Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai announced a donation of $50,000 for the reconstruction of Gaza’s schools. That was in October, in the wake of Israel’s summer assault that affected some 113,500 homes in addition to schools, public buildings, hospitals, utilities and other essential infrastructure. As part of an investigation into Palestine’s broken aid system, I set about tracking down where Malala’s money is.
The death of Palestine Liberation Organization official Ziad Abu Ein, who was struck by Israeli soldiers during a peaceful protest in the West Bank, has renewed calls for a halt to Palestinian Authority (PA) security cooperation with Israel. Such cooperation — which has been deemed vital by PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli top officials — is deeply unpopular among Palestinians.
In the last four days of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli army launched four attacks that totally destroyed multistorey landmark buildings in Gaza. While no one was killed, the attacks are of great significance because they are examples of what appears to have been deliberate destruction and targeting of civilian buildings and property on a large scale, carried out without military necessity. This briefing focuses exclusively on these attacks and considers whether they were militarily justified. It concludes that the destruction was extensive and appeared to have been wanton and not justified by military necessity.
With each new Israeli election, Palestinians are asked who will be better for the "peace process." We are told that the self-proclaimed “centrists” will improve the chances for peace and therefore we should hope that they gain more seats in the government. But make no mistake: there are no “centrists” in Israel; Zionist parties support Israel’s continued military occupation, the construction and expansion of Israeli colonies, the attacks on and siege of the Gaza Strip and, most important, the denial of freedom and equality to Palestinians.
Catering to a rightward trending Israeli public that is fiercely opposed to a Palestinian state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is advancing a “Jewish state bill.” In Netanyahu’s words, the bill will provide “national rights only for the Jewish people.” Some versions of the bill would make "Jewish tradition" and the "prophets of Israel" sources of legal and judicial authority.
Israel prevented experts from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch from entering the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge, and it still is preventing them. As a result, no independent professionals (for example, a certain retired British military officer) have been able to check in real time the army’s claims and versions; for example, about weapons caches or firing near or from inside UN buildings.
In our ever-growing jungle of protracted conflict and systemic injustice, there is an unquestionable need for inter-group reconciliation encounters between Israelis, Palestinians, and Palestinian-Israelis constructed with peacebuilding and human rights education. What is often missed is that peacebuilding and reconciliation are not simply the answer.
What does it say when a lawyer argues that police shouldn't have shot his client because it was clear he wasn't an Arab?
Jerusalem is aflame with what the Israeli writer Uri Avnery has called an “intifada of individuals,” as outbreaks of deadly violence have followed what began with Palestinian protests over fears of encroachment by Jewish extremists on the site in the Old City known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.