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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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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


The illusion that social media can create a revolution

“Egypt has fallen into the hands of a brutal, merciless military dictatorship, pure and simple. Not on the way to democracy. Not a temporary transition regime. Like the locusts of old, the military officers have fallen upon the land. They are not likely ever to give it up voluntarily.” Uri Avnery is appalled by events in Egypt. The happy anarchism of the social media is no match for the economic-military complex which governs Israel, the USA, Egypt and elsewhere.

Stuck in Gaza: ‘No-one actually wants to solve our problem’

Israel has blocked access to Gaza by land, sea and air. There is one way in and out, the Rafah crossing into Egypt. Since President Morsi’s election restrictions have eased but Gazans’ freedom of movement is vulnerable to any symbolic, and actual, punitive measures against Gaza. The people are helpless, their government Hamas is classed as an enemy terrorist; the Gazans have become the whipping boy for Middle East tensions. Eve Bartlett reports.

Bedouin tribes and an open Gaza hold key to Sinai peace

2nd posting this week on a fast-moving situation. President Mursi has ordered military action and closed the Rafah crossing; Israeli aircraft hover with lethal weapons. But reports here suggest an agreement with Bedouin tribes and relaxing the Gaza siege – which has created a network of tunnels and their thriving trade in everything from fuel and food to weapons – offer the only route to law and order in the Sinai.

Lifeline for Gaza will open through Rafah crossing

The Egyptian uprising is finally having results for the people of Gaza. Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has had talks with new Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi and agreed that the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt will be open 12 hours a day. This should ease the siege imposed by Israel on people and goods moving in and out of Gaza.

For Passover let us return to our knowledge of exile and injustice

At the Passover Seder (Friday 6th April this year) Jews commemorate the Pharoah’s decision to free them from slavery, the ‘passing over’ of their houses of the plague that killed other first-born sons and their exodus from Egypt. Here Robert Cohen urges Jews to turn from the denial of the Pharoah-like injustice which makes Palestinians feel like strangers in their own land

Army, Islamists, revolution – whose power will endure?

Egypt’s policies have always been central to Palestinian-Israeli relations. The revolution has changed Egypt’s role – but the new parliament is ‘ideologically skewed, incoherent at best, and overwhelmingly gendered’ says Khalid Abdalla

Humbler USA reaches out to Islamists

Since the popular overthrow of Arab dictators – also the west’s henchmen – the USA has been left without powerful allies in much of the Middle East. The Obama administration has held high level talks with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, a move condemned as naive by Israel. Islamist parties are seen by pragmatists as the face of the future in contrast with the Quartet’s ‘peace partners’. From Time and the NY Times

Inside the tunnels of Gaza’s inventive economy

There are electric lifts, railways, petrol pipe-lines and little red tape.. Israel’s siege of Gaza, an act of reprisal, was intended to bring bring the people to their knees and destroy support for Hamas. Gazan ingenuity and Hamas flexibility have produced the opposite result.

Egypt arrests Sinai militants believed responsible for Eilat attack

Last August, attacks with bombs and guns killed 8 Israelis. The IDF blamed the Popular Resistance Committees and attacked Gaza killing 15 Palestinian civilians and 5 PRC militants. Now Egypt’s security force has arrested 3 Sinai-based militants as the real perpetators of the attacks. 1. Maan news, 2, IDF statement

Rulers in Egypt and Israel struggle for sense of direction

The dependence of Israel on Mubarak’s control is evident as Netanyahu’s government looks for ways to master the unruly peoples of Sinai and Gaza and the military regime in Egypt has, for the first time, to take into account popular Arab feeling. Adam Shatz in his LRB blog, first, and then Issandr El Amrani of The Arabist assess the change of power relationships

Strictly local outlaws – fighting Egypt and Israel from the Sinai

The Sinai desert is home to many factions and people – Bedouin, Islamist, insurgents against and refugees from Israel and Egypt. Lina Attalah, managing editor of Almasry Alyoum, reviews this ‘cauldron’ of violent anti-government action

Home at last – all waiting get through small gap in wide gate to Gaza


Ramzy Baroud, editor of, is one of those allowed to cross into his Gaza home under the new Egyptian rule

Pent-up longing to get home to Gaza may be frustrated by rules on who may cross


A second report on the Rafah opening, from the Ma’an news agency, gives details of who may be allowed to cross, when, and of some of the people in Egypt who long to see their families immured in Gaza

Israel no longer central actor in Middle East


The re-entry of Egypt as a pivotal player in regional politics has sidelined an (almost) friendless Israel argues Ramzy Baroud

Fatah-Hamas deal brokered in Egypt


Hamas and Fatah have lost their sponsors in the Arab spring, and Egypt moved quickly on its policy priority of Palestinian unity

Eight oil ministry officials arrested in Egypt over gas sales to Israel


Allegations of croneyism, profiteering and harming the national interest will be put to Egyptian Oil Ministry officials arrested over the terms of gas sales to Israel

Egypt keen to help Palestinians unite


The head of Palestinian affais in Egypt’s new government has promised to ease restrictions at the Rafah crossing and facilitate Palestinian unity

Update on the Middle-East upheaval(s)


Events are taking place too quickly and in too many countries for anyone to have a comprehensive, informed overview of developments. We’ve put together a few links to what we hope are useful articles dealing with Libya, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan…

If you read just one thing let it be As’ad AbuKhalil’s 300-word contribution.

Updated Sat 26 Feb 10.4am

Mero – two new reports on Egypt


“There are moments in world affairs that call for the suspension of disbelief,” write the editors of the Middle East Report Online. “At these junctures, caution ought to be suppressed and cynicism forgotten to let joy and wonderment resound.” The article “Red-White-and-Black Valentine” is just such a celebration of the Egyptian revolution. The second Mero article crossposted here, “Revolution and Counter-Revolution in the Egyptian Media” argues that “Access to and use of communication and information networks — cellular phone services; the Internet and new social media; TV and newspapers — was pivotal as events unfolded. ” In it Ursula Lindsey explores the possibilities and the contradictions involved in the new battle of the media; the army’s initial attempts to control, by shutting down the phone service, text messaging, the internet — and why that failed to abort the revolution…
Plus: Richard Silverstein writes about digital media in an age of revolution.

A quest for freedom, dignity and justice…


Some wonderful writing by Thomas Friedman in Cairo: “[And] when young Egyptians looked around the region and asked: Who is with us in this quest [for freedom, dignity and justice] and who is not?, the two big countries they knew were against them were Israel and Saudi Arabia. Sad. The children of Egypt were having their liberation moment and the children of Israel decided to side with Pharaoh – right to the very end…”