News

Israel Cries Foul over FIFA Suspension Talk

FIFA President Sepp Blatter is trying to broker a deal between the Palestinian and Israel football associations ahead of this week’s FIFA World Congress at which the Palestinians have called for a vote to suspend Israel. Blatter met with both associations, as well as Israeli and Palestinian political leaders, during a visit to the region […]

Sirens Sound, Rocket Fired into Southern Israel

Rocket sirens sounded in southern Israel Tuesday night after a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip, Israeli police said. The Israeli military identified at least one rocket fired from Gaza as well as a shooting position after residents reported hearing explosions near Ashdod and Kiryat Malachi, Israeli news source Haaretz reported, adding the military […]

Video: Israeli Soldiers Threaten Palestinian Child with False Arrest

Israeli soldiers in the Palestinian city of Hebron threatened to arrest a 14-year-old Palestinian boy simply for being in the vicinity of people throwing stones last month. In a video released by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem in recent days, Israeli soldiers can be seen detaining the child, Maher Abu Haya, near his family home […]

Israel will Imprison Soldier, 19, for Publicly Criticizing the Occupation

19-year-old Israeli soldier Shachar Berrin, who is being imprisoned for criticizing Israel's illegal occupation. (DW, The New Arab Debates)

The Israeli government is imprisoning Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier Shachar Berrin for criticizing its illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. In the Q&A session during the public filming of a television program on May 14, the 19-year-old soldier spoke about the widespread racism he has seen among Israeli occupation forces. He recalled an incident […]

Israel Revokes Jerusalem Residency Status of Prisoner’s Wife

Al-Shalabi has been given 21 days to present her objections to the ban. (Ma'an)

Israeli authorities have revoked the residency status of a Palestinian woman from East Jerusalem after having lived in the city for 23 years, less than two weeks after her husband was sentenced to nine months in an Israeli prison over activity on Facebook. The Israeli Ministry of the Interior refused 43-year-old Muna Abdullah al-Shalabi’s “family […]

Report: Majority of Refugees have Left Yarmouk Camp

Yarmouk refugees are a portion of the over half a million Palestinian refugees affected by the past five years of Syrian civil war.

Thousands of Palestinian refugees have fled the Yarmouk refugee camp south of Damascus fearing “oppression” practiced by militant groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, says Secretary-General of the coalition of Palestinian factions in the camp, Khalid Abd al-Majid. Speaking to Jordan’s Al-Ghad newspaper on Saturday, Abd al-Majid said fewer than 7,000 refugees remained in the […]

Netanyahu Halts Ban on Palestinians Using Settler Buses

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday ordered the suspension of a controversial measure banning Palestinians from riding the same buses as Jewish settlers when returning from Israel to the West Bank. The announcement came several hours after a three-month pilot project which was approved by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon went into action. The ban […]

Israeli Settlers Destroy 250 Olive Trees in Northern Hebron

Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Bat Ayin north of Hebron set fire to an estimated 25 dunams of Palestinian land on Monday destroying up to 250 olive trees, a local committee reported. A spokesperson for the Beit Ummar popular committee, Muhammad Ayyad Awad, said that five Israeli settlers in white clothes between the […]

Israeli Government to Pay African Refugees $3,500 to Leave

Other measures include the establishment of a migrant detention center in the Negev desert. (ActiveStills.org)

The Israeli government will pay $3,500 grants to African refugees to encourage them to leave the country, it has said. The country’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the move was designed to “protect the Jewish and democratic character” of the Middle Eastern state. The country’s coalition cabinet voted unanimously last weekend to approve the plan, […]

Pope Creates First Palestinian Saints at Vatican Mass

Two 19th-century nuns on Sunday became the first Palestinians to gain sainthood during an open-air mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square attended by President Mahmoud Abbas. The pontiff urged the faithful to follow the “luminous example” of the two 19th-century sisters and two others, from France and Italy, who were canonized along […]

NYT Public Editor Faults Paper for Failing to Quote Jews who Support BDS

In recent days we have made a lot of the fact that the New York Times ran a front-page article equating the campus Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israel with anti-Semitism. The piece completely left out the fact that many Jewish students support BDS (about one in five of activists Weiss has seen […]

3 Palestinians in Gaza Shot, Injured in Nakba Day Protest

Three Palestinians were injured by live fire during a Nakba Day demonstration in the Gaza Strip on Friday, witnesses said. Locals told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers opened fire on peaceful demonstrators east of Gaza City, hitting three men in the legs. Dozens of Palestinians were taking part in the march to commemorate the 67th anniversary […]

Susiya Residents Await Evacuation

A civil administration representative along with Israeli forces took photos and measurements of village structures in Khirbet Susiya earlier this week, residents fearing imminent demolition of their homes, rights organization says. Based on past experiences, the steps taken by the Civil Administration on Sunday signal future destruction of the measured structures in the village located […]

Israel Sentences Palestinian to 9 Months for Facebook Posts

He was under suspicion because he wrote 'forgive me' on Facebook. (Via Maan)

The former secretary-general of Fatah in Jerusalem has been sentenced to nine months in an Israeli prison for activity on social media. The Israeli magistrate’s court in Jerusalem handed the sentence to Omar al-Shalabi after he was convicted of inciting anti-Jewish violence and supporting “terror” in posts and comments on Facebook. Al-Shalabi was one of […]

Netherlands to Issue New Policy Directives on Settlement Pension Payments

The Netherlands has cancelled reported plans to cut the pension of a Dutch Holocaust survivor as a result of her residing in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, according to Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post. Spokesman for the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment informed Jerusalem Post that although they will not be slashing […]

‘Illegal under International Law': EU Slams Israel’s Settlement Plans in East Jerusalem

The EU has criticized Israel for recently approving the construction of 900 new settler homes in East Jerusalem, joining the US and Palestinian condemnation of Tel-Aviv’s settlement policies. “Israel’s determination to continue its settlement policy despite the urging of the international community not only threatens the viability of the two state solution but also seriously […]

Bedouin Families East of Jerusalem Face Forced Evacuation

Dozens of Palestinian families living in the Bedouin Abu Nuwwar village to the east of Jerusalem will be forced from their land in less than a month, locals told Ma’an on Saturday. Israeli authorities are evacuating the families to clear way for the expansion of the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, which lies to […]

Israeli Forces Shoot, Seriously Injure Palestinian near Nablus

Israeli forces shot and seriously injured a Palestinian man in al-Fara refugee camp north of Nablus on Thursday, locals said. Rabee Jamal Mubarak, 22, was shot in the back and abdomen, witnesses said, as Israeli forces raided the camp. He was taken to hospital in hospital where he is said to be in a stable […]

Israel Approves 900 East Jerusalem Settler Homes

Israel has approved construction of 900 settler homes in annexed East Jerusalem, a watchdog said Thursday shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed a new right-wing religious coalition. The new homes will be built in the east Jerusalem settlement neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo following a decision late Wednesday by the city’s district planning committee, […]

Israeli Court Makes Way for Demolition of Palestinian Village

An Israeli high court ruling has rejected a request to halt the demolition of a Palestinian West Bank village. Activists fear the worst is soon to come for the settlement of 340 people, which has been fighting over right for land for nearly 30 years. The village of Sussiya in the southern Hebron Hills has […]

Senate’s Iran Bill Won’t Require Tehran to Recognize Israel – Reports

As the US Senate continues to debate a bill that would allow it to weigh in on a possible nuclear deal with Iran, Republican leaders appear ready to vote on a proposal that will not require Tehran to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, among other things. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) did not […]

French Judges End Inquiry into Arafat’s 2004 Death

Former PA president Yasser Arafat.

French judges re-examining the evidence surrounding the 2004 death of former president Yasser Arafat have concluded their investigations, the prosecutors office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre said Tuesday. “The judges have closed their dossier and it was sent to the prosecutor on April 30,” he said. The prosecutor now has three months to prepare […]

Pressure Rises on Robbie Williams and UNICEF over Israel Gig

Roger Waters has written an open letter to British pop-star Robbie Williams, pleading with him not to play Tel Aviv on May 2nd. The ex-Pink Floyd front man told Mr Williams that his decision to play the gig “gives succor to Netanyahu and his regime, and endorses their exceptionalist and deadly racist policies” and “would […]

Hamas Security HQ in Gaza Bombed after Threat

A bomb blast targeted Hamas’s security headquarters in Gaza City on Monday, witnesses said, after Islamists issued a threatening message calling for the release of prisoners. The explosion just before dawn damaged the building’s perimeter wall, witnesses told AFP. The security forces, run by de facto Gaza ruler Hamas, were not immediately available for comment. […]

Israeli Soldier Testimonies Reveal ‘Shoot to Kill’ Policy in Gaza War

'If you shoot someone in Gaza it's cool, no big deal'

Testimonies from over 60 Israeli soldiers and officers who fought during last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip were released to the public Monday, raising serious concerns over whether Israel’s military adhered to the most basic principles of International Humanitarian Law. The testimonies — collected by Israeli military watchdog Breaking the Silence — tell accounts […]

Palestinian UN Envoy Denounces Israeli Abuse of Children

Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour has sent an open letter to the UN Security Council demanding that Israel be brought to justice over violations and abuse against Palestinian children. “Every single day and in countless ways, Palestinian children are victims of Israeli human rights violations, with no child considered too young to be […]

Islamic Jihad: PA Arresting Members in West Bank

The Islamic Jihad movement on Saturday accused the Palestinian Authority of arresting and harassing its members in the occupied West Bank. Islamic Jihad said in a statement that PA security forces had arrested members in Jenin, Tulkarem, Ramallah, and Hebron governorates. The statement alleged that the PA had summoned students and activists affiliated to Islamic […]

David Cameron Says Israel was Right to Defend Itself over Gaza Attacks Last Year

Israel was right to defend itself in the face of “indiscriminate” attacks in Gaza last summer, David Cameron has said. The Prime Minister insisted it was “important to speak out” about standing by Israel and said there was an “important difference” between Israel’s use of weapons to defend itself and Hamas’ use of them “to […]

Father of Jenin Teen Says ‘Son Killed in Cold Blood’

Hundreds of Palestinians attended the funeral of Muhammad Murad Yahiya, 18, on Tuesday after he was shot dead by Israeli forces late Monday in al-Araqa village in western Jenin. “Israel assassinated my son in cold blood,” Yahiya’s father, Murad, told Ma’an. “After a family wedding Muhammad and several of his friends went walking in our […]

Israel Invites Bids for 77 East Jerusalem Settler Homes

Israeli authorities invited tenders on Monday for the construction of 77 homes in settlement neighborhoods of annexed East Jerusalem, settlement watchdog Peace Now said. Peace Now spokeswoman Hagit Ofran told AFP it was the first such announcement in East Jerusalem since a March 17 general election win by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud party. […]

The Free Zone | Blog

  • May 26, 2015

    Israel Cries Foul over FIFA Suspension Talk

    FIFA President Sepp Blatter is trying to broker a deal between the Palestinian and Israel football associations ahead of this week's FIFA World Congress at which the Palestinians have called for a vote to suspend Israel. - Blatter met with both associations, as well as Israeli and Palestinian political leaders, during a visit to the region in hopes of finding a way to ease the tension. FIFA is the international soccer... More →
  • May 26, 2015

    After Capturing Haifa, Ben-Gurion Gave Order to Stop Fleeing Arabs from Returning

    David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, gave an instruction aimed at preventing Haifa’s Arab residents who have fled the city during the 1948 War of Independence from returning to their homes as long as the fighting continued. This was revealed in a letter bearing Ben-Gurion's signature, which will go on sale next week at the Kedem auction house in Jerusalem. - The letter was sent by Ben-Gurion on June 2,... More →
  • May 26, 2015

    The End of Hasbara? ‘NYT’ Readers Question US Support for Apartheid

    The New York Times published a remarkable discussion yesterday. Alongside an article about Israel canceling a plan to segregate buses going to the West Bank so as to keep Palestinians off settlers’ buses, it published readers’ comments, and in both the editors’ selection and the readers’ selection, the comments were running against Israel. - In fact, the readers’ picks were almost completely one-sided. Here... More →
  • May 26, 2015

    Wrongfully Treating Academic Debate as Anti-Semitism

    According to the State Department definition, a Palestinian student claiming the right to return to her homeland could be considered to be "denying Israel's right to exist," given the demographic implications of the Palestinian right of return for the Jewish state. A professor daring to suggest that Israel should be, like the U.S., the state of all its citizens — liberal, secular and multicultural — rather than... More →
  • May 25, 2015

    Video: Israeli Soldiers Threaten Palestinian Child with False Arrest

    Israeli soldiers in the Palestinian city of Hebron threatened to arrest a 14-year-old Palestinian boy simply for being in the vicinity of people throwing stones last month. - In a video released by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem in recent days, Israeli soldiers can be seen detaining the child, Maher Abu Haya, near his family home on April 6, 2015. - In the video, the soldiers argue with the child’s... More →
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