In the case of Khan al-Ahmar, the threat of demolition serves yet another goal, that of expanding settlements. The Bedouin village is situated in an area Israel has designated as ‘E1’, the largest planned settlement in the West Bank. With the Bedouins removed, Israel can control the entire centre part of the West Bank, from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, and could cut the territory in half, denying Palestinians the possibility to travel from north to south or vice versa.
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In his latest film, Ghost Hunting (2017), he portrays the systematic torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, without falling into the trap of stereotypical and traditional consciousness when addressing major humanitarian issues. He did not portray prisoners as absolute victims or absolute heroes but as realistic human beings who have weaknesses and strengths like everyone else.
Unfortunately, there was little time to relax. On 11 November, the Israeli army assassinated one of Hamas’ field commanders outside Khan Younis. The response from Hamas was swift. In one day, Hamas fired more than 400 shells at nearby Israeli towns, resulting in heavy retaliatory shelling by Israel.
Soon after the coup, al-Barghouti began translating many of his poems into English with the help of his mother. Reflecting on the experience, he said that his mother alleviated the difficulty of translating emotions and myths that he prefers to convey in Arabic. “She would liberate me from this feeling I get whenever I’m speaking in English or writing in English, which is that I’m swimming in a sea of jelly,” he said.
Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) has affirmed that Israeli military courts enforce the same laws against children under 18 that are applied to adults. In its report to the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People, DCIP said that the arrest, trial, torture and investigation of children is widespread and systematic. The report is based on sworn affidavits by nearly 108 children who were arrested at different times.
In Zionists’ eyes, these areas – and in particular East Jerusalem – should never be relinquished. In Israeli politics, Jerusalem is commonly referred to as the ‘eternal and indivisible’ capital of Israel. To reinforce these words, Israel has since the 1970s implemented an aggressive settlement policy. Apart from the settlements in the hills of the West Bank, some 200,000 Jews have also settled in East Jerusalem, under the authority of successive Israeli governments. Several hundred Jewish fanatics have even cracked houses in the Muslim and Christian neighbourhoods of the Old City.
In addition to solving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, tension on the Israeli border would be alleviated and a long-term calm could be achieved. Moreover, there would be a real key to political partnership among all Palestinian factions. Consequently, the Egyptian leadership would likely agree to keep the Rafah crossing open because it would be run by an internationally recognized administration.
The demonstrations were quelled by the Palestinian police by force, using batons and tear gas. A large number of demonstrators were reported beaten, including journalists and activists from the civil society. Approximately 60 demonstrators were also beaten, including a large number of journalists, some foreign.
Some of the Bedouin children will be forced to live in a semi-urban environment next to a garbage dump, without their animals, in what the American social anthropologist Dawn Chatty has dubbed ‘cultural genocide’. Godfrey-Goldstein: “There’s no way they can maintain their traditional lifestyle over there. The Bedouins can’t graze their animals. So they are less sustainable. Their children are being urbanized. In essence, they won’t be Bedouins anymore. All the herbal knowledge is vanishing, the ability to track. They’re no longer out there. Dawn Chatty has said this is the worst case of forcible displacement she has witnessed in 30 years.”