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We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.

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We have posted more than 30 articles on The Bedouin of the Naqab/Negev over the last three years

See the JfJfP briefing note on Bedouin Palestinians of the Naqab and download our 2013 leaflet on the Prawer plan

Did you know?

Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
"A recent Israeli government report estimated there are…$250 million in annual exports — [only] 0.55 percent of the national total — from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories the international community generally considers illegally occupied."
Jodi Rodoren cited by Richard Silverstein, 22 Jan 2014

Daily acts of violence committed by Jewish Israeli citizens against West Bank Palestinians
"These incidents — now particularly heightened during the olive harvest season — are not the aberration from the norm, but a regular feature of life in the occupied West Bank. In 2012, over 7,500 Palestinian olive trees were destroyed. In the 5-year period between 2007 and 2011, there was a 315 percent increase in settler violence."
Mairav Zonszein, Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, 8 November 2013
Police impunity
After their own investigations establishing a prima facie violation, Btselem has lodged over 280 complaints of alleged police violence in the oPt since the start of the second Intifada: "we are aware of only 12 indictments" Btselem April 2013
Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday 21 April 2013, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 26 miles long in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority. See Marathon report
30th March, land day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians living as a minority in Israel mounted a general strike and organised protests against Israeli government plans to expropriate almost 15,000 acres of Palestinian land in the Galilee.The Israeli government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defence minister Shimon Peres, sent in the army to break up the general strike. The Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinians, wounded hundreds and arrested hundreds more, including political activists. All were citizens of Israel.
* Out of 103 investigations opened in 2012 into alleged offences committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, not a single indictment served to date
Yesh Din, 3 Feb 2013
* In total, out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter.
Haaretz editorial, 4 Feb 2013


Hate Street, Hebron – A Photo Tour

img_1425Visiting Hebron is currently possible for internationals such as myself, but Israeli citizens are forbidden to do so under Israeli law. I made use of this privilege by taking a tour arranged by ICAHD and hosted by a local Palestinian resident. Visiting Hebron on a tour with Breaking the Silence or ICAHD is a unique, visceral and disturbing experience. After reading this, I encourage you to look through the photos below which I think will help you to understand better. Central Hebron is a tragic, hate-filled, militarized zone, full of poverty, burned-out buildings, rubble and a pervasive misery. The atmosphere is oppressive and there is palpable tension especially around the old city. The cruel face of modern Zionism is here in stark relief.

Hebron and the surrounding hills to the south have been the epicenter of hard-core ideological Zionist settlement activity for some years. Hebron is a Palestinian town of population 166,000, and an area close to the centre of the old town has been taken over by a few hundred Israeli settlers. The settlers’ motivation to overtake central Hebron and to expel the local population is the presence of the Cave of the Patriarchs.

From Wikipedia:

The most famous historic site in Hebron sits on the Cave of the Patriarchs. Although the site is holy to Judaism, Christianity and Islam also accept it as a sacred site, due to scriptural references to Abraham. According to Genesis, he purchased the cave and the field surrounding it from Ephron the Hittite to bury his wife Sarah, subsequently Abraham Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah were also buried in the cave (the remaining Matriarch, Rachel, is buried outside Bethlehem). For this reason, Hebron is also referred to as ‘the City of the Patriarchs’ in Judaism, and regarded as one of its Four Holy Cities.

These settlers live under the protection of the IDF, within the “H2 zone”, frequently carrying out violence and intimidation toward the Arabs around them. This activity ranges from hateful graffiti to theft of Arab properties, throwing of various items (e.g. bottles, stones, furniture, concrete blocks), death threats, break-ins of local shops, and shootings. The IDF have partitioned the town by creating an infrastructure of roadblocks, checkpoints, razor wire, outposts and CCTV. They have created a settler-only zone (parts of H2), a Palestinian-only PA-controlled zone (H1), and a few streets in H2 in which both are permitted. However, in practice the soldiers are not permitting Palestinians into the mixed zone close to the settlers, which includes some of main streets of the old city. The settlers live in new and luxurious buildings, built with predominantly internationally donated money, and supplied by Israeli infrastructure such as water, security, separate access roads, and many others. For example we saw how they are being served by the Israeli Magen David Adom ambulance service funded directly from Jewish US and UK donors. Services such as this are not provided to the Arab population except on unusual occasions such as when the IDF accidentally shot a boy of 15 in the head recently because he was near some suspected stone-throwers. We met his father on his way back from prayers, pictured below, who showed us the IDF report from the hospital. If the IDF had not deemed the shooting accidental he would not have received such medical treatment.

The level of violence and intimidation by the settlers is so intense that the TIPH (Temporary International Force in Hebron) was set up in 1995 to place observers on the streets. This is a non-UN initiative staffed mainly by Norwegians. We met some of these brave observers who explained that although they are unarmed and have no mandate to take action, they attend the homes of Palestinians under attack and their presence in itself can deter some of the more extreme acts by the settlers. Two TIPH observers were shot dead seven years ago on patrol. Another initiative by human right group B’Tselem has been to provide the victims of abuse with video cameras so that they can capture the attacks as evidence to back complaints which otherwise are entirely (as opposed to now predominantly) dismissed by the IDF.

Although the IDF soldiers are in the town ostensibly to protect the settlers, the majority of their time is spent protecting the local population from the settlers, although they are also prone to joining in with the abuse and violence. The IDF outposts cover the whole town especially the rooftops, and the settlers use these positions to hurl objects at the Arabs on their return from Friday prayers. This became so commonplace that first tarpaulins, and later steel mesh, have been constructed above the main road (dubbed “hate street”) to protect them. The settlers now throw furniture and concrete blocks, alongside the other smaller items.

The walls and shops of the Arab old city are now daubed in graffiti ranging from the Star of David to messages of hate (typically “Kill all Arabs”, “Revenge”, “Gas the Arabs”). Frequent break-ins and death threats are intended to deter the opening of shops and to push the Arabs out of this part of town.

Ex-IDF soldiers who served in Hebron during the second intifada, some of whom I spent time with, talk of the abuse, property destruction and violence they themselves inflicted on the local Arabs and some formed a group Breaking the Silence to publish anonymous testimonials. Now of course attention has turned to the new testimonials from Gaza.

Click the images below to see them in full size with descriptive captions. The video below the photos is from the B’Tselem project.

Examples of settler abuse towards locals, capturedon videos resulting from the B’Tselem project.

News report on Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre by Hebron Settlers 1994

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