Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another day in the West Bank - Israeli forces shoot B'Tselem spokesperson

972 Magazine reports--

WATCH: Israeli forces shoot B'Tselem spokesperson during West Bank protest

B’Tselem spokesperson and colleague Sarit Michaeli was shot in the leg from close range on Friday by Israeli forces while documenting the weekly protest in Nabi Saleh, as she has been doing for years. She issued a statement Saturday on her understanding of what happened, which I translated below.

Although this is not the first time an Israeli has been wounded by IDF fire at West Bank protests (there are a handful of other cases), it is quite uncommon. It  is certainly not the first time a Palestinian or foreigner has been wounded (there are dozens of such cases). It is important to note that Sarit is a professional NGO worker and her presence at the protests in Nabi Saleh is part of the organization’s work documenting human rights violations in the occupied West Bank.

As of Saturday evening, no Israeli mainstream media outlet reported on the incident. I contacted the IDF Spokesperson for comment and will update accordingly. (Response from a Border Police spokesperson has been added below)

B’Tselem spokesperson Sarit Michaeli, holds a rubber coated bullet, which was taken out of her leg, in Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv, July 20, 2013. Photo by: Oren Ziv/

Sarit tells about her ordeal: "On Friday I was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet while documenting the demonstration in Nabi Saleh. The demonstration was dispersed by Border Police officers when the protesters were still on the main road that leads out of the village. After the Border Police began to disperse the crowds, some kids threw a few stones in their direction. About 20 minutes after the protest had begun, and after the procession had already been largely dispersed, a group of about nine Border Policemen and IDF soldiers stormed the main road of the village next to the gas station in the direction of a group of demonstrators, who were running away from them up the road.

I stood aside, close to the gas station. At a certain point one of the Border Policeman shot at me from what I estimate was a distance of no more than 15-20 meters. (The legal minimum range for a rubber-coated steel bullet is 50 meters).

I’m not really sure why I was shot at. I wasn’t in the path of the soldiers and I wasn’t doing anything that could be interpreted as a threat to them...."

Read the story and watch the video at 972 Magazine

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Why are these men lining up in the dark? (no, it's not a rock concert)

Every morning-- (the part of the morning I never see, BEFORE the sun rises) --all over Palestine, thousands of men are lining up. No, it's not teenagers waiting to plunk down $50 or $100 for tickets to their favorite band. It's fathers, sons, brothers and a few sisters and daughters--just trying to get to work.

Here are some of them at the Eyal checkpoint near Qalquilya, West Bank, Palestine:

Here is a map of their town (it's the brown splotch in the bump):

The green line is the Green Line (1949 armistice line that ended the fighting). The red and purple lines are completed and planned routes for Israel's WALL. Everything to the west (right) of the green line is in West Bank, Palestine.

You can see the problem for workers in Qalquilya and for Qalquilya's economy. (That's also why workers have to leave to find a job.) The WALL is literally strangling Qalqilya's economy.

Watch these men going to work on a typical day - 3:45-7 am on May 11, 2013:

Follow them through the checkpoint as they wait....have the sun rise over the guard towers and barbed wire....wait....smoke a cigarette.....and wait some more.

Take another five minutes right now to see the rest of the photos, taken by Daniel Tepper, a photographer based in Ramallah specializing in the practices and effects of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.