International Solidarity Movement Nonviolence. Justice. Freedom. Sun, 18 Jun 2017 22:45:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 International Solidarity Movement 32 32 Iftar on the Rubble Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:36:49 +0000 14th June 2017 | International Solidarity Movement, al-Khalil team | Jerusalem, occupied Palestine

Seventy people gathered in the Sur Baher neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem for a communal solidarity Iftar on the rubble of the home of Ashraf and Islam Fawaqa.

The scene of the demolitions

The Fawaqa home was one of nine Palestinian homes and 3 stores that were demolished on May 4th, 2017 in occupied East Jerusalem. Home demolition is a strategic policy of Israel that is integral to their Judaization of Jerusalem and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Nurredin Amro, who is blind and the principal of Siraj Al Quds School for Inclusive Education spoke about his family being awakened at four in the morning in March 2015 when their house in Wadi Joz was being demolished while they were inside. “It was the most terrible thing that I have ever experienced. A home demolition is the demolition of a person. It is not just stone that is destroyed it is the demolition of the human spirit.”

Iftar guests listen to the information and personal stories with home demolition

Nora Lester Murad, one of the volunteer organisers of the event stated: “We want to express our solidarity with the tens of thousands of Palestinian families whose homes have been demolished, sealed, or who live every day under the imminent threat of demolition. We feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of need these families have, by the apparent impossibility of stopping future demolitions, and by our own sense of powerlessness. It seemed the least we could do to show these families – families who are on the frontline of the continuing Nakba – that they have allies.”

Islam and Ashraf talked about the uncertain future of their young family who now live in a temporary caravan on the site where their home once stood, even this caravan which is insufficient to keep their children, including their new born baby, warm in the winter, is in danger of being demolished.

Volunteers hand out the food

Munir Nusseibeh, of the Al Quds Community Action Center, explained the excuses used by the occupation authorities for demolishing Palestinian homes. “Some homes are demolished because the occupation authorities claim they have no building permits, but it is virtually impossible for a Palestinian resident of occupied East Jerusalem to receive a permit. The permit system is setup to benefit the Israeli settlers and not to serve the needs of the Palestinians of the city. Some homes are demolished as collective punishment because one of the members of the family is accused of a crime. But no matter the excuse, home demolitions by the occupying power are illegal under international law.”

At the time of the call for the evening prayer food donated by members of the community as well as local businesses, such as the Jerusalem Hotel, La vie Cafe from Ramallah, The Tanour and Abu Zahra supermarkets was shared. At least for this evening the families were not alone in facing the uncertainty of their future.

Iftar on the Rubble: guests break the fast with Palestinian families that had their house demolished by the Israeli Forces


Event : Iftar on the Rubble Thu, 08 Jun 2017 09:34:03 +0000

The Amro family and the last rubble of their house

English Fallows Arabic

إفطار فوق الأنقاض

قفوا تضامنا مع العائلات الفلسطينية المتضررة من جراء سياسات الاحتلال في هدم البيوت

شاركوا عائلة فواقه في افطار رمضاني فوق أنقاض بيتهم الذي تم تدميره في صور باهر في القدس الشرقية المحتلة (مرحب بغير الصائمين كذلك)

13 حزيران 2017 تمام الساعة 6:30 مساء

الطفلة آية فواقه والتي لم يتجاوز عمرها شهرا واحدا، كانت تجري بعض الفحوصات الطبية بتاريخ الرابع من مايو حين تلقى أبوها، أشرف، اتصالا هاتفيا من جيرانه مفاده بأن بيته يتعرض للهدم. تسعة بيوت فلسطينية بالإضافة إلى ثلاث محلات تجارية تم هدمها في القدس خلال ذلك اليوم. مكتب الأمم المتحدة لتنسيق الشؤون الإنسانية نشر تقريرا عن سجلات الهدم في الضفة الغربية خلال العام 2016. خلال الأشهر الأربعة الأولى من سنة 2017 ألحقت عمليات الهدم ومصادرة الأراضي في الضفة الغربية الضرر بأكثر من 1510 فرد . في كل أنحاء فلسطين تسقط العائلات ضحية لتدمير المنازل من جراء ممارسات الاحتلال الاسرائيلي. أما في قطاع غزة، فإن مئات الآلاف من الناس يعيشون في مناطق سكنية أوضاعها حرجة وسيئة جدا نتيجة للهجمات الإسرائيلية عام 2014 وبسبب الحصار غير الشرعي للقطاع.

ادعموا العائلات الفلسطينية وأعلموهم بأنهم ليسوا وحيدين في مطالبهم نحو إيقاف سياسات إسرائيل غير الأخلاقية وغير الشرعية في هدم وتدمير البيوت الفلسطينية.

افطار فوق الأنقاض منظم من قبل متطوعين، نرجو منكم الحجز مسبقا من خلال الفيسبوك أو الاتصال حتى نتمكن من استئجار عدد كاف من الكراسي والطاولات. أخبرونا كذلك إذا كنتم تستطيعون إحضار طعام للمشاركة.

إذا كنتم قادمين بسيارة خاصة، إذهبوا إلى حلويات أبو كف على الشارع الرئيسي لصور باهر واسألوا عن منزل أشرف. أما إذا كنتم قادمين بالمواصلات العامة، استقلوا حافلة صور باهر من باب العمود وانزلوا عند حلويات أبو كف. اتصلوا بنا لنصطحبكم أو لنخبركم بموقع البيت (تحتاجون 10-15 دقيقة من المشي للوصول).

Iftar in the Rubble

Show solidarity with Palestinian families affected by Israel’s policy of home demolition

Join the Fawaqa Family as they break the Ramadan fast on the rubble of their demolished home in Sur Baher, Occupied East Jerusalem (non-fasters are welcome)

June 13, 2017 at 6:30 pm

One-month-old baby, Aya Fawaqa, was having a medical check-up on May 4 when her father, Ashraf, got a call from neighbors that his home was being demolished. Ir Amim reported that nine Palestinian homes and three stores were demolished in Jerusalem that same day. UN OCHA reported record numbers of demolitions in the West Bank in 2016. In the first four months of 2017, demolition or confiscations of structures in the West Bank affected 1,510 people, according to the Shelter Cluster. All over Palestine, families are victimized by Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes. In Gaza, hundreds of thousands of people live in inadequate housing resulting from 2014 and previous Israeli attacks and from the illegal blockade.

Show Palestinian families they are not alone in calling for an end to Israel’s immoral and illegal policy of destroying Palestinian homes!

This community event is organized by volunteers. Kindly RSVP on Facebook or by phone so we can rent enough chairs and tables. Please tell us if you can bring food to share.

If driving, go to Halwayat Abu Kaf on the main road in Sur Baher and ask for directions to Ashraf’s house. By public transportation, take the Sur Baher bus from Damascus Gate and ask to be let down at Halwayat Abu Kaf in Sur Baher (allow 30 minutes). Call to be picked up.

RSVP on our Facebook event here

Palestinian Activist Detained In Hebron Mon, 05 Jun 2017 18:41:00 +0000 A 22 year old Palestinian activist was detained in al-Khalil this morning. He was held and interrogated for thirty minutes, before being escorted through the Shuhada Street checkpoint. He was released after another half hour with no charge, but was told that Israeli forces would raid his house if they found he was linked to the Palestinian Authority.

Eiman Faroukh was detained and questioned while walking in the Old Soukh. Once they saw that international activists were documenting the incident, soldiers took him into an alley out of sight before demanding that he hand over his wallet and phone. When he attempted to give them to a friend, the friend was also threatened with detention unless the items were handed over.

They then proceeded to escort him to the Shuhada Street checkpoint, where he was interrogated further. Border Police were called in to harass activists taking photos, threatening them with arrest. When the activists refused to leave, Israeli forces escorted the man into Shuhada Street, where Palestinian activists could not go.

Resistance and empowerment in al-Khalil’s women’s cooperative Wed, 31 May 2017 18:19:00 +0000 ISM met with the founder of al-Khalil’s largest women’s cooperative to discuss business, the occupation and women’s empowerment.

Idhna is a small town to the west of al-Khalil, located less than a kilometre from the separation wall that divides Israelis from Palestinians. It is also home to the main workshop of Women in Hebron, a women’s cooperative which provides an independent source of income to 150 women in nearby villages.

The workshop is a simple four-room ground-floor apartment, with traditional weaving machines as well as modern sowing machines. The walls are lined with examples of the women’s work; patterned rugs and delicately designed dresses sit alongside hand-made wallets and pillowcases. There is even a room just for children’s clothing, which includes a crèche for the women’s children to sleep in as they work.

Nawaal is the founder of the cooperative, a middle-aged Palestinian woman from the area. Her gentle voice belies an energetic and determined temperament. Not content with her role in helping to coordinate the women’s work, Nawaal takes it upon herself to travel Europe and east Asia in order to spread awareness of the occupation, and to find a market for the women’s products.

Tourism in Palestine declined sharply after the Second Intifada ended in 2005. The construction of the apartheid wall discouraged both domestic and international tourism, and those that do continue to visit are more likely to come on short day-trips, giving little to the local economy.

The decline in tourism is just one part of the economic sabotage Palestinians have been subject to by the occupying power. Roadblocks and checkpoints impede freedom of movement, while settlers vandalise Palestinian farms and the Israeli government deliberately restricts access to basic services like water.

It was in this context that Nawaal chose to set up Women in Hebron to provide an independent source of income to local women, most of whom would not be able to find employment otherwise. ‘They don’t have university degrees, but all the women in the villages know embroidery – it’s traditional here’, she explains. It took three years until other women began to join, but now there are over 150 women producing items for their store in central Hebron.

Working in a cooperative rather than a traditional business allows the women to retain the full product of their labour. By contrast, many factories in the West Bank are owned by Israelis, with workers sacrificing a significant portion of their work to the profits of the, usually male, owner or shareholders. These profits are then sucked out of the Palestinian economy, contributing to a state of neo-colonial dependence which would threaten even an independent Palestinian state.

While the cooperative only employs 150 women so far, it has a significance far beyond the villages of the al-Khalil area. By integrating women who would otherwise remain unemployed into the labour market, the cooperative helps to liberate them from financial dependence within the family. By giving these women full ownership of their product, the cooperative helps to liberate them from financial dependence on factory-owners, who might hire or fire them at a whim. By dividing profits amongst the workforce, the cooperative keeps the money in the Palestinian economy, helping to build a viable Palestinian economy that serves as much more than a source of cheap labour for Israeli factory-owners and a market for Israeli products.

Nawaal recognises this wider importance of the cooperative, and has been in contact with feminist and socialist organisations in Europe. Though she is grateful for the steadfast support of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, she is hoping to find broader support among the European left. Nawaal plans to speak at Feminism in London this October, and is considering a visit to the Durham Miners’ Gala in July.

She hopes that bringing along Palestinian children to speak alongside her will help awaken her European audience to the reality of growing up under occupation. Women in Hebron’s main store is in al-Khalil’s Old City, run by Nawaal’s friend Leila. Even at the best of times, al-Khalil is not an easy place to grow up.

Israeli forces watch as two Palestinian children herd goats outside the Ibrahimi mosque

The city is home to 300-500 settlers, who are protected by 1,200-2,000 soldiers and border police at any one time. Twelve checkpoints dotted throughout the city put children in daily contact with soldiers, while routine armed patrols and frequent raids and manhunts see them frequently harassed, beaten and detained. The settlers are no better, with Palestinians suffering harassment, intimidation and sometimes violence. A local settler who murdered 29 Palestinian worshippers, including children, in 1994 is buried in the town, and his grave is still visited by settlers who consider him a martyr. The former leader of the fascist Kach party, which supported the massacre, is a local resident.

Unlike other cooperatives, Women in Hebron do not receive sponsorship from the Palestinian Authority, as they are based in the villages rather than the city. Nawaal is not concerned about this, however, and says that the women are proud of their independence.

Israeli soldiers interrogate a young Palestinian boy in al-Khalil

What is more of a concern to her is local corruption. Tour guides, including both locals and Europeans, have been demanding a 30% tribute from vendors in the Old City, with the threat that they will keep tourists away from shops that do not pay the fee. Nawaal says that the pressure from this form of corruption is causing great financial troubles for the cooperative.

The combination of financial pressure and the need to spread awareness of Palestinian experiences of occupation and methods of resistance have led to Nawaal’s decision to tour the UK this summer. If she can get a visa, she hopes that her visit can bring some much needed outside support to al-Khalil’s largest women’s cooperative.

You can visit Women in Hebron in al-Khalil’s Old City, or online at

Two shot in Hebron as Israeli forces clash with protesters during general strike Tue, 23 May 2017 19:52:44 +0000 Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers and border police yesterday in Hebron, as Palestinians demonstrated in solidarity with the prisoners’ hunger strike. The clash lasted for five hours, with Israeli forces using tear gas, sound bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets, and live ammunition to disperse the protesters. A 15-year old and a 20-year old were shot, with many others arrested.

Israeli soldiers began the assault by advancing on Bab al-Zawiya from Shuhuda street

The clashes began soon after midday, as Israeli soldiers emerged from Shuhuda street checkpoint in order to disperse Palestinian youths, who had been throwing stones at the checkpoint’s gates.

Israeli soldiers assault Bab al-Zawiya

Soldiers were unusually quick to begin firing rubber-coated steel bullets, with a 15-year old boy being hit in the head outside the market entrance at 1pm. The boy was rushed to hospital in a nearby car.

Palestinian youths avoid rubber bullets with a smoke screen and wooden barrier

Soldiers were watched over by several snipers on surrounding rooftops.

Despite the use of tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition, it took 5 hours for Israeli forces to clear the area of Palestinian youths, who had only rocks.

Palestinian teenagers throw rocks at soldiers as they assault Bab al-Zawiya

Soldiers repeatedly harassed journalists covering the clash. One boasted that they had begun firing rubber-coated steel bullets and hadn’t ‘even eaten lunch yet’.

Journalists harassed by Israeli border police

At 2.30pm, a 20-year old Palestinian man was shot in the leg with live ammunition and subsequently rushed to hospital.

Border police fire live ammunition at protesters

After a short break, soldiers resumed their assault at 3.30pm, moving through the Bab al-Zawiya gas station to fire tear gas, sound bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters.

Israeli army assault protesters in central Hebron

Israeli soldier throws sound bomb from Bab al-Zawiya gas station

Many teenagers were detained during the clashes, and some afterwards as soldiers appeared to target particular children.

Israeli soldiers chase child down street in central Hebron

One teenager was filmed being beaten in the street by Israeli soldiers as they dragged him towards Shuhuda street.

The clashes occurred following a demonstration in solidarity with the prisoners’ hunger strike. 1,500 Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike in Israeli jails, having refused food since the 17th of April. In the last few days around 70 prisoners have been moved to civilian hospitals due to ‘seriously deteriorating’ health conditions. The number of prisoners at serious risk of death is expected to increase sharply soon, with many now refusing to even drink water.


The demonstrations occurred on the same day that the Palestinians held a general strike in support of the prisoners. According to the organisers of the strike, it was the first general strike since the first intifada to be observed by Palestinians living both at home and in the diaspora.

Donald Trump forced to change travel plans after Palestinians protest in Bethlehem Tue, 23 May 2017 13:40:49 +0000 Donald Trump abandoned plans to visit Bethlehem’s Church of Nativity today due to the presence of a Palestinian protest outside the building.


Palestinians protest in solidarity with prisoners’ hunger strike today in Bethlehem

The US President changed plans at the last minute, reportedly infuriating the Palestinian Authority by breaking with official protocol. Instead, Trump conducted a short meeting with Mahmoud Abbas and a press conference in which he condemned last night’s terror attack in Manchester.

Security arrives at the compound to prepare for President Trump’s visit

Security was high at Trump’s meeting, with the American convoy entering and exiting the Palestinian compound quickly and discreetly this morning. The President was greeted by an American marching band upon his arrival. Bethlehem’s Hebron Road was blocked off by scores of heavily armed Palestinian security service officers, and the whole process was observed by at least four snipers positioned on nearby rooftops.

Sniper tells ISM activist not to take photos

Palestinians had been holding a protest outside the Church, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in solidarity with the 1,500 prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli jails. The prisoners have refused to eat since the 17th of April, and many are now refusing to drink water as well.

The prisoners are demanding an end to the practice of administrative detention, where Palestinians can be imprisoned indefinitely without charge, an end to solitary confinement and the right to family visits. Israel has yet to begin negotiating with the prisoners. In the last few days, 70 of the prisoners have been moved to civilian hospitals due to a ‘serious deterioration’ in their health conditions.


Soldiers detain 12-year old child in al-Khalil [VIDEO] Sun, 21 May 2017 20:16:37 +0000 A 12-year old Palestinian boy was detained by Israeli armed forces this afternoon in Hebron’s Bab al-Baladiyya military base. The boy was apparently targeted by the soldiers, who were interrogating passers-by on his whereabouts. When he was identified, the heavily-armed soldiers quickly surrounded the boy and his father before forcing them into the military base.

Despite onlookers objecting that the boy had not thrown any stones at the gate of the base, soldiers argued that it seemed he was preparing to do so. Officials from the Palestinian Authority attempted to intervene but were not successful, while a Palestinian who agreed to be interviewed by ISM after the incident was subject to deliberate intimidation by Israeli forces.

The boy’s mother attempted to join her husband, but was forbidden. The boy’s much younger brother was seen crying in confusion, tugging on his mother’s leg as the 12-year old and his father were led into the compound. Sources tell ISM that this was the 12-year old’s first experience of military detention.

14-year old detained in al-Khalil as tensions run high Sun, 21 May 2017 06:32:22 +0000 A 14-year old Palestinian boy was detained yesterday afternoon as Israeli forces conducted a search in Hebron’s Old City. The boy was riding his bike when four heavily armed soldiers began interrogating him. Shortly after, he was taken to Bab al-Baladiyya military base.

14-year old Palestinian is detained by Israeli soldiers

Prior to the search, soldiers had stopped several men outside the base. With their IDs confiscated, they were questioned for 20 minutes on suspicion of throwing stones. One soldier attempted to intimidate ISM activists and nearby tourists by taking photos of them.

Palestinian men stopped and questioned by Israeli soldiers, IDs confiscated

After letting the men go, the soldiers entered the Old City in an apparent manhunt. They again harassed ISM activists, threatening to arrest them if they continued to take photos and illegally declaring a closed military zone in the area. One soldier then threatened an activist, saying that he had already killed one boy on that road. After ISM activists challenged them, they ran away and forced their way into a Palestinian home, taking positions on the rooftop.

Israeli soldiers run away from ISM activists

Israeli soldiers enter a Palestinian home against the will of the occupant

Soldier takes position on the rooftop

After 5 minutes, the Israelis came down and began the search again. They soon found the 14-year old sitting on his bike, and began to interrogate him. The heavily armed soldiers then escorted the boy down to the base, refusing to comment on the reason for his detention.

Soldier interrogates 14-year old Palestinian

The boy has reportedly been a repeated target for Israeli forces, having been detained 5 times already. According to a local source, the soldiers had originally sought the boy for having knowledge of who was throwing stones, but now accuse him of throwing stones himself.

Soldiers order ISM activist to stop taking photos as they detain 14-year old boy

A day earlier, the same soldiers had been filmed harassing another young Palestinian boy for no apparent reason.

Major clashes as hundreds demonstrate in solidarity with prisoners’ hunger strike Sat, 20 May 2017 20:19:11 +0000 Clashes broke out yesterday in the centre of Hebron as a peaceful demonstration was met with heavy armed resistance from Israeli soldiers and border police.


 Demonstrators run from tear gas during today’s march in Hebron


Hundreds gathered outside Hebron’s football stadium at 1pm before marching down Ein Sarah street towards Ibn Rushd square, where a tent has been set up to honour the 1,500 prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli prisons.


Hundreds gathered to march in solidarity with the prisoners’ hunger strike


Shortly after arriving at the square, which is in nominally Palestinian-controlled H1, demonstrators were met by dozens of heavily armed Israeli soldiers and border police. Soldiers on the rooftops fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, while Palestinian teenagers responded with stones.


 Israeli occupation forces await the demonstrators on their route


When the tear gas failed to deter the protestors, an Israeli ‘skunk trunk’ sprayed the crowd with putrid-smelling chemically-treated water.


 Israeli army spray demonstrators with putrid-smelling ‘skunk’ water


 Demonstrators flee an Israeli Jeep


In the end, the Israeli assault failed to disperse the crowd, with the demonstration only thinning out to under a hundred people after 4pm.


 Israeli soldiers advance on the demonstrators


Tensions were high throughout the day. Armed patrols in the morning saw four soldiers harass a child in the market and several ISM activists in the Old City, while others watched from nearby rooftops.


Israeli soldiers patrol Hebron this morning


Israeli soldiers question a young Palestinian boy


 Israeli soldiers conduct armed patrol in Hebron’s market this morning


In the evening, Palestinian youths shouted at soldiers who were in the market, and soldiers responded with four rounds of tear gas and aggressive military manoeuvres intended to scare the children.


Teenager beaten and dragged off the street by soldiers in Hebron Wed, 17 May 2017 18:14:07 +0000 17th May 2017 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team | al-Khalil (Hebron), occupied Palestine

Two young Palestinian boys detained by Israeli forces in Hebron during today’s incident

A Palestinian teenager was attacked in the street today by Israeli forces as he made his way through Hebron’s Old City. While talking with an NGO worker, the 18-year old was rushed by soldiers and beaten in broad daylight. Bleeding, he was taken into the nearby Bab Al-Baladiyeh military base where is he is currently detained. It is not yet known whether he will be arrested, but he can be held without charge for 7 days.

In the immediate aftermath, friends of the boy threw stones at the base’s gates in protest. Soldiers emerged from the base firing volleys of tear gas and stun grenades. The boys ran, but after a manhunt through the Old City two were found and detained in the base. Soldiers refused to explain their actions when questioned by ISM activists.

Israeli soldiers have beaten and detained a teenager in Hebron’s Bab al-Baladiyeh military base

A manhunt continued through the tunnels of the Old City, with conflicting reports suggesting another boy may have been detained. The soldiers eventually passed through the Ibrahimi mosque checkpoint towards Shahuda street, where ISM activists were harassed and spat on by Israeli forces.

Two Palestinian boys are detained by Israeli occupation forces after a brief manhunt

The two young boys were eventually released from detention, but the 18-year old is still being held, along with possibly another boy. The 18-year old has reportedly been harassed repeatedly by soldiers in recent days. Last week, he was cut on the wrists by Israeli interrogators after they accused him of lying to them. His relatives have apparently also received harassment from soldiers this past week.

Palestinian teenager’s cut wrist after being detained and interrogated by the Israeli Occupation Forces in Khalil on the 8th of May