Stories written by Mel Frykberg
Mel Frykberg began her journalism career reporting on unrest in black townships, including Soweto, in South Africa during the apartheid era. She later worked as a journalist in Sydney, Australia. Mel has worked as a journalist in the Middle East for over a decade. She has reported for a number of major international publications from Gaza, Jerusalem, Beirut, Cairo, and Amman where she has lived. Mel also edited local magazines and newspapers in the region and is a frequent commentator on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict on National Public Radio in the United States. Frykberg studied journalism in the U.K.

Palestinian Child Labourers Face Grim Future

Hazem Maher, 16, from Hebron in the southern West Bank, works a backbreaking 12-hour day in the fruit and vegetable market in the city of El Bireh, next to Ramallah. He earns just over 15 dollars a day as a porter.

Gazans Dying to Enter Israel

Israel's crippling blockade of the coastal territory of Gaza is pushing desperate young Palestinians to ever more extreme measures in the search for livelihoods, despite an agreement granting Gazans greater access to their agricultural land.

Despite Halt in Deportations, Refugees in Israel Live in Fear

Since Israel secretly deported over 1,000 Sudanese refugees several months ago, sending them back to Sudan and threatening to deport hundreds more Sub-Saharan African refugees, Israeli authorities have suspended this practise in the face of international outrage and condemnation by the United Nations.

Hamas ‘Talibanising’ Gaza

The Islamist resistance group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is being accused by its Palestinian Authority (PA) rivals in the West Bank of Talibanising Gaza and turning the coastal territory into a new Muslim Brotherhood neighbourhood.

Israeli Cloud Hovers Over Green Energy

A quiet diplomatic war is being waged by several European governments against the Israeli authorities, specifically the Israeli Civil Administration which controls the Israeli occupied West Bank.

Free Ticket to ‘Apartheid’

“At least we are not treated like dogs and made to feel so uncomfortable,” Amjad Samara, 30, a labourer from Nablus in the northern West Bank told IPS as he and a group of Palestinians waited at the checkpoint near Qalqilia to cross into Israel for their day job.

Palestinians Prepare a Bitter Welcome for Obama

The rumbling drone of a fleet of U.S. helicopters carrying security and administrative personnel could be heard long before the eight choppers came into view over the Ramallah horizon on their way to the Palestinian Authority  (PA) presidential compound in the West Bank de facto capital Ramallah.

Media Face a Palestinian Kick

In an extraordinary move, a civilian has been sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for posting a picture on Facebook of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dressed in a Real Madrid soccer outfit and kicking a ball. The sentencing is among several instances of a targeting of media in Palestinian areas.

To Walk Down The Street

Molotov cocktails, clouds of teargas, live gunfire, ambulance sirens wailing as they ferried the wounded, and round after round of rubber-coated metal bullets exploding in the street…these were familiar scenes in Palestinian protest.

Gaza Gags Civil Liberties

Gaza is becoming increasingly radicalised as Hamas continues its crackdown on civil liberties, press freedom and the rights of women. In the last few weeks a number of journalists have been arrested and accused of being involved in “suspicious activities”, several detainees shot dead by police during arrest attempts, and female students asked to abide by a strict Islamic dress code.

Israeli Activists Invite Palestinian Vote

Unknown to the Israeli government or the Israeli electorate, hundreds of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza took part in the recent Israeli elections by default thanks to an act of civil disobedience by Israeli peace activists.

Law Makes it Honourable to Kill

“Before she was murdered, she wasn’t alive. We’ll tell her story backwards from her murder to her birth”…so begins a powerful new song by critically acclaimed Palestinian hip-hop band DAM to draw attention to the continuing murder of Palestinian women by male relatives declaring that “family honour” has been damaged by alleged sexual indiscretions.

A Third Intifada on the Horizon?

A new Palestinian group called the National Union Battalions (NUB), comprising Palestinians from across the political spectrum, has called for a third Palestinian uprising or Intifada. Simultaneously, Israeli intelligence is warning that conditions on the ground in the West Bank are ripe for another Palestinian revolt.

Civil War on the Egyptian Horizon

Egypt is facing its worst political crisis since the January 2011 revolution ousted former dictator Hosni Mubarak, with analysts warning of a possible civil war. Furthermore, unlike during the revolution, opposition to the current regime is bitterly divided between Islamists and more secular Egyptians.

Egypt’s Brutal Security Forces Also Victims of State Brutality

Three people have been killed, more than 400 wounded and over 200 arrested as clashes between Egyptians protesting President Muhammad Morsi’s attempt to expand his presidential powers and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Egyptian security forces continue to rock the capital and enflame major cities around the country.

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