Stories written by Jillian Kestler-D'Amours
Originally from Montreal, Quebec, Jillian Kestler-D'Amours is an independent reporter and documentary filmmaker based in Jerusalem since May 2010. She is a regular contributor to Free Speech Radio News, The Electronic Intifada and Al Jazeera English, and her first documentary film, ‘Sumoud: The Struggle for al-Araqib’, will be released by the Alternative Information Centre in Fall 2011. | Web

New Order Drags Back Released Prisoners

The release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in late 2011 set off scenes of jubilation throughout the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, as families joyously welcomed their loved ones homes after months and years apart. But for many of these same families, an Israeli military order – that allows Israel to re-arrest released Palestinian prisoners based on secret evidence – has now shattered those happy reunions.

Golan Heights Braces for More Fighting

After Israeli war planes reportedly bombed targets in Syrian territory last week, individuals and groups in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights are quietly preparing for the possibility of escalating violence between Syria and Israel.

Turkey’s EU Hopes Could Free Media

As negotiations in Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union remain stalled, many worry that the Turkish government has little incentive to curb its ongoing crackdown on media freedoms and freedom of expression.

Israel Using Crowd Control Weapons ‘Unlawfully’

The Israeli army is systematically using crowd control weapons and live ammunition unlawfully against Palestinians in the West Bank, signaling a widespread breach of military regulations and an alarming culture of impunity, a leading Israeli human rights group has warned.

Kurdish Rights Back in Focus in Turkey

After over a year without accountability for a Turkish aerial bombing that killed 34 Kurdish men and boys, Turkey has come under heavy criticism for what many say is a widespread culture of impunity, especially when it comes to the treatment of its Kurdish citizens.

Renovating an Embattled City

Every day, Anas Maraka sees his family’s home, but can’t go inside. “It’s hardest for my grandfather,” said Maraka, referring to the house overlooking Shuhada Street, once the central marketplace in Hebron’s old city.

Bedouin Seek Democracy in Israel

As campaign posters pop up around Israel ahead of the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections, Bedouin citizens of the state are still reeling after being denied the chance to elect their own local council representatives.

Occupation Can’t Stifle Innovation

Afnan Hamad stands proudly in front of a booth at the Ramallah Cultural Palace exhibition hall, three plastic bottles filled with discoloured liquid on the table in front of her.

Hamas and Fatah Edge Closer

After successfully upgrading their status at the United Nations, and securing what has been locally deemed a victory in eight days of fighting between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Palestinians are taking on their next difficult challenge: bridging the long-standing rift between the major Palestinian political factions.

Opportunity Missed for Nuclear-Free Middle East

After the cancellation of an international conference to create a nuclear-free Middle East, leading experts have warned that an important opportunity to create stability in the region has been squandered.

Palestinians Welcome UN Upgrade Uncertainly

Thousands of Palestinians gathered throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip Thursday, including representatives of all the major political factions, to celebrate and to show their support for the Palestinian Authority’s bid for upgraded status at the United Nations.

End of Assault Opens Opportunities for Gaza

As the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas seems to be holding, many are hoping that one of the agreement’s main points – the easing of restrictions on people and goods coming in and out of the Gaza Strip – signals a new era for the besieged Palestinian territory.

Israel Targets Media in Gaza

As people anxiously wait to see if the newly-signed ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas will hold, local and international human rights groups are calling for investigations into Israeli human rights abuses committed during its eight-day assault on the Gaza Strip, including flagrant attacks on journalists.

Assault Provokes Support for Hamas in West Bank

Hundreds of Palestinians marched through Ramallah Tuesday afternoon to mourn the death of a Palestinian protester who was fatally wounded during a demonstration against the ongoing Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.

Attacks on Gaza Unite Palestinians

Dozens of Israeli tanks slowly made their way south on the back of flatbed trucks along Israel’s Road 6 highway Sunday. Emblazoned with Stars of David and Hebrew letters, and carrying frayed Israeli flags, the movement of these tanks has left many believing that Israel will soon launch a large-scale ground operation into the Gaza Strip.

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