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Palestine’s wasted time at the UN

-Palestine's- wasted -time -at -the -UN
Even by the standards of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Palestinian Authority's just-thwarted attempt at a UN Security Council resolution was a spectacular waste of time, and needlessly handed Israel a symbolic diplomatic victory . The draft - which called for peace with Israel within a year, and an end to the occupation by 2017 - fell one yes vote short of...

Jerusalem: Don’t call it a religious conflict

They are horrifying images of a house of prayer drenched in blood. That an ultra-orthodox synagogue in West Jerusalem was chosen for this latest, gruesome attack, in which four Jewish-Israeli men were killed by two knife-wielding Palestinians, has detonated appalling historic associations and has been widely condemned. This attack has also, inevitably, sparked descriptions of a "religious war" in...

Israeli settlers burn mosque in West Bank

Israeli settlers have torched a mosque in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said, amid growing tensions and violence in the territory and occupied East Jerusalem. The attack on the mosque just before dawn on Wednesday, near the Jewish settlement of Shilo, came after separate Palestinian knife attacks on Monday killed a settler in the southern West Bank, and an Israeli...

Nothing is changing for Jerusalem’s Palestinians

Forty seven years of occupation, physical isolation and successful annihilation of its leaders and leadership structures have turned Jerusalem's 300,000 Palestinian Arabs into political orphans. The Palestinians of Jerusalem are totally stateless. The few Palestinians holding any sort of symbolic leadership position, such as members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, or religious leaders are regularly hauled to the Israeli police station for questions, short-term arrests and are sometimes...

Gaza plan ‘relieves Israel of responsibility

A massive UN-supervised project to rebuild Gaza got underway earlier last week, but officials in Gaza and Ramallah are already doubtful that it will bring immediate aid to residents of the battered strip. The reconstruction plan calls for a highly intricate monitoring system, with restrictive measures on the import and distribution of building materials. This comes at the behest of...

Bedouins fear Israeli resettlement plans

At a steep rocky hillside by the road that winds down to the Dead Sea, children of this Palestinian Bedouin community run up and down the rugged slopes, as goats graze on thorny weeds and sheep bleat nearby. The encampment falls on a bare ridge between Jerusalem and Jericho, almost at sea level, as its name suggests. Just several hundred...

Voices from Gaza

The 1.8 million Palestinians who live in Gaza are losing hope. This coastal strip that they call home has been under siege for the last ten years - a decade of Israel controlling everything that comes in and out, stopping people and supplies moving freely, a decade of military incursions with Palestinians having nowhere to run. The last major assault...

Gaza 1994-2014: The peace that led to war

Gaza -1994-2014-The-peace that-led-to-war
So much has changed, so little has improved two decades after Israel and the PLO signed the Gaza-Jericho Agreement that paved the way for the beginning of limited Palestinian self- rule. I witnessed first-hand peoples' joy as the Israelis withdrew from the populated centres in the spring of 1994. The arrival in Gaza of PLO leader Yasser Arafat soon after...

Gaza faces imminent water crisis

For seven days now, when Khalil Hassan turns on the tap, he finds no water. He must now go back and forth between his home and an open vegetable stand in Zeitoun district, where he collects water from a truck with a water tank. "I have 30 people living at home, and not a drop of water for almost a...

West Bank Bedouin: ‘We live in fear

West-Bank-Bedouin-We-live in-fear
A pile of rubble - with metals rods protruding from the concrete slabs – is all that is left of Suleiman Kayed's home here on a mountain named after Pope Paul VI, whose 1964 pilgrimage to Jerusalem prompted the late King Hussein of Jordan to gift the Vatican a plot of land. In this Bedouin encampment amid the rocky foothills...