Israel - Palestine

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.

The ‘Flattening’ of Gaza

On Nov. 17, four days into Israel’s eight-day assault on the Gaza Strip, deputy Israeli Prime Minister Eli Yishai publicly called for the Israeli army to “blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water”.

Marching Toward a Third Uprising?

While the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip hasn’t been so quiet for the past two decades, it’s now the turn of the occupied West Bank to show signs of eruption.

The Civilian Toll of Israel’s Bombs

When Israeli bombs struck the Abu Khadra complex for civil administration, they also gutted the sixth floor of the Abu Shabaan complex, located ten metres across the road. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), eight Israeli warplane-fired bombs levelled roughly half of the government compound in eastern Gaza City in the early hours of Nov. 21.

Israel Rains Fire When U.N. Votes Against It

Whenever the Security Council (sporadically) or the General Assembly (more frequently) lambastes Israel, the reaction from the Jewish state is highly predictable: either launch a military strike on Palestinians or announce new settlements in the occupied territories.

Q&A: “The Israeli Boycott Movement Is Not Anti-Semitic”

Rabbi Brant Rosen leads a congregation in Evanston, Illinois and is author of the new book, Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity.

More Voices Urge Obama to Rein In Netanyahu

Increasingly distressed over the possible consequences of Israel’s recent steps to punish the Palestinian Authority (PA) and consolidate its hold on the West Bank, a number of prominent voices here are urging President Barack Obama to exert real pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reverse course.

First Phase Digital

OP-ED: Eyeless In Gaza

Mahatma Gandhi said it with remarkable moral clarity – “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” That is indeed what happened in Gaza over eight days in November, with an estimated 160 Palestinians and six Israelis dead in the latest exchange of rockets and drones brought to an uneasy end by an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.

Palestine Scores Overwhelming Victory in World Body

Amidst thunderous applause - and the spontaneous unfurling of a Palestinian flag in the General Assembly hall - the U.N.'s highest policy-making body Thursday voted overwhelmingly to elevate Palestine from an "observer" to a "non-member state".

Despite “Pivot”, Obama Drawn Back into the Middle East

President Barack Obama may have lost interest in the Middle East, to paraphrase Soviet leader Leon Trotsky’s famous epigram about war, but the Middle East is interested in him.

Israel and Hamas Agree to Gaza Ceasefire

The Egyptian foreign minister has announced that a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in and around the Gaza Strip will come into effect at 19:00 GMT on Wednesday.

Clinton Sent to Seal Egypt-Mediated Truce

Amidst reports of an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, U.S. President Barack Obama sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the region Tuesday in apparent hopes of gaining some credit for sealing the deal.

Israeli Firepower Threatens to Overwhelm Palestinians

When the late Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), was engaged in a heavily one-sided battle against a robustly-armed Israel in 2000, he admitted the Palestinians were completely outgunned by the Israelis.

Hamas Military Chief Killed in Israeli Attack

A top Hamas commander was among seven people killed in more than 20 Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, as Israel began an operation targeting armed groups.

Bolder Obama on Middle East, Climate in Second Term?

With President Barack Obama winning re-election, foreign policy analysts here are pondering whether his victory will translate into major changes from the rather cautious approach he followed overseas in his first term.

Jewish, Christian Groups Clash Over U.S. Aid to Israel

Jewish groups have reacted furiously to a letter to Congress by 15 leaders of Christian denominations asking for a review of whether some of the three billion dollars in annual United States aid to Israel is being used in violation of U.S. law and policies.

Q&A: “Israel’s Heavy-Handed Abuse of Palestinian Children Is Unacceptable”

After a fact-finding tour of the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip - and following hearings in Amman and Cairo - a three-member United Nations committee has lambasted Israel for the harsh treatment of Palestinian children held in custody.

EU Feels Force of Israeli Demolitions

All 27 foreign ministers of the European Union have strongly spoken out against Israeli demolitions in Area C of the West Bank. Since the beginning of 2011 not less than 60 EU-funded projects have been demolished while 110 others are currently at risk. Several analysts claim the Israeli authorities are specifically targeting EU-funded projects.

The remains of what was once a home in Lifta. Credit: Pierre Klochendler/IPS

Remembering Is Now 64 Years Old

"There is the beginning of my life. My father would call for prayer, ‘Allahu Akbar’," says 72-year old Yacoub Odeh, pointing to a collapsed house perched high on the hill. "The whole village would hear him." Odeh was then eight years old: "I’m the son of yesterday."

Hunger Feeds Growing Protests in Prison

With more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners weeks into an open-ended hunger strike in protest against worsening conditions in Israeli jails, including two that have gone without food for 72 days, human rights groups say many lives are in danger and are calling for urgent intervention.

Double U-Turn in ‘Theatre of the Absurd’

A double-barrelled ‘coup de théâtre’ – advanced, then postponed, elections within days – has disoriented a polity accustomed to grappling passively with their Prime Minister’s backstage intrigues. But the ‘Theatre of the Absurd’ played outwardly by the "virtuoso of Israeli politics" conceals a deep need for stability.

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