrimination against Palestinians in the spheres of land, citizenship, freedom of movement, and political participationā€”on both sides of the Green Line. It echoes the 2017 findings of the UN Economic & Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in its report, Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid. But the fact that this time the comparison between Zionism and South African apartheid is being made by an Israeli organization poses a challenge to the increasingly entrenched dogma that all anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. (Photo: Filippo Minelli)

Palestine
Rabin Square

Rally in Tel Aviv against West Bank annexation

A joint Jewish-Palestinian rally against Israeli plans for annexation of West Bank settlements drew thousands to Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square.Ā Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint List of Arab-led parties, told the crowd, “We are at a crossroads. One path leads to a joint society with a real democracy, civil and national equality for Arab citizens… The second path leads to hatred, violence, annexation and apartheid. Weā€™re here in Rabin Square to pick the first path.”Ā US Sen. Bernie Sanders addressed the rally via video conference, saying he was “heartened”Ā to see Arabs and Jews demonstrating together.Ā (Photo: +972)

Palestine
Gaza march

Palestinians reject ‘Swindle of the Century’

Trump’s Israel-Palestine “peace” plan (sic), unveiled at the White House in a joint press conference with Benjamin Netanyahu, has been anointed with the very Trumpian epithet “Deal of the Century.” It is actually a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum to the Palestinians to accept the status quo of bantustans, surrender much territory to actual Israeli annexation, give up their long-standing demand for justice for refugeesā€”and call it “peace.” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas predictably responded with “a thousand no’s.” And Palestinians immediately mobilized in outrage, in both the West Bank and Gaza.Ā (Photo:Ā Maan News)

Palestine

Gaza invasion averted; West Bank land-grabs escalate

An Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip took effect with no formal announcement, after two days of hostilities that saw the most extensive Israeli air-strike since 2014. Hidden from the headlines, the ongoing confiscation of Palestinian lands on the West Bank meanwhile continues. The day after the ceasefire, Israeli troops forced several Palestinian families to evacuate from their homes in the Jordan Valley, in order to make way for military training. Days before, Israeli bulldozers uprooted some 120 fruitful olive trees west of Ramallah, to pave a settler-only road through the area. A document said to outline Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” to end the Palestinian conflict calls for a reduced Palestinian state on lands not already appropriated by settlement blocs. The areas of the blocs are to expand, incorporating outlying settlements, and will remain under Israeli controlā€”apparently amounting to a de facto annexation. (Photo: Ma’an)

Palestine

Netanyahu pledges to annex West Bank territory

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to annex areas of the occupied West Bank ahead of the coming week’s Israeli Knesset elections. In an interview on Israeli Channel 12 TV, he was asked about plans to annex settlement blocs in the occupied territory, and responded: “Will we go to the next phase? The answer is yes. We will go to the next phase to extend Israeli sovereignty…”Ā In a part of the interview seemingly reported in English only by the independent Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, Netanyahu also appeared to broach annexation of all Area C, the zone of mixed Israeli and Palestinian control, which covers 62% of the West Bank’s territory. Asked about the future status of Area C, he reportedly replied: “I promise that you will be surprised. I cannot talk about the plan, but Trump is a big friend and I doubt there will ever be any bigger friend than him.”

Palestine

Escalation in Gaza; Orwell in Golan

Amid a new round of Israeli air-strikes on Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Donald Trump in Washington for the signing of a presidential proclamation officially recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory. At the joint press conference, Trump said, "We will confront the poison of anti-Semitism." We hope it is unnecessary to point out the perversity of Trump exploiting the threat of anti-Semitism to justify US recognition of an illegal Israeli annexation of Syrian territory. (Image: Ma'an)