Tag Archives: Israel

A Few of My Thoughts on One State or Two: Palestine

I am often asked if I support a one state solution or two state solution. Well my answer is…both.
In my ideal world:
0-20years

-End of occupation and withdrawal of troops from West Bank and E Jerusalem.
-Removal of Israeli forces from Jordan Border Crossing (Allenby Bridge)
-Creation of elevated train service from Gaza to West Bank under full control of Palestine with Israel controlling the ground under it.
-Removal of all settlers from West Bank
-End of all trade restrictions on Palestine
-Creation of a sustainable economy in Palestine
-Resettlement of 500,000+ Palestinian refugees to West Bank
-Jerusalem to be united and administered as an international zone
-Development of deep-sea port in Gaza controlled by Palestine
-Cessation of all Israeli military incursions and operations in Palestine and cessation of armed resistance attacks from Palestinian factions.
-Banishment of all ultra-national and ultra-religious factions and parties

Under this idea the need for armed factions would disappear and freedom of movement would be re-established. Focus would be on economy and state building not defense. Mutual recognition and diplomacy would replace the current animosity between both entities. People would begin to have normal lives living in peace knowing both people have a right to self determination. Slowly movement of people between states and interaction between the two will increase evolving into a US-Canada model.

20+ Years

-The formation of a bi-national government with equal rights for all people and religions.
-A move to one state will begin with the right of return granted to all refugees- Jewish and Palestinian.
-Two strong economies will merge into one with neither having the upper hand.
-Dissolution of JNF
-Recognition and rights given to Bedouin villages- equality with kibbutz’s
-Prohibition of civilian owned firearms.
-Removal of separation barrier
-Formation of joint military forces and end of mandatory service
-Representation at the UN as a bi-national state

I am far from being a politician or lawyer and theses are just my ideas and thoughts- nothing more.

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Life in Gaza: ‘We wake up to terrifying sonic booms and try to sleep while Israelis are shelling’

My article published in The Independent UK on life in Gaza

I was thinking about how I would start to write about life in Gaza – how I would lay the words out with eloquence – when suddenly an explosion boomed close by and those thoughts fled my mind.
I didn’t know the source; maybe it was internal training or perhaps another air strike.
Movement and horns stopped on the street below, a brief pause to make sure it wasn’t anyone close that was hit, then movement resumed. My heart is still pounding and my mind racing and, like every other woman in Gaza, I say a quick prayer of thanks that my family is near and safe and hope no one was hurt.

My husband lights a cigarette in the next room while reports come in that it was an “internal” explosion from training. Either way I guess it doesn’t really matter, it is just enough to remind us nothing in Gaza is ever normal.

I like to stand out on my balcony in the wee hours of the morning just before the call to prayer. Everything is so silent and still and the stars above are so close you can touch them. It is easy to forget in those few minutes where I am, so easy to forget the challenges that plague our daily life.

The UN issued a report last week saying Gaza is becoming uninhabitable and the humanitarian conditions are deteriorating – sadly that is true.

We wake up to terrifying sonic booms and try to sleep while the Israeli navy is shelling. Simple things like daily running water and a full day of electricity have now become luxuries. Nearly four weeks ago the sole power generator in Gaza stopped working due to lack of fuel. We had become used to the eight hours of electricity we were allotted but now we are down to four to six hours at a time and lengthy 12-14 hour blackouts.

At any given moment at least one-third of Gaza will be in the dark. During the long days of summer it is much easier to cope but now the days are much shorter and it seems most of our time is spent in the dark. Students study by candlelight and women cook by flashlight. Men gather on the balconies to smoke and talk politics – the only light that can be seen are the small red dots of their glowing cigarettes.

Some families are able to afford a converter than runs on a car battery and can power a few small items. The cost for the unit is about 700 shekels (£120) and the batteries cost another 700 shekels. This might not seem like much but even that is out of reach for a majority of families especially now the unemployment rate is nearly 40 per cent. Stores, restaurants and larger apartment buildings often use gas generators. These days, however, it is nearly impossible to get fuel and queues are very long with some people waiting 24 hours just for a few litres.

Drivers are feeling the shortage and finding a taxi is impossible at times. Yet everyone knows how hard it is and we try to help each other as much as possible. People pile as many in as can fit in a car, sometimes sitting on laps, just to make sure others can get to their homes. It is not uncommon to see three or even four people squeezed into the front seat of a taxi going from Gaza City to the refugee camps in the middle of Gaza. Some cars are now running on a mixture of cooking oils and the smell of falafel and French fries trails after them. Cooking gas supply runs low every winter but this year it is the worst shortage in a long time. An average family goes through one 12kg gas cylinder a month and it costs 65 shekels. It takes more than a month to get a refill. Neighbours are helping each other and women rotate cooking duties to save gas-cooking large meals for multiple families at one time.

Others less fortunate are resorting to cooking over open fires outside, burning paper and cardboard as fuel. I am constantly worried what will happen when the cold and wet weather arrives next month. Rubbish collection has nearly stopped in the densely populated city. Swarms of flies, wild cats and dogs hover around the rubbish piles. In an attempt to help alleviate the situation, donkey carts have now been deployed to collect what they can. So far it is not making a dent.

Two weeks ago the sewage pumping stations stopped working in many areas – they simply did not have the fuel to work. Raw sewage leaks into the streets. Fathers carry their children to get to school and most cars won’t venture into it. The sludge reeks and brings mosquitoes in swarms.

There is fear it will end up in the water supply as well. The Al-Shati refugee camp, also known as Beach camp, has reported foul smelling and discoloured water this week and many have fallen ill with stomach maladies already. My area has been lucky so far, no sewage in the streets but unfortunately we don’t have any water at all.

As I write this we are beginning the fourth day with dry taps. With the erratic electricity schedule the water pumping station is rarely working when my building has electricity so even when there is water in the lines there is no way to get it up to the flats. Before the fuel crisis we only received water from the municipal lines three or four times a week, now it is half of that if we are lucky. We fill old bottles when we do have water.

This is life in Gaza now: a constant struggle to find the bare necessities. Gaza life is about always being prepared for the worst case scenario because normally that is what happens. It has been a year since the last major Israeli aggression here and we are trying to pick up the pieces. Constructions materials are now refused entry so repairs have ground to a halt.

Our life lines – the tunnels from Egypt – have been severed. Without them we don’t have a consistent flow of food, medicine and fuel. The border with Israel is often closed and only half of the needed trucks of aid are allowed in when it is open. The items on the market shelves are withering away and prices are getting higher and higher.

Sometimes I think someone has hit the pause button on life but then I see all that we have survived and realise we continue on just as before: couples get married, babies are born and children go to school. We laugh with our friends, we love each other and, most importantly, we live.

Sally Idwedar is a blogger and resident of Gaza City. She was born in New York and her family is originally from Yibna, Palestine.

Israel’s New Terror Threat From Gaza…..That Isn’t

Israeli Occupation Forces claim Hamas has a new ‘weapon’ – TERROR BALLOONS! Yes you heard it right- balloons.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2, a senior IDF officer in the Southern Command said that Hamas has resolved to gather intelligence deep inside Israel, and not just on the border. To this end, the officer said, Hamas has also erected a line of poles to which they’ve attached balloons filled with helium and mounted with cameras.

The officer said that the observation balloons have alarming capability to collect intelligence on military and civilian movements in Israel. He said the IDF sees Hamas trying to expand its reconnaissance abilities to strengthen its offensive capacity, based on building its rocket arsenal and digging tunnels into Israel.

The officer said that Israel recently allowed a large shipment of helium gas into Gaza for civilian use, the transfer of which may be rescinded if the intended use is to fuel more spy balloons.

Here is a picture of the balloon they say is used for surveillance.

A Hamas observation balloon, photos of which were posted to its official Facebook page. Photo: Screenshot / Channel 2.

A Hamas observation balloon, photos of which were posted to its official Facebook page. Photo: Screenshot / Channel 2.

So Israel, who has us under lock and key, who watches us day and night from their BILLION dollar technology including drones, satellites, Apaches & F-16’s is worried over about a few balloons?

They Say We Don’t Exist But We Are Still Here

Every day I am told ‘Palestine has never existed’ yet they can never explain all of the evidence that proves we did and DO exist. Here is a small sample of pictures and maps I have collected.

1917 Balfour

1917 Balfour


zionist proclaim stat e in palestine
1927 advertisement to visit Palestine

1927 advertisement to visit Palestine

Fly To Palestine

Fly To Palestine

1927 coins

1927 coins

Passport under the British Mandate

Passport under the British Mandate

circa 1927 stamp

circa 1927 stamp

Ptolemy Map

Ptolemy Map

7th Century map of Palestine

7th Century map of Palestine

Map of  the Holy Land-Palestine circa 1866

Map of the Holy Land-Palestine circa 1866

1500 BC Palestine

1500 BC Palestine

Palestine map 1572

Palestine map 1572

Arutz Sheva Israeli National News

Arutz Sheva Israeli National News

google palestine

Image

Perspective: Gaza rockets versus Israeli Air Strike Updated

new rockets

Israeli Embassy of Shame

Not so long ago the Israeli Embassy in US embarrassed itself by creating a fake LinkedIn profile for newly elected Iranian President Rouhani. My jaw dropped when I read about it. Not only is it immensely juvenile but it also borders on libel. According to Mondoweiss the fake account proclaims President Rouhani as a “nuclear proliferation expert.” The Embassy also made a scathing tweet from their Twitter account which states President Rouhani is an “expert salesman who is bullish on nuclear proliferation.”
It seems today they were at it again. They posted a photo of Iranians protesting the anniversary of the US coup in Tehran by burning flags with the caption “Imagine them with a bomb”. I am offended and disgusted at the bigotry and hypocrisy of the post. Embassy of ISrael bogotryI understand the political unrest between the two countries but this is more than out of line. Embassies are supposed to be a shining example of the country they represent. What does it say about Israel if their embassy is openly hostile and bigoted? Further, what does it say about Israeli government if they allow this to happen?

How I Stay Connected When The Electricity Is Off In Gaza

Car batteries attached to converter unit

Car batteries attached to converter unit

I have been asked many times how I stay connected and post when the electricity is off in Gaza. Right now we are facing 12 hour blackouts and with Israeli aggression it is important we continue to blog and tweet so our voices are heard.
I have a converter powered by a car battery and one battery reserved as a back up. I can run one light bulb, my router, and lap top for about 8 hours before I need to recharge it. The cost for this unit is 700 shekels ($200 USD) and the batteries cost another 700 shekels which might not seem like much but in Gaza even that amount is out of reach for a majority of families. We also have a gas fueled generator but as fuel is scarce we never use it. Many people have converted their gas generators to work on cooking gas instead but this is hard on the engine and the environment. Gaza has had to adapt to the fuel and electricity shortages and this has ushered in an innovative phase and we have used the challenges as an opportunity to be inventive and resourceful.

Front Panel

Front Panel

Small amount of light from one light bulb -you can barely see my cat on the sofa

Small amount of light from one light bulb -you can barely see my cat on the sofa


DCIM100MEDIA

Gaza Under Attack: October 31-November 01, 2013

Last night Israel began a new operation in Gaza and according to IOF it was in response to the tunnel they uncovered leading to Israel in early October. The attacks were concentrated in Khan Younis area and consisted of mostly tank and helicopter shelling but from the Navy and drones as well.
small map Gaza
According to Hamas, 4 Qassam members (armed wing of Hamas) were killed while it is reported 5 Israeli soldiers were injured. All night Israeli drones hovered in the air threatening to attack and many of us lay awake in bed wondering if we would see the sun rise. This attack was small in comparison to last year but worrisome none-the-less.I dread the night coming again for fear it will bring another round. Israeli army prefers to attack us in the dead of night and it is almost sunset. I will update this as well as my twitter feed if we are attacked again. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Apartheid roads: Restricted Roads in West Bank

The following charts outline the road restrictions in place by Israel on Palestinians in the West Bank. Can you imagine not being able to use a road simply because you are Palestinian?

Roads Palestinians are prohibited from using in the West Bank

Roads Palestinians are prohibited from using in the West Bank

Roads in West Bank with partial prohibitions for Palestinians

Roads in West Bank with partial prohibitions for Palestinians

Hebron roads with restrictions for Palestinians

Hebron roads with restrictions for Palestinians

Graphs all courtesy of B’Tselem

Drawing Circles In The Gaza Sky: An Israeli Air Force Hobby

Often we are given the *pleasure* of viewing Israeli Terror Air Force jet trails loop and curve across our sky. Today was one of those days. I wonder how many US $$$’s are spent on fuel to power the jets to take the *soldiers* on their creative drawing class trips?

Keep in mind Israel controls Gaza airspace and no commercial air traffic is allowed into Gaza airspace. Also, Gaza does not have a single plane, helicopter or drone so the only jet trails we see are from Israeli jets..the very same jets that bomb us.
oct 24 gaza 7

Sheikh Radwan Area of Gaza

Sheikh Radwan Area of Gaza

AL Jundi Street facing east in Gaza

AL Jundi Street facing east in Gaza

Jet trail stretched from south to north

Jet trail stretched from south to north