The Latest From Palestine: Community Voices

The last week has seen an almost unprecedented retreat of Israel in front of Palestinian mass mobilisation. The occupation authorities removed newly installed metal detectors and surveillance cameras from the entrance to the al Aqsa Mosque and eventually had to give access to the Mosque to all worshippers, scrapping a previous ban on men under the age of 50. This victory against Israeli attacks on Palestinian rights and existence in Jerusalem has come at a crucial moment for the city and is bound to lastingly transform power relations.

It is 7:30 pm and the quiet has returned in the streets of Beit Ummar. The quiet, because today was a rough day and the inhabitants who left the city this morning to go to work had to go through much trouble to be able to get back. There were some tensions in Hebron. As usual.

Since a few months, the Israeli settlers are taking over more and more territory in the city. They already banned Palestinians from what they define as "their zone". 

Abu Saqr, village elder of Al Hadidiya, is today in his sixties. He still remembers the times before Israel occupied the Jordan Valley in 1967 and has struggled with his community for decades to ensure their survival.


by Yassmine Saleh

In showing that Palestinians won’t submit to Israeli violence, the ongoing youth uprising has given the rest of Palestine hope.

Over the past several days, Palestinian youth in the West Bank have been exerting their political power — destroying parts of the Separation Wall surrounding the city of Abu Dis with a large hammer, rallying against the attacks on Jerusalemite Palestinians in the Old City, and clashing with Israeli soldiers at checkpoints.

On May 5th 2015, the battle to save Susya was met with a fatal blow as Judge Noam Sohlberg of Israel’s High Court of Justice rejected a petition for an interim order that would freeze the implementation of demolition orders until the case is heard in court. As a result, Susya and its 340 residents face imminent demolition and expulsion to Area A. This unusual move, whereby no hearing and inquest was granted, alludes to the idea that Israel is looking to destroy the village totally in the near future.

With Israel's policy of arrests escalating, Stop the Wall publishes an account by two witneses of an 'ordinary' court hearing in the extraordinary repressive and racist system of injustice of the Israeli military courts.

Stop the Wall has prepared a special report describing the horrific conditions in which Palestinians find themselves on a daily basis when crossing the checkpoints. For this we interviewed four individuals who experience these crossings daily and they have provided us with an insight into the difficulty, complications and humiliations they must face within their own land, whether they are looking for work, going to school or visiting loved ones – every part of their life is affected by the checkpoints.

Khalid Samih Hammed Draghmeh ”Abu Jamal”, a Palestinian citizen from the eastern Al-Laban village, Ramallah district, head of a seven members family, lives in an old khan located on the main road between Ramallah and Nablus, the area of the khan and the lands surrounding it are more than 22 km square, and it is surrounded by a settlements conglomerate grouping the settlements of “ Ma’aleh Labuneh”, “ Shilo”, and “Eli” settlements.

Asmaa' Jaber Amed Blasmeh whose age is 72 years, lives in Al Sheab, a small community in Salfit area, since 54 years. That was when she was married to her husband Hajj Abu Hassan, who only few years earlier arrived there as a refugee from the destroyed village of Kafr Qare’a. Both went to Salfit to reside in the community of Al Sheab, where already other refugee families from the villages Salmah, Kafr Qare’a and Kafr Aana had found a space to live. The area in Al Izbat al Sheab that is owned by Hajj Abu Hassan and his wife Om Hassan is 7 acres of land.

16-year-old Anan Tamimi from Nabi Saleh was arrested by Israeli soldiers on his way to school this morning for the third time in recent weeks by Manal Tamimi, 02 April 2012.

The Zionist IDF arrested the child Anan Naji Tamimi for the third time during the last forty days. Anan was arrested last month from his home at 3:00 am in the morning. His charges were participating in illegal protest and throwing stones, according to a picture one of the soldiers took during the protest for one of the children while he threw stones.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,


Tamir or Abu Taleeb (The Father of Taleeb) is shoemaker and lives in the H2 are of Hebron's Old City.

I met Tamir and his family the day when a group of young Palestinian and foreign volunteers met in his lands to harvest olives.

The first time I went to Turkalem, in the northeast of the West Bank, I did not know much about the situation there. I basically knew that it was mainly an agricultural region.

In Turkalem I met Faize Taneeb, an organic farmer, which already makes his story intresting, but the conditions he has to wrok his land, are the ones that make his case a special one.

This was originally posted on the BNC website:

Occupied Palestine, October 13 - The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the largest Palestinian civil society coalition struggling for Palestinian rights, is proud to stand in solidarity with the movements struggling for a new world based on democracy, human rights and economic justice. From New York to Athens, from Madrid to Santiago, from Bahrain to Rome, these huge mobilisations provide a much needed reminder of something that Palestinians have always known – that another world, a dignifying one, is possible and ordinary people can create it.

***image1*** Each day, for the last four months, Khalid Yousef Zeet, a resident and farmer in Qalqiliya, has worked his last three dunums of land despite harassment from Israeli contractors and private security. The activity of bulldozers destroying his land, less than one hundred meters away, takes place while he harvests and replants what is left of his crops. Three dunums of cabbage is all Khalid was left with after November 2002 when the Israeli military confiscated his other five dunums of cropland, bountiful with orange, lemon, guava, and olive trees, for the Wall.

This summer has seen massive protests in Chile on a variety of issues: student movement, Mapuche defense of resources, and demonstrations against damming projects. Tens of thousands of youth have taken to the streets to demand equality in affordable, public education. Our Palestinian youth express their solidarity with the demonstrators,

Interview with Suheil Suliman, coordinator of the popular committees in the West Bank.

Only a few days are between us and the anniversary of the Hague ruling. Tell us about the ruling and its importance to Palestinians.

***image2***Interview with Mr. Manuel Abdel Aal, a member of the executive committee of the Federation of Palestinian Trade Unions (PGFTU)

On the occasion of Labour Day, could you tell us about the situation of workers in the occupied Palestinian territories?

***image3***Welcome to the rural community of Wad Rahal (the Valley of Travelers) in Palestine. Located only three kilometers from Bethlehem, 1700 people call this village home. This community sits in between Palestine’s hillsides creating a picturesque farming village.

Although at first appearance Wad Rahal seems like an idyllic environment to live, this small community is burdened with struggles imposed upon them by the Occupation.

The March 15 protests drew thousands into al Manara Square, Ramallah, and many thousands more to the streets in Gaza. Inspired by the ongoing revolts in the Arab world, youth organizers have defined their own calls for more participation. On al Manara Square among the protestors were a dozen youth on hunger strike, while other protestors in Bethlehem remained camped out in Nativity Square. One youth activist from the West Bank spoke about the demonstrations and their goals:

We spoke with Iyas Abu Rahmah, a 19-year-old activist, photographer and film student from the village of Bil’in. He began by speaking about his work and activism in Bil’in:

Before the Nakba (the mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians during and following 1948), the current residents of al Walaja lived in the land that Zionist forces would occupy in 1948. After 1948, a small percentage of those that were expelled moved to present-day al Walaja. Today, several thousand residents are surrounded by the settlements of Battir, Gilo and Har Gilo.

Khalil lives with his 4 children and his wife in a small neighbourhood near the Etzion Settlement Block. Khalil is a farmer in the area, tending olive and fruit trees. For generations Khalil and his family have lived in this small neighbourhood where about 35 other people live. His home is humble. It is a two-room house. The washroom does not exist within his house but just outside his front gate there sits an outhouse. His walls and roof have been patched with tin and scrap wood. The oven for cooking is outside in the yard. His home has been unchanged since 1967.


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