The Palestinian village of Battir, just six kilometres southwest of Jerusalem and a similar distance from Bethlehem, is the latest to be trapped in the gap between international recognition and Israel's policies in the West Bank.
Peruse a few reports on global military expenditure and you will not be able to shake the image of the planet as one massive army camp, patrolled by heavily weaponised guards in a plethora of uniforms.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians living in Syria have been uprooted since the violent government crackdown on the uprising and the ensuing battles that ensnared their communities. For around 50,000 of them, Lebanon was their only safe route out but now it seems this door is being closed on them.
With jihadists leading a Sunni uprising against Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government, the conflicts in Syria and Iraq are beginning to reverberate across the region, raising fears of contagion in divided Lebanon where a suicide bombing took place on Friday after a period of calm.
As the Palestinian unity government announced June 2 receives a cautious welcome from many world leaders, Russia’s support for the new body is providing the Kremlin with an opportune platform to pursue its foreign policy ambitions and strengthen its domestic ideology.
The announcement this week of a new Palestinian unity government was greeted with cautious optimism by most of the world, outside of Israel. In the United States, however, it set off political rumblings that threaten to swell into a storm.
The formation of a new Palestinian government between Fatah and Hamas announced on Monday is an important station on the path to reconciliation, “but there still many stations to be reached before achieving real unity based on partnership among all Palestinians.”
The United States' decision to "work with" the new Palestinian government has virtually isolated Israel: the only country so far to have publicly rejected the political alliance between Fatah and Hamas.
“We let the men participate in the workshop discussions, but the training sessions are only for women journalists,” says Mona Khadir, who coordinates the activities of the Filastiniyat Women Journalists’ Club in Gaza.
There are conflicts old and new crying for solution and reconciliation, not violence, with reasonable, realistic ways out.
As the ongoing crises in some of the world's hot spots - including Syria, the Central African Republic, Mali, Libya, Palestine and Darfur, Sudan - continue unabated, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday singled out some of the biggest challenges facing the international community in 2014.
“O green Battir, mother of the air,” Mariam Ma’mmar sings in praise of her village. As the hot season draws to a close, the land – her people’s strength – dries up. Not here in her Battir, where a peaceful form of resistance against the Israeli occupation is taking root.
In the Jordan Valley, contrasts are stark. Lush green agricultural fields and fenced-in greenhouses belong to the Israeli settlements that dot the landscape and benefit from the area’s abundant water supply on one hand. On the other, Palestinian farmers denied access to their lands and other resources by the Israeli authorities struggle to cultivate the most basic crops and make a living wage.
Israel and its domestic U.S. lobby are already in the early stages of the next 10-year aid package, which would not go into effect until 2017 and will be the first since Congress passed the Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2008, which requires in part that U.S. military aid to Israel ensure that Israel maintains its "Qualitative Military Edge" (QME) over any combination of states and non-state actors.
Israeli forces have killed three Palestinians, including a UN worker, in an early morning raid on the Qalandiya refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.