Jerusalem: Activists protest massive new Shu’fat checkpoint

Protest the new checkpoint at Shu’fat

aicvideo on Dec 19, 2011–Approximately 30 Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals gathered at the edge of Shu’fat refugee camp today to demonstrate against the new Israeli checkpoint, which opened last Monday, December 12 and that an Israeli activist referred to as “ethnic cleansing.” Palestinian children threw stones; Israeli police fired rubber-coated bullets at the kids.

by on mondoweiss.com,  January 3, 2012

On Sunday, December 18, refugees from Shu’fat refugee camp and Israeli activists protested the opening of a new Jerusalem five-lane checkpoint.  The Alternative Information Center (AIC) notes that the checkpoint will block the 50,000 residents of Shu’fat refugee camp, from the remainder of the city. This checkpoint is part of a broader plan I posted on earlier that will all but cut the West Bank in half, and complete the physical annexation of East Jerusalem.

Many Shu’fat refugees hold Jerusalem IDs, and the checkpoint compromises their ability to prove that Jerusalem is their “center of life.”  Under Israeli Ministry of Interior policy, Palestinians that live in Jerusalem hold residency permits, not citizenship, which can be revoked.  Continue reading

Voices from Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon: On the right of return

By Hugh Macleod

Israel may be urging Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to continue faltering peace talks despite refusing to renew a freeze on illegal settlement building, but in the tinderbox Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon life is defined by an issue neither side has ever publically expressed any willingness to compromise over: The right of Palestinian refugees to return home.

“No-one can negotiate on our right to return to Palestine. There is only one country called Palestine and we will never return there except by resistance to Israel,” says Abu Yousef, a fighter with the Palestinian faction Ansar Allah.

Absolute right or demographic danger

The right of return polarises the seemingly intractable conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis like no other issue.

For most Palestinians the right of return for the up to six million refugees who are ancestors of those who made the exodus from Palestine that followed the creation of Israel in 1948 is an absolute.

For Israeli officials – whose historians dispute the figure of six million and also the reason for the mass exodus – the issue is existential: The sheer number of Palestinian refugees who can claim a right to return to their pre-1948 homes are a demographic danger to the world’s only Jewish state. Continue reading