Dheisheh refugee camp

My new birthday

I am a third generation of the Palestinian Nakba, the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland by Zionist forces. I now feel that I am a very lucky person. I never felt lucky before my new birthday: the day I visited my destroyed original village of Deir Rafat, where my grandfather and his family lived before they were forced out in 1948. Areej Ja’fari writes from Deheisheh refugee camp. 

Israeli forces terrorize Deheisheh refugee camp

It started out as a normal Saturday morning. We were hanging out in Ibdaa Cultural Center in Deheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem. We were all sitting in the cafe at Ibdaa, which is on the fourth floor and has windows around three sides of the building. We were drinking coffee, chatting, watching television and all of a sudden there was a loud sound like a grenade or a bomb. Marcy Newman writes from Deheisheh. 

When Olmert and Abbas shake hands

On Monday, Israeli occupation authority Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and occupied Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas once again met and shook hands, each promising respective constituents that a so-called “peaceful solution” is near. Olmert “agreed” that cooperation between Israel and the PA will expand, something that is not lost on the millions of occupied Palestinians who continue to suffer each day as many other things expand beneath their feet — the settlement colonies, the apartheid wall, the egregious acts of violence and oppression enacted by the Israeli occupation military. 

The Coming Storm

It is the dead of winter here in Palestine. Slick rivers of mud and sewage drain into the gutters as hot tea is served in small glass cups, over and over again, to ward off the biting cold. People sit huddled near the gas heaters, rain pounding against the windows and steel doors as they brace for the next storm — not just the one coming down in a torrent from above, but the one just five miles up the road, past the illegal checkpoints, where Israel is planning the next step in its project of ethnic expulsion and sanitization. Six months after my last trip here, and I am once again in a permanent state of shock and fury. 

On those "birth pangs"

I was in Ramallah over the past two days, visiting friends and documenting a fierce demonstration yesterday morning in the city center as Condoleezza Rice paid a truncated and pathetic quasi-visit to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Palestinian and international journalists from all over the West Bank crossed humilating checkpoints, braved thick traffic and fought over press credentials only to find out, one hour before the scheduled press conference, that the important question and answer period was canceled by the US handlers. It was just handshakes and rhetoric for the PA president, then off to some other part of this tumultuous region to lie some more. 

Nameless and faceless: The anonymous killed

There will be no statistics in this journal entry because what difference does 10 shredded children in Gaza, or 15 sliced children in Lebanon, or 40 smashed children in Iraq make to the international community anyway? What difference does it make when the twisted and sick US corporate media doesn’t even mention their names, or their ages, or their favorite color — something to put a human face on the mangled mess made by the latest US-manufactured, Israeli-fired missile that destroyed what used to be a nose, a mouth, two eyes, freckles, cheek, or forehead?