Palestinians Debate "Polite" Resistance to Occupation

by Lori Allen
published in MER225

When an August 2002 opinion poll released by the US-based NGO Search for Common Ground showed that majorities of Palestinians would support a non-violent intifada, many residents of the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem greeted the results with suspicion. "They're trying to make us be 'polite,'" one leader of the Fatah youth movement laughed bitterly. The poll itself was dangerous, he suggested, possibly part of an insidious effort to convince Palestinians to give up resistance to the Israeli occupation.

Olives, Stones and Bullets

by Uri Avnery
published in MER217

On the evening of November 17, the villagers of Hares called and asked people from Gush Shalom to please come there. This Palestinian village is cut off from the world. The army is blockading it -- no one is allowed to enter or leave. The olives, the only product of the village, are going to rot on the trees, especially in the orchard bordering the nearby Revava settlement. Anyone trying to harvest there is in mortal danger. A 14-year-old boy -- alone in the orchard with his father -- was shot and killed there only three days before. The villagers hope that the presence of Israelis will restrain the settlers and soldiers, allowing them to harvest the olives on which their livelihood depends.

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Israel's Accountability for Economic Warfare

by Roger Normand
published in MER217

As Israel escalates the military conflict in the occupied Palestinian territories, brushing aside criticism of excessive force by the United Nations and human rights groups, it is tempting to conclude that international law is irrelevant to the real struggle being waged on the ground with bullets and blood. But the constant interplay between law and force -- in both politics and economics -- has always been, and will remain, a crucial factor shaping the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its just resolution.

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Under Siege

Closure, Separation and the Palestinian Economy

by Leila Farsakh
published in MER217

By mid-November, Israel had imposed over 50 days of closure on the whole of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinian persons and goods were refused entry into Israel, or exit from the confines of the Occupied Territories. Mobility within Palestinian-controlled areas was also curtailed. According to available estimates, each day of ongoing closure represents a loss of $8.45 million -- totaling $336 million as of November 7 -- to the Palestinian economy. [1]  If damage to physical assets and human lives were added, the losses would be still higher.

Hebron Under Curfew

by Natasha J. Krahn
published in MER217

As I sit here writing on October 30, 2000, I hear voices outside -- a rare occurrence these days. Our apartment is in H2, the Israeli-controlled part of Hebron. In 1997, an interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) split Hebron in two. 100,000 Palestinians live in H1, administered by the PA. Today the curfew imposed on October 1 -- a 24 hour-a-day house arrest for the 40,000 Palestinians living in H2 -- was lifted, supposedly for good. (The curfew was reimposed on October 31. At press time it had not been lifted.) “Or at least until the army changes their minds,” explained one of our friends. In H2, as many as 2,000 Israeli soldiers guard about 400 Jewish settlers.

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