Ahmad Sub Laban

Jerusalem residents scramble to fight wall

At the end of April, Israeli authorities announced the course of the northern section of the wall, which will not only divide Dahiet Al Barid but will confiscate approximately 26.2 dunams land in Beit Hanina and Dahiet Al Barid and will close northern Jerusalem to about 100,000 Jerusalem residents who live in Al Ram, Dahiet Al Barid, Bir Nabala, Kufr Aqab, Sameer Amis and other northern neighborhoods. When residents saw the blueprints, a collective sigh of relief could almost be heard from the people on one side, whose homes would fall on the “Jerusalem side”, while the other side realized with a heavy sigh that they would be isolated by the wall, unable to reach Jerusalem. 

Victims of violence

S. spent all of her childhood years and some of her adolescence with nine siblings: four brothers and five sisters. All of them lived in fear of their father, whose violence excluded none of them. Her father, rendered unemployed by Israeli closures on the Gaza Strip, only communicated with his children through physical and verbal abuse. S.’s story is one that is becoming increasingly common in Palestinian society. Statistics show that instances of domestic abuse have trebled in the years of the Intifada, and most experts agree that this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

How could it have been different?

On October 21, Israel assassinated Adnan Ghoul, the number two man on its hit list in the Palestinian territories, after three previous assassination attempts on his life over the past four years had failed. Sixty-eight years ago, however, claimed an Israeli newspaper article two days later, Ghoul’s grandfather had saved a neighboring Jewish village from any harm during the Palestinian revolt of 1936. The fates of the two Ghouls is an interesting illustration of the understandings of the two peoples about their histories. Ahmad Sub Laban traces their respective histories for the Palestine Report

The Lion Kings of Qalqilya

THE KINGS of peace” is how Saeed Daoud, director of the Qalqilya Zoo, describes the three lions, Jafer, Jaras and Naboko who have recently settled into their new home in the West Bank along with two zebras and a deer. On September 5, the animals were moved from the Ramat Gan Safari Park just outside Tel Aviv to Qalqilya after the Israeli safari park announced plans to help rebuild Qalqilya Zoo by providing it with a number of animals. The zoo has been ravaged by four years of Intifada, with several animals dying and a dramatic drop in the number visitors. The zoo, the only one of its kind in the West Bank, was built in 1986 and is currently home to almost 170 animals. 

Destroying History

On August 9, Israeli bulldozers sank their jaws into three buildings in the old city of Hebron. The demolitions, to make way for a settler-only road to connect the Kiryat Arba settlement with the Ibrahimi Mosque, caused an outrage. Imad Hamdan, public relations director for the Hebron Reconstruction Committee, believes Israel is waging a war on the heritage of Hebron’s old city, pointing to the fact that there are tens of other houses slated for demolition, some of which date back to the Mamluk and Ottoman eras and others that were built during the British Mandate. It is a clear indication to Hamdan of an Israeli attempt to Judaize the old city and the area around the Ibrahimi Mosque.