Meanwhile, in Jerusalem [last night]

“The absence of peace is, in fact, perpetual war, even if it’s low intensity. Are we ready? Do we want to live with a permanent intifada?” — John Kerry on 26 May 2013

Not long after John Kerry said these words at the World Economic Forum meeting on the Jordanian coast of the Dead Sea, this video was taken of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is very visually-striking photography, beautiful –with the night lighting and the narrow alleys between stone walls, double-story green arches, and the clear plexiglass shields of the soldiers:

It seems to have been filmed and uploaded to Youtube here by Abdelafo Ba, and it was Tweeted this morning by @PalestinianVideo:  Palestine Video @PalestineVideo — #Palestine #Video Arrests and confrontation in occupied #Jerusalem  #Palestinian


Palestinian TV news did not report shooting at Qalandia checkpoint

Palestinian TV news has shot up in the ratings, I am told, over the past few months — and Al-Jazeera has dropped.

Previously, Palestinians were getting their local news from Al-Jazeera. Could Al-Jazeera really give enough local coverage to satisfy the Palestinians here, I used to ask? It is all there is, I was told, in my own random samplings of the viewing audience in East Jerusalem and around the West Bank.

Now, Palestinian TV has been making an effort to improve its news coverage, and these efforts have been recognized and appreciated.

Still, despite this vote of confidence, tonight’s Palestinian TV news had no mention of a shocking and serious incident at Qalandia checkpoint late this afternoon or early this evening: an Israeli (Arab) truck driver taking a full fuel tank across the checkpoint to make a delivery to a point just after the checkpoint (perhaps to an area which is still part of the Greater Jerusalem municipality, despite being behind The Wall) was somehow panicked or distracted or injured, apparently by rock-throwing, and lost control of his vehicle. He reportedly ran into other vehicles at the checkpoint — which is frequently a clogged and intensely stressful traffic nightmare — and where there is NO traffic control.

The immediate Israeli assumption is always, but always, that things like this are “terror” attacks.

Israeli soldiers or Border Police thought that the truck driver was making an intentional attack on the checkpoint, and they shot. The driver was badly injured, and evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital all the way across Jerusalem, west of Bethlehem. There were reportedly other injuries as well — either by the shooting, or by the vehicle crashing, or both.

There were at least a couple of hours for Palestinian TV to try to get any footage that might be available, or to send a reporter and a camera crew to the scene to do a live report — or even to see if they could get anything from the hospital, or from Israeli TV or other Arab TV networks working in Jerusalem, or from other journalistic sources.

Continue reading Palestinian TV news did not report shooting at Qalandia checkpoint

How Israeli forces really play ball – Bil'in responds to Israeli Cellcom Ad

The IDF, we now know, has no sense of humor, as the Israeli Cellcom phone company tried to imply in a misleadingly untruthful “feel-good” ad that we have previously reported on here.

The Bil’in village website has posted a video send-up here of the Cellcom ad, but there was no light-hearted athletic exchange last Friday 17 July when Palestinians kicked across a soccer ball at the site of the weekly protests against the The-Wall-where-it-is-a-fence, in an “unbuilt-up area” at the edge of Bil’il village, east of Ramallah in the West Bank.

Only tear gas was returned.

The Israeli Supreme Court has ordered the IDF to re-route The Wall (here, in its fence-like form), but that order has been left un-implemented.

Meanwhile, peaceful demonstrators are regularly tear-gassed, kidnapped, detained, and occasionally injured and killed, and Bil’in village is now subject to frequent nightly IDF raids to detain even more Palestinians who are accused of supporting these protests.