Activists’ lenses shoot back at IDF ‘abuses’

By Ben Lynfield, July 25, 2008

The Israeli human-rights group B'tselem says it is gathering more images of soldiers and settlers targeting Palestinians after it shocked the Israeli public this week by releasing a video clip of a soldier apparently firing a rubber-coated metal bullet at a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian.


Obama to visit Israel and PA

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 18, 2008

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is scheduled to receive a red-carpet reception when he arrives in Israel and the Palestinian Authority next week on a whirlwind visit.

The exact date of Mr Obama’s visit is being kept a secret for security considerations also related to his planned visit to Afghanistan and Iraq.


The paralysed girl fighting a ‘fatal’ transfer to West Bank

By Ben Lynfield, July 11, 2008

The future of a six-year-old Palestinian girl left paralysed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza remains in limbo after Israeli supreme-court judges balked at hearing her appeal against deportation to Ramallah.


Palestinians push Unicef to boycott Leviev

By Shelly Paz, June 27, 2008

A Palestinian human-rights organisation has convinced Unicef to reject further financial support from the billionaire diamonds entrepreneur Lev Leviev, whose construction company builds in Israeli settlements.

New York-based Adalah has been pressing for a consumer boycott against the Russian-born Israeli’s jewellery shops since the Denya-Sibos construction company, controlled by his Africa-Israel group, began building houses in three areas of the West Bank.


The view from the Gaza strip

By Ben Lynfield, June 20, 2008

“Everyone is waiting for the ceasefire because our lives are terrible.”

With those words, Raed al-Atamneh, a taxi-driver in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, summed up the mood in advance of the Egyptian-brokered truce.

“People expect goods to come into Gaza now. I hope this agreement will stop the shooting, stop the dying. People want to feel safe and have a good life, but the power is in Israeli hands, not Palestinian hands,” Mr al-Atamneh added.


Israelis: Palestine welcomes you

By Ben Lynfield, June 13, 2008
PA tourism chief urges visits to Bethlehem to boost the West Bank’s economy

Israeli tourists are welcome in Bethlehem and would be safe if they visit, the Palestinian Tourism Minister promised this week.

“It is true we still live under isolation, we still have the wall and you have to enter though checkpoints, but once you enter you will find people who receive you warmly and you will have a unique experience,” Khouloud Daibes said in her office near Manger Square.


Outrage over East Jerusalem plans

By Ben Lynfield, June 6, 2008

In the face of criticism from the Palestinian Authority, the United States and the UN, Israeli housing minister Zeev Boim has defended a decision to expand Jewish housing in parts of East Jerusalem considered as settlements by the international community.

Mr Boim said that the decision to build nearly 900 units at Har Homa and in Givat Zeev was taken with the “knowledge and approval” of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and underlined the government’s policy to maintain Jerusalem as an undivided capital.


Forget the Palestinians — Iran is the big issue for presidential hopefuls

June 6, 2008

It was not the first time Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had told this story. Apparently, she thinks it resonates with Jewish-American crowds. It is the story of her last meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon before he went into a coma, how he showed her the sheep on his farm, and she, city girl that she is, had never met a sheep face-to-face, or so she says.


Help build trust with Arab Israelis

By Michael Howard, June 6, 2008

The ordinary individual, too, has a role to play in the peace process

Last month we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the birth of the state of Israel. We paid tribute to its numerous spectacular achievements. We congratulated those responsible. Yet the fact that Israel still lives in an area of strife and has failed to build a lasting peace in the region casts a long shadow over those celebrations.


Amnesty slates Israel and Palestinians in report

By Bernard Josephs, May 30, 2008

Both the Palestinians and Israel have been heavily criticised in a major report issued this week by Amnesty International to mark the 60th anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights.

Launching the report, the organisation’s secretary-general Irene Khan said it covered countries all over the world, but noted that in the Middle East the brunt seemed “to fall on civilians taking no part in conflict”.