Two articles that display the reality (versus rhetoric) of life in Israel and Palestine. Incidentally, peace is impossible when Israel continues to build illegal structures in East Jerusalem:
A plan to build about 150 housing units for Jews in Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods moved forward in the first half of 2009, according to a report published Thursday by coexistence non-profit group, Ir Amim. According to the group, this would mean that 750 Jewish residents would join some 2,000 already living in Arab neighborhoods in the east of the city.
Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook writes on another oppressed minority:
The inhabitants of the Bedouin village of Amra have good reason to fear that the harsh tactics used by the Israeli army against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have been imported to their small corner of Israel’s Negev desert.
Over the summer, the Tarabin tribe, all of them Israeli citizens, have had the sole access road to their homes sealed off, while the dirt track they must use instead is regularly blocked by temporary checkpoints at which their papers and vehicles are inspected at length.
Coils of razor wire encircle much of the village, and children as young as eight have been arrested in a series of night-time raids.
“Four-fifths of our youngsters now have files with the police and our drivers are being repeatedly fined for supposed traffic violations,” said Tulab Tarabin, one of Amra’s 400 Bedouin inhabitants. “Every time we are stopped, the police ask us: ‘Why don’t you leave?’”
Lawyers and human rights activists say a campaign of pressure is being organised against the Tarabin at the behest of a nearby Jewish community, Omer, which is determined to build a neighbourhood for Israeli army officers on the tribe’s land.
Here’s Donald Macintyre in the Independent on lawlessness in the West Bank:
On a still, hot, August afternoon you can only hear the bleating of the lambs and the occasional bark of a dog. There are few places more exposed and isolated in the West Bank than the cluster of tents and caves that is home to Khalil Nawaja, his wife Tamam, their two sons and their 50 sheep.
It was close to here that the couple were severely beaten last summer by four masked, club-swinging Jewish settlers in the barley field. Tamam, her face still bleeding after being clubbed in the jaw, was driven in an Israeli Army ambulance to Beersheeva’s Soroka hospital, where she required three days of treatment.
And it was here that they received the news last week that the Israeli police had closed an investigation without making charges, even though the attack was caught on video, causing shock and outrage across Israel and beyond when it was shown on television last year.
During current talks in London, reports suggest that building in East Jerusalem will continue, pushing more Arabs from their homes.
The farce goes on.