May 6, 2008 |
Off a nameless alley in the Balata refugee camp, a poster of Ahmed Sanakreh clutching his assault rifle dominates his parents' living room wall. Ahmed's decision to take up arms came naturally. The teenager idolized his big brother, Ala. The two were inseparable, and when Ala joined the intifada, or Palestinian uprising, Ahmed followed. But last year, as Palestinian leaders began moving to renew peace talks with Israel, the brothers parted ways. Ala gave up his gun. Ahmed kept fighting.
February 18, 2008 |
It was a festive night for the teenage squatters in this renegade hilltop camp. A rabbi was on his way, and they were cranking up a generator, stringing light bulbs and arranging benches, turning what had been a Palestinian family's barn into a synagogue. Suddenly the group fell silent. An Israeli soldier and a policeman had trudged up the slope and were demanding to know who was in charge. No one would tell them. After a few tense minutes, the uniformed intruders left.
January 5, 2008 |
Israel has failed to keep its pledge to stop enlarging Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert acknowledged in an interview published Friday, addressing a criticism he expects to hear next week from President Bush. "Every year all the settlements in all the territories [of the West Bank] continue to grow," Olmert told the Jerusalem Post. "There is a certain contradiction in this between what we're actually seeing and what we ourselves promised. . . .
December 27, 2007 |
From his hilltop farm, Daoud Nassar can see the sun rise over the Jordan Valley and set in the Mediterranean, an arc that spans the territorial breadth of his people's conflict with Israel. He also can see the neighbors whose rival claim has drawn the idyllic 100-acre plot deeply into that fight. The only large Palestinian property to occupy high ground in this part of the West Bank, it is ringed by expanding Jewish settlements and coveted by the one perched on the nearest hill, 800 yards away.
December 3, 2007 |
The first class of Palestinian policewomen to complete a new European Union-sponsored training program graduated, part of a broader EU makeover of the demoralized and ill-equipped Palestinian law enforcement agencies. The 45 rookies will join a small group of women serving in a role still frowned upon in conservative Palestinian society.
November 22, 2007 |
Israel said Wednesday that it had authorized a shipment of 25 armored vehicles and 1,000 rifles to bolster a promised Palestinian police crackdown on armed militants in the West Bank. The shipment was proposed by Russia two years ago but stalled by Israeli opposition. Approval of the plan is aimed at building trust with the Palestinian Authority's leaders as Israel prepares to restart formal peace negotiations with them.
November 9, 2007 |
The squat tomb sits in dignified quiet, decked in gleaming white Jerusalem stone on a slope soon to be carpeted green by 25 species of trees and shrubs. A two-story prayer hall and 98-foot minaret stand guard nearby, completing a memorial complex for the late Yasser Arafat that is tranquil, stately and well-ordered. It is, in other words, pretty much everything his tumultuous reign as Palestinian leader was not.
November 8, 2007 |
Israel is enlarging 88 of its 122 West Bank settlements despite an agreement to halt the spread of Jewish communities in Palestinian territory, the watchdog group Peace Now said Wednesday. A report by the group, which documented the construction of new homes with aerial photography and on-site visits, heated up the debate here over a key issue for the U.S.-sponsored peace summit planned by year's end.
November 2, 2007 |
Patriotic steadfastness is exalted in the Palestinian imagination, and no one personifies this more than a Palestinian imprisoned by Israel -- there are about 11,000. They are esteemed across Palestinian society, and a jail stint buys instant street cred. A new West Bank museum focusing on prisoners gives a strong taste of the iconography of jailed Palestinians, if not deep scholarship or explanation.
September 5, 2007 |
In a closely watched ruling, Israel's Supreme Court ordered the government Tuesday to reroute a milelong segment of its West Bank separation barrier, in effect restoring hundreds of acres of agricultural land that had been taken from a Palestinian village to give to Jewish settlers. The decision set a precedent by rejecting the government's argument that the barrier's routing could be justified to protect homes in a settlement that were planned but not yet built.