On his visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, U.S. President Barack Obama laid out his vision for a revival of the long-stalled peace talks. Yet, it was clear from his statements that a settlement freeze is no longer an immediate requirement. And, he carefully avoided mentioning the pre-1967 lines as the basis for a two-state solution, to the Israeli Prime Minister’s delight.
U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in Israel on Wednesday, his first destination abroad of his second term, to pay a visit to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whose own second consecutive term will have started only 48 hours beforehand. No wonder that the true purpose of the U.S. President’s visit is defined as reaching out to the Israeli people.
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.
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.
Local food for local people. That’s the idea behind Sharaka (‘partnership’, in Arabic), an entirely volunteer-run, Palestinian organisation that aims to bring locally grown products directly to Palestinian dinner tables.
A few stoic lines from Palestinian political prisoner Samer Issawi, 33, transmitted to his sister Shireen have given new strength to Palestinian resolve to fight Israeli occupation and its prison policies. As has the hunger strike of four others in Israeli prisons along with Issawi.
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.
Tawfiq Mandil, 45, stands amongst hundreds of Palestinian farmers, activists, and international supporters in the Gaza Strip's eastern Zeitoun district, about half a kilometre from the border with Israel. They are renewing a call for the boycott of Israeli goods.
As expected, Benjamin Netanyahu has been ensured another term in office. Against all expectations, he could have been defeated. Now, he faces uncertainty over the kind of governing coalition he will lead and thus the kind of policies he will carry out. And he faces a lingering question: can any prospective coalition last?
“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.
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.
As Israel and Hamas separately celebrate the ceasefire and their “victory” over the other following Israel’s blistering eight-day military assault on the Gaza strip, civilians continue to pay the price.
The reaction of post-revolution Egypt to Israel's weeklong onslaught on the next-door Gaza Strip – brought to a halt temporarily at least by a Wednesday night ceasefire – has contrasted sharply with the former regime's callous approach to the besieged coastal enclave.
Overhead on a bombing mission, an Israeli Air Force F16 screams its way towards Gaza. On the street, the fighter jet’s shriek is covered by a plaintive sound – a “red alert”. Within seconds, an “Iron Dome” anti-missile missile launched roaring in a spark of light intercepts the incoming GRAD rocket.
George Sahhar opens the door to a closet-sized control room, where a cacophony of wires, routers, papers, and computer screens are messily strewn across a desk.
Fatmeh Abu Hrar Tabeel has had her first ever breast cancer screening. “It feels good to know, of course. Thanks to god, I am well,” the 51-year-old mother of seven told IPS. “Now I can examine myself once a month from home; the doctor showed me how.”
It came like a bolt from the blue on this serene city perched in the hills of Galilee. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared on Israel’s Channel Two television earlier this month, “I want to see Safed! It’s my right to see it, but not to live there.”
Affixed to a large cement bloc, the rusted, grey gate leading Palestinian farmers from the northern West Bank village of Salem to their olive groves was opened for four days this year.
Dating back to the late 1890s, the historical Jaffa-Jerusalem railroad winds in a U-shape at the base of the valley. Olive groves adorn the bottom of one steep hill. Further up the slope, pine trees and an Israeli army patrol road lead westward towards Jerusalem.
Hassan Hader’s application for a permit to work in Israel has been rejected four times. Now waiting to hear back from the Israeli authorities on his latest attempt, the 52-year-old father of five said he has no choice but to keep applying.
Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across the West Bank over the past week in protest against increasingly high living costs, and demanding major changes from the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership.