West Bank

Courage and resistance at Aida refugee camp

My family and I spent the hot August day among energetic activists, welcoming families and curious children all more than willing to drop whatever they were doing to show us around the refugee camp they had all come to call home over the years. It’s at places like Aida where one’s life is put into perspective. At least, mine certainly was, starting with the first family we were fortunate enough to visit. Dina Elmuti writes from Aida refugee camp, occupied West Bank. 

De-developing Palestine, one "visit permit" at a time

I am an American citizen of Palestinian descent and have been employed by the Arab American University-Jenin (AAUJ) in the occupied West Bank as an assistant professor of American literature for the past two and a half years. This month, while attempting to re-enter the West Bank through the land border with Jordan to start the academic year, I was denied re-entry by the Israeli authorities and questioned at length about my Palestinian heritage. The stated reason for the denial was that I had broken the law. 

The Elders' visit to Bilin

Thursday, 27 August was a special day in Bilin. Dozens of blacked-out SUVs approached the village, disturbing the quiet of a usually peaceful morning. However, unlike the Israeli occupation forces who come at night to arrest boys from the village, this arrival was extremely welcome. The SUV passengers were a truly respected group of international diplomats, known as the Elders. Jody McIntyre writes from Bilin, occupied West Bank. 

Prison walls

“Nasser says hello,” the woman said as she stood in my doorway and smiled. I was barely able to choke out, “Say hello to him too.” Nasser, the woman’s husband, was in prison. He was arrested on 20 July during a peaceful demonstration in his West Bank village of al-Tuwani. He did nothing wrong, nothing but build a house on land he owns. A Palestinian need do nothing more to be treated like a criminal. Joy Ellison writes from al-Tuwani, occupied West Bank. 

Bilin's next generation

Every Friday, Palestinian residents of the West Bank village of Bilin march to Israel’s apartheid wall, which has stolen more than half their land. But this day was a Wednesday, and the kids’ turn to demonstrate. While the Israeli army kidnaps their fathers, their brothers and their cousins, the resistance lives on through the next generation. Jody McIntyre writes from Bilin, occupied West Bank. 

Bilin village fights for its land

Being sprayed with tear gas is a humbling experience, though not at all uncommon here in Palestine, particularly in the village of Bilin in the occupied West Bank. A symbol of popular resistance against Israel’s apartheid policies, during the past several years Bilin has been a constant site for protesting the encroachment of Israel’s wall on village lands. Brian Pickett writes for The Electronic Intifada. 

Bilin's unwavering spirit of resistance

The Ofer military base is not an easy place to get into. But after most of my friends and the father of the family I was living with, Mohammed Khatib (also a leading member of the Bilin Popular Committee) were arrested in a brutal night raid on the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, I was determined to go to their court hearing. Jody McIntyre writes from Bilin. 

A night in Bilin

Over the last few weeks, the residents of Bilin have been subjected to constant night raids by the Israeli military, in retaliation to their weekly nonviolent demonstrations, now in their fifth year, against the Apartheid Wall, which has stolen over half of their land. Jody McIntyre tells what happened one recent night when Bilin’s residents turned the tables on their occupiers. 

Celebrating absurdity in Nablus

It was a portentous day in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. Over 100,000 Palestinians from Haifa, Jerusalem, Jenin and more gathered in the city on Saturday to celebrate the making of a Guinness World Record: the largest plate of kanafeh, a popular red-haired pastry made with lots of sugar and goat cheese. Was it a celebration of improving economic conditions or, as one resident put it, a “shameful display of opportunism?” Sousan Hammad reports from Nablus about the absurdity of the event. 

Nonviolent resistance in the south Hebron hills

A couple of months ago I had the great pleasure of watching Palestinians successfully graze their sheep near Avigail settlement, on land where they are regularly attacked and harassed. The joy I felt in watching my friends and partners grazing their sheep on their ancestral lands was overwhelming. Sitting on the hill and eating lunch together felt like having a party. Joy Ellison writes from Hebron.