March 16, 2014 |
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip - When I first met Abdullah Alathamna four years ago, he was laid up at a children's hospital in Los Angeles, his right leg bound in a cast. He was pale, and grouchy from the pain pills. He was not at all interested in answering questions from a reporter. He was an 11-year-old kid, injured and without his family, more than 7,000 miles from his home in the northern Gaza Strip. The Palestinian youngster lost a foot in 2006 when the Israeli military accidentally shelled his house and several others while targeting militants who had launched rockets into Israel.
March 10, 2014 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Jordanian judge of Palestinian descent Monday at Allenby Bridge border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, according to statements from the Israeli army and a Palestinian official. A statement by the Israel Defense Forces said the Jordanian -- identified as Raed Zeiter, 38, originally from the West Bank city of Nablus -- had just crossed the border from Jordan when he attempted to grab a soldier's weapon. The soldier opened fire and killed him. "A Palestinian tried to seize a soldier's weapon at the Allenby Bridge Crossing from Jordan,” the army tweeted on its account.
March 9, 2014 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry's plan to jump-start the Palestinian economy to boost his political efforts kicked off this weekend in the Czech Republic's capital, Prague. A conference in Prague brought together some 100 international businesspeople, investors, financiers, Palestinian Authority officials and key figures in the Palestinian private sector. When Kerry launched his Palestinian-Israeli peace program at the end of July, he pledged to muster $4 billion to help boost the Palestinian economy, saying that a strong economy would be good for peace.
March 6, 2014 |
In "Bethlehem," Israel's submission to the recent Academy Awards for the foreign language Oscar, first-time filmmaker Yuval Adler views entrenched political tensions through the template of a police procedural. Focusing on an Israeli intelligence agent and one of his Palestinian informants, the movie has the taut efficiency of a well-constructed crime thriller, while its real-world underpinnings play out with a less convincing sense of urgency. Tsahi Halevy carries himself with a mournful, in-over-his-head demeanor as Razi, an officer in Israel's secret service who's trying to prevent an impending suicide bombing in Jerusalem.
March 5, 2014 |
Hany Abu-Assad should be used to the tension by now. The Palestinian director has shot most of his films ("Paradise Now," "Rana's Wedding") in a region known far more for its conflict than its cinema, and his story lines often take place in between tangles of barbed wire and crowded checkpoints. But filming "Omar" on the West Bank and in his hometown of Nazareth almost proved too much - even for Abu-Assad. "At the end of the shoot, I told everybody, 'I'm not going to make another movie,'" said the director.
March 3, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama plans to urge Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support the U.S. framework for peace with the Palestinians when the two men meet in the Oval Office on Monday, according to aides familiar with the agenda. But Obama may also offer tougher talk than ever before on the importance of reaching a peace agreement and ending Israeli settlement construction in the occupied territories. In an interview published by Bloomberg News on Sunday, Obama told journalist Jeffrey Goldberg that the U.S. is still willing to defend Israel before the international community but that his ability to do that effectively may wane without a peace deal.
March 3, 2014 |
GAZA CITY -- A Palestinian militant was killed in an Israeli airstrike Monday as he attempted to launch rockets at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip, authorities said. Mosaab Zaaneen, a 25-year-old Islamic Jihad fighter, died in the attack in the city of Beit Hanoun, according to a spokesman for the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. Three other people were injured, including an 11-year-old girl, the spokesman said. The Israeli military confirmed the strike in a statement. "The mission was carried out in order to eliminate an imminent attack targeting civilian communities of southern Israel," the Israel Defense Forces statement said.
February 28, 2014 |
HEBRON, West Bank - Nidal lives just steps from the mosque where his life changed forever. It was there, during early morning prayers in 1994, that an Israeli physician named Baruch Goldstein walked in and opened fire, killing 29 Palestinians and wounding 125. Nidal, then 25 and engaged to be married, was shot twice in one arm and once in the back. The massacre at the Ibrahim mosque at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a holy site for Muslims, Jews and Christians in the West Bank city of Hebron, occurred 20 years ago this week.
February 28, 2014 |
Israelis and Palestinians are facing their most difficult negotiation since Menachem Begin flew west to face Egyptian President Anwar Sadat a generation ago at Camp David. If Israel were to end its long occupation, if Palestinians were to unite and forswear violence, if two states were able to share an eternal capital in Jerusalem and bind up the wounds of their long enmity, then a viable Palestinian state could emerge to live in peace with its most prominent and powerful neighbor. Sadly, the final hurdles that diplomats, chief among them Secretary of State John F. Kerry, face in organizing a new negotiation are shaped by preconditions.
February 27, 2014 |
JERUSALEM -- Israeli security forces use excessive force against Palestinians in the West Bank and display "callous disregard" for human life, Amnesty International said Thursday. In a report called "Trigger-Happy: Israel's Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank," the human rights organization says Israeli soldiers and police killed 45 Palestinians since 2011, nearly half of them last year. In all cases examined by the organization, the Palestinians killed did not appear to pose a direct or immediate threat to life, Amnesty said.