“Breathing is the only thing we don’t need a permit for – yet! Buildings, new roads, reservoirs, we have been waiting three years to get permits. We cannot get a permit for a new health clinic. We are short of water for both human and agricultural use.”
by Robert Fisk
First Published: Jan. 30, 2010 – The Independent
Area C doesn’t sound very ominous. A land of stone-sprinkled grey hills and soft green valleys, it’s part of the wreckage of the equally wrecked Oslo Agreement, accounting for 60 per cent of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that was eventually supposed to be handed over to its Palestinian inhabitants.
But look at the statistics and leaf through the pile of demolition orders lying on the table in front of Abed Kasab, head of the village council in Jiftlik, and it all looks like ethnic cleansing via bureaucracy. Perverse might be the word for the paperwork involved. Obscene appear to be the results.
Jan. 19, 2010 – Press TV
Israeli soldiers have arrested 17 Palestinians in pre-dawn raids in a number of occupied West Bank towns.
According to the International Middle East Media Center, 15 of those detained in the overnight operations on Monday were from the central West Bank city of Ramallah and nearby villages.
A large number of Israeli troops cordoned off and ransacked the residents’ houses in pursuit of ‘documents.’ The Palestinians were taken to military detention camps to be questioned.
by Ellen Cantarow and Tom Engelhardt
Published: Dec. 09, 2009 – Antiwar.com
Try to imagine this: An American president visits Israel and in a speech given close to the vast “separation wall” Israel continues to build in part through Palestinian territory, says: “Mr. Netanyahu, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for Israel and the region, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Netanyahu, open this gate! Mr. Netanyahu, tear down this wall!”
I’m sure you recognize that set of famous lines. With the name “Gorbachev” in place of “Netanyahu,” President Ronald Reagan intoned them on June 12, 1987, in front of the Berlin Wall. Less than two-and-a-half years later, of course, that stain on Europe, that prison wall of Soviet power which, in all the years of the Cold War, was seldom long out of the U.S. news, was gone – and 20 years later we’re still celebrating. The Israeli wall, endlessly under construction, is far longer, approximately twice as high, no less militarized, and no less a dystopian wonder of prison architecture. It is also a thief. As it meanders, it steals land. It is, as the Berlin Wall once was, a stain on the human landscape. But no American president, including Barack Obama, is likely to make a Reaganesque journey to the Middle East, denounce the wall, and call for its dismantlement. It plays little part in the news in this country when the Israeli-Palestinian situation is raised. It’s hard to imagine us celebrating its fall.
by Paul Woodward
Published: Nov. 17, 2009 – War in Context
For most Israelis, the occupied West Bank — now mostly concealed behind a barrier far more imposing than the Berlin Wall — could be a million miles away. Even so, thousands really do know what it’s like. They have firsthand experience of the conditions imposed on ordinary Palestinians — they know because during their military service they had a direct role in imposing those conditions.
For the rest of us, beyond hearing testimony, seeing photographs and film, it is really only through an act of imagination that we can transport ourselves there and attempt to understand what it means to be living under military occupation.
The following film was created as a tool to help those of us who take freedom of movement for granted, to have a sense of what it means when that freedom is taken away.
Israeli prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has struck a secret deal with one of his coalition partners, pledging to expand settlements in a highly-contentious area of the West Bank, army radio said.
The agreement is not included in the official coalition deal between Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud and the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party of firebrand Avigdor Lieberman but the two men struck the understanding during their coalition talks, the radio said.
According to the plan, some 3,000 housing units are to be constructed in the so-called E1 Sector in the occupied West Bank which runs between annexed east Jerusalem and the Maale Adumim settlement.
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