UNRWA Cuts are a Violation of Human Rights

Palestinain refugees from Syria. (IRIN)

By Ali Huwaidi The last thing one would think of is that the reduction of services provided by an agency established by the UN would constitute a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all 30 articles of which were adopted by the organisation on 10 December, 1948. Indeed, no one would have thought […]

Alliance Blackmail: Israel’s Opposition to the Iran Nuclear Agreement

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (FARS)

By Richard Falk The Vienna Agreement [formally labeled by diplospeak as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)] reached by the P5 + 1 on July 14, 2015 has been aptly hailed as a political breakthrough, not only because it calms regional worries about Iran’s nuclear program, but more so because it has the potential […]

Amnesty: Israel Committed War Crimes during Rafah ‘Carnage’


There is overwhelming evidence of war crimes commissioned and committed by the Israeli military in Rafah last August, a new report by Amnesty International has concluded. In what the global human rights NGO has described as a “cutting edge investigation”, the Israeli army was found to have conducted “disproportionate, or otherwise indiscriminate, attacks which killed […]

The Stalemate in the Palestinian Political System

Abed Rabbo (L) was one of those closest to Mahmoud Abbas in his political circle.

By Majed Kaylai  The Palestinian political system is characterised by a statute of limitations due to the fact that the same factions have formed the ruling elite and the same tactics have been implemented for decades. At least, this is what can be said since the establishment of the Palestinian territories over the course of […]

Palestinian Girl Reduced to Tears by Merkel Speaks Out


The 14-year-old Palestinian girl with cerebral palsy who hit the headlines after Angela Merkel explained Germany’s tough asylum policy toward refugees in camps, reducing her to tears, said she hopes that Israel disappears and there will be only Palestine. “My hope is that at some time, [Israel] is no longer there, but only Palestine,” Reem […]

Darker Horizons Ahead: Rethinking the War on ‘IS’

As long as reality remains intact, IS will tragically find new recruits.

By Ramzy Baroud As much of the Middle East sinks deeper into division between competing political camps, the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (‘IS’) continues its unhindered march towards a twisted version of a Muslim caliphate. Many thousands have lost their lives, some in the most torturous ways, so that ‘IS’ may realize its nightmarish dream. Of […]

Besieged Yarmouk Camp No Longer Besieged, UN Rules

A malnourished child cries in the Yarmouk camp for Palestinians. (UNRWA)

By Joe Dyke The United Nations has quietly removed a major Palestinian camp from its list of besieged areas in Syria, despite not being able to deliver aid there for four months, and to the shock of residents. The Yarmouk camp, a sprawling residential area on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, was home […]

The Deep Roots of Turkey’s War on ISIL

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Anadolu)

By Ramzy Baroud July 23 signalled a major shift in Turkey’s policy towards Syria when its fighter jets began pounding Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets. The change in Turkey’s attitude towards the US-led war on ISIL is explained by many in the context of the devastating suicide bombing in the southern […]

Four Facts You Might Not Know about Housing Demolitions by Israel

A building in the Palestinian village of Susiya which could be demolished. (Annie Slemrod/IRIN)

By Annie Slemrod The small Palestinian village of Khirbet Susiya in the Israeli-occupied West Bank has been drawn into the international spotlight this week, as the US, the UK and the EU condemned plans by the Israeli army to demolish it. The US State Department said its destruction would be “harmful and provocative.” So far the […]

From Chaos and Counterrevolution: After the Arab Spring

(Photo: Just World Books)

(This feature on Iran is an extract from Richard Falk’s latest book, Chaos and Counterrevolution: After the Arab Spring. Visit Zed Books if you are interested in making a purchase.) By Richard Falk I have had a long involvement with the twisting fate of Iran. After the end of the Vietnam War in the mid-1970s, […]

‘Fortress Israel': The Ups and Downs of Arms Sales and Cyber Surveillance

Prime Minister Netanyahu's new favourite word is: 'cyber'.

By Shir Hever The military industry in Israel has had its ups and downs over the years. After the occupation of 1967 and the French arms embargo on Israel, massive state investments in arms production have turned the arms industry into one of Israel’s largest industrial sectors. The Israeli Ministry of Defence buys many of […]

Arms Sales to Israel: The UK Government Can’t Be Trusted

The core function of the Israeli military is to enforce its illegal occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (Tamar Fleishman, PC)

By Ryvka Barnard Last week, the UK government announced the outcome of a review of military export licences whose legality had been called into question during Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip last summer. The outcome, which came 11 months after the review began, concluded that there is no risk that weapons being shipped from the […]

Palestinians: Battling for Freedom on Their Own

(Tamar Fleishman, Palestine Chronicle)

By Ghada Aqeel For all its horrors, the brutal Israeli attack on Gaza at this time last summer and the callous disregard exhibited by much of the international community to both the attack and the misery endured by Gazans living in rubble for the next year, did serve notice, again, to Palestinians that they are […]

The Bloody Cost of Apartheid: Israel Kills Twice in Two Days

By Ben White Israeli occupation forces have killed again: the victim this time was Falah Abu Maria, a 52-year-old father shot dead in Beit Ummar, a village in the southern West Bank. Abu Maria’s death came just a day after 21-year-old Muhammad ‘Alawna had been shot dead near Jenin. Israel has now killed 17 Palestinians […]

What, Really, is Netanyahu’s Game Plan for America?

So what, really, is Netanyahu's game plan for America?

By Alan Hart My headline question was provoked by Netanyahu’s response to the P5+1 agreement with Iran which he called “an historic mistake” and an editorial in The New York Times described as being “clearly in the best interests of the US and the other nations that drafted it and Israel.” (My emphasis added). The […]

Reviewing Trashy Hasbara against BDS


By Vacy Vlazna Boycotting Israel is Wrong: The progressive path to peace between Palestinians and Israelis by Philip Mendes, Nick Dyrenfurth is a slipshod diatribe against the principled efforts of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. It beggars belief that this silly book, riddled with hasbara and anti-arabsemitism, is written by academics with research […]

Israel’s Endless Misery for Gaza is No Policy at All

What's going on? Does Israel want Hamas weakened or strengthened? (Via Aljazeera)

By Jonathan Cook For those trying to read developments between Israel and Gaza over the past weeks, the picture has been unusually puzzling. A month ago European diplomats and Palestinian officials in the West Bank suggested that Israel and Hamas were taking “baby steps”, as one Palestinian analyst termed it, towards a truce. Then earlier […]

European Immigration and Greater Israel

Yarmouk - 'Another aspect of the plan, was to disperse the Palestinians away from their homeland on a permanent basis.' (IRIN)

By Roger Van Zwanenberg Can we connect the invasion of refugees into Europe, from across the Middle East and North Africa with Israeli Foreign Policy? It may seem like a long stretch, but I think we can. Even the most conservative analysts, wring their hands in dismay, when writing on US and EU Western policy […]

A Chance for Arab-Iranian Reconciliation: An Opportunity in the Iran Nuclear Deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (FARS)

By Ramzy Baroud “The Americans have taken the Shia Muslim side in the Middle East’s sectarian war,” declared Robert Fisk in the “Independent” newspaper on July 15, a day after the US and five major world powers reached a landmark agreement with Iran about its nuclear programs. Fisk’s proclamation is quite cursory. Aside from the […]

Che Guevara in Gaza: Palestine Becomes a Global Cause

Che visited gaza on June 18, 1959. As he walked around in Palestinian refugee camps, refugees welcomed him with chants supporting the Cuban revolution.

By Dr. Salman Abu Sitta Che Guevara’s visit to Gaza in 1959 was the first sign of transforming the Zionist colonization of Palestine from a regional conflict to a global struggle against colonialism. The trigger was the Bandung conference in 1955 and the resulting Non-Aligned Movement, whose members has just recently shaken the yoke of […]

Yemen’s Conflict is Splintering Out of Control

A Yemeni man sits outside the ruins of his home destroyed by an airstrike shortly after the ceasefire. (Almigdad Mojalli, IRIN)

By Joe Dyke and Almigdad Mojalli As ceasefires go, the latest one in Yemen might go down as one of the most irrelevant ever. It was supposed to be in place for 10 days but, depending on who you ask, it lasted for somewhere between 30 seconds and two hours. Its dismal failure, analysts said, […]

‘Choked, Beaten and Strip-searched': HRW Slams Israel for ‘Abusive Arrests’ of Palestinian Kids

(Tamar Fleishman, Palestine Chronicle)

Israeli security forces have performed “abusive arrests” of Palestinian children, chocking, beating and threatening kids as young as 11, a global watchdog said in a report. “Israeli security forces have used unnecessary force to arrest or detain Palestinian children as young as 11,” a report published by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Monday. According […]

Camp Life: Daily Struggles in Shatila

Shatila refugee camp. (Richard Hardigan, PC)

By Richard Hardigan – Shatila Refugee Camp, Lebanon “Two weeks ago my five-year-old cousin was shot in the eye and killed.” Amal Mohamed’s face betrays no emotion as she explains what happened. “They celebrated with gunfire, and one of the bullets came down and hit him in the head.” Twenty-two years old, Amal lives in […]

Secrecy in Sinai – an Unknown Human Toll

Destruction in the Sinai region. (IRIN, file)

By Mohannad Sabry – Cairo Ever since Islamic State-affiliated militants tried to take the town of Sheikh Zuwayed in North Sinai last week, the Egyptian media has talked of little else. “What mistakes were made?” “Where did they get their weapons from?” and “What can be done to rid the country of the scourge of […]

Shoot and Lie: Israeli Forces Are Killing Civilians with Impunity

By Ben White On Sunday, an undercover unit of Israel’s Border Police conducted an arrest raid in Shuafat refugee camp, an area of Occupied East Jerusalem locked behind the Separation Wall. Encountering resistance from local residents, the undercover forces requested assistance, and a large number of uniformed Israeli forces entered the camp. The police, in […]

10 Reasons Why We All should Boycott Israel in Solidarity with Palestinians

BDS campaigns have been initiated (and won!) by student groups.

By War on Want Ten years ago this week, over 170 Palestinian civil society organisations called upon people of conscience to build a movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it ends its Apartheid policies. War on Want is proud to be a leading voice in building the international BDS movement. Here […]

Skeptics, Snapbacks & Netanyahu: How Iran Nuclear Deal Could Still be Derailed

Netanyahu called the deal a 'historic mistake for the world.' (Via Press TV)

Triumphal tags of “comprehensive” and “historic” used by US and Iranian leaders to describe the Vienna treaty on Iran’s nuclear program have not impressed those cynical of the deal’s actual implementation. Here is why it may be too early to celebrate. Firstly, the US President Barack Obama will only have a 60-day window to convince […]

Gaza Writes Back – Book Review


Reviewed by Gary Corseri (Gaza Writes Back: Short Stories from Young Writers in Gaza, Palestine. Edited by Refaat Alareer. Just World Books, Charlottesville, VA, 2014. 205 pages.) I think I was in the first grade when I first heard about “war.” It was the Korean War the adults were talking about. The new president was […]

Why Palestinians Fight Back: The Logic of Life and Death in Gaza

Even if the math of Resistance does not add up Palestinians in Gaza will continue to resist. (

By Ramzy Baroud Another row is brewing between Israel and the Palestinian Resistance Movement, Hamas, over the release of Avraham Mengitsu, an Israeli citizen who, according to Israeli military sources, ‘slipped into Gaza’ on September 7, 2014. The circumstances of Mengitsu’s entry into Gaza remain unclear, especially since Hamas’ political leader, Khaled Mashaal, denied that […]

Voting for Hilary Clinton? Red Lines versus Lesser of Evils

My overall sense is that the lesser of evils is still evil. (Via Indepedent)

By Richard Falk Assuming that the current prospects for presidential candidates hold firm, and Hilary Clinton is nominated by the Democrats and Jeb Bush, Rick Rubio, or Scott Walker win the Republican nomination, what should a conscientious citizen do when it comes to voting in November 2016? Of course, step one is to rule out […]

The Free Zone | Blog

  • July 31, 2015

    Hamas: 'Settlers, Soldiers' Legitimate Targets after Infant Killing

    Palestinian political factions strongly condemned an arson attack carried out by settlers which killed a Palestinian infant on Friday, holding the Israeli leadership fully responsible for the brutal attack and calling for revenge. - Hamas said that the killing of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha in the Nablus village of Duma makes all "Israeli soldiers and settlers legitimate targets for resistance." - A spokesperson for... More →
  • July 31, 2015

    EU Calls on Israel to Halt Settlement Expansion

    In the wake of the Israeli government's announcement that it is going to build more than 800 new housing units in settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, the EU has called on Israel to halt all such expansion. The Europeans believe that an increase in the size of the illegal settlements, reported Qudsnet, undermines the prospects for an end to the conflict based on a two-state solution. - "The latest... More →
  • July 31, 2015

    Ultra-Orthodox Jew Stabs at Least 6 at Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade

    At least six people were stabbed at an LGBT pride parade in Jerusalem on Thursday, local media reported, citing Israeli police and paramedics. The suspected attacker, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, has been arrested. - Police said that six people have been injured, adding that two of them were in serious condition. - "We were prepared for every scenario, but our perimeter was breached. This is a severe, hard incident, which... More →
  • July 30, 2015

    Israel Moves to Legalize Gitmo-style Force-feeding of Hunger Strikers

    The Israeli parliament has passed a bill that allows the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners who resort to hunger strikes to protest their administrative detention without charge. The national medical association said the procedure amounts to torture. - The 120-seat Knesset approved the controversial bill, with 46 legislators in favor and 40 against it. Called “Law to prevent harm caused by hunger strikes,” it... More →
  • July 30, 2015

    Hamas Rejects Fatah's Demand to Hand over Rule of Gaza

    Hamas officials on Wednesday rejected demands by Fatah leadership to hand over rule of the Gaza Strip and called for an "uprising" against Palestinian Authority security forces. - Fatah leader Azzam al-Ahmad had said on Sunday that Hamas "foiled" efforts towards a unity government, and that the group must hand over rule of the Gaza Strip as a condition for forming the new government. - Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri... More →
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