June 17th, 2022: Hundreds of Palestinians gather on Gaza’s beach to cool off. This is the first summer in years in which Gazans have full access to the beach. Previous years brought restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the 11-day Israeli offensive last year. The water provides welcome relief from the heat in the besieged Gaza Strip, where residents suffer from a chronic electricity shortage and poor housing.
On June 10th, Israelis and Jews from North America and Europe joined Palestinians in a mass demonstration near the Mitzpe Yair settlement in Masafar Yatta, West Bank. The demonstrators marched in opposition to the Israeli High Court’s recent decision to expel eight Palestinian communities from Masafer Yatta to create an exclusive military domain called "Firing Zone 918." During the demonstration, Israeli settlers blockaded Palestinian roads and threw stones at protesters and their vehicles. Israeli forces used tear gas and stun grenades against protesters, two of whom they detained and later released.
On June 1st, the Israeli Civil Administration carried out mass demolitions of 10 structures in Al-Fakheit and Al-Mirkez, two villages in the Masafer Yatta region of the West Bank. The majority of the structures belonged to the same families whose homes were demolished on May 11th, days after Israel approved the forced expulsion of Masafer Yatta's residents. Since December 2021, Israel has carried out mass demolitions of Al-Fakheit and Al-Mirkez three times.
During Jerusalem Day celebrations on May 29th, Israelis marched through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, chanting anti-Palestinian slogans like "Death to Arabs." During the parade, Israel allowed thousands of settlers to enter the Muslim Quarter for an annual Flag March. Police reacted aggressively against Palestinians, and protected Israeli settlers.
On May 23rd, a team of forensic investigators from the Israeli Ministry of Health took a DNA sample from a child’s grave in Petah Tikva. The sample could confirm the identity of the child. Some suspect the child is Uziel Khoury, one of the thousands of children who the Israeli government took from their families, mostly in the 1950s, in a scandal known as the Yemenite, Mizrahi and Balkan Children Affair. Khoury’s grave was opened after a four-year legal battle, during which the Israeli state tried to postpone the exhumation of his body. Khoury’s family emigrated from Tunisia in 1948, and he was born in 1952. At age one he fell sick and was transferred to Israeli welfare services, and then hospitalized. The agency informed his family that he died of polio.
Hundreds of protesters contested the ethnic cleansing of Masafer Yatta, in the South Hebron Hills, on May 13th. Days earlier, the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed while covering an Israeli military raid in the West Bank. Earlier this month, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that residents of Masafer Yatta could be expelled from their land to allow the military to turn it into a training ground.
During celebrations of Israel's independence day, on May 5th, anti-Zionist Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews march in Jerusalem to mourn the 74th anniversary of the creation of the state. Protesters, who call themselves "Palestinian Jews," carried Palestinian flags and burned Israeli flags at the center of the Mea Shearim neighborhood. Israeli security forces cracked down on the protest, and raided the neighborhood to remove the Palestinian flags hung on buildings.
On April 29th, Palestinian youth cross the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank town of A-Ram to attend the last Friday prayer of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem. On every Friday of Ramadan, the Israeli military allows women of all ages and men over 50 to enter without obtaining a movement permit. Boys and men ages 12 to 50 must have a permit to attend the mosque.
Palestinians and Israeli activists hold a vigil in front of the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, on April 25th, during a hearing on whether to expel the Salem family from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem. The judge would conclude the hearing by ruling that the case must be reheard, forestalling the expulsion for at least two months.
Israeli settlers block main roads around Nablus in the West Bank to protest recent Palestinian armed attacks. The settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles; Israeli forces did not act to prevent the settlers’ attacks. Meanwhile, the Israeli army closed several military gates to Palestinian areas and turned back Palestinian traffic.
The Israeli military has severely restricted the movement of West Bank Palestinians in the days after several Palestinians killed 11 Israelis. In this photo taken on April 3rd, Israeli soldiers prevent Palestinian workers from crossing through a damaged section of the separation fence near the West Bank checkpoint of Meitar, near Hebron.
On March 26th, Palestinians commemorated Land Day in the village of Sa'wat Al-Atrash, in the Naqab (Negev) region of Israel. Land Day is marked every year to commemorate the day in 1976 when six Palestinians were killed and hundreds were injured in the Galilee while protesting Israeli land confiscation in favor of Israeli settlers. The March 26th event was held in Al-Naqab following recent tensions between locals and Israeli authorities after locals have had their agricultural crops damaged and lands raided repeatedly by Israeli authorities.
On March 15th, Palestinian families and their supporters protested in front of the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem during the final hearing on Israel's plans to expel over 1,000 residents living on their lands in Masafer Yatta (also known as the South Hebron Hills), in the southern West Bank. For decades, the Palestinian residents have been subjected to Israeli demolitions, raids, and arrests and have had their lands declared a "military firing zone" in an attempt to cleanse the area for the benefit of Israeli settlers.
Jewish Ukrainian immigrants descend from a plane landing at Ben Gurion International airport near Tel Aviv on March 6th, 2022. The Israeli government and the Jewish Agency are involved in an ongoing mission to absorb Jewish immigrants from the war in Ukraine. According to media reports, the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division plans to place about 1,000 new portable structures for immigrants from Ukraine, some of them in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights. Since 1948, Palestinian refugees have been denied entry and return to their land. And since the arrival of thousands of refugees from Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea in the 2000s, Israel has threatened them with deportation, sent refugees to a detention camp in the desert, and taken money from them.
In this photo taken on Feb. 26th, the Sheikh Ibriq maqam and mosque, near Haifa, is seen completely fenced by the Israeli authorities with signs prohibiting access. The barrier was installed in the past 3-4 months. Sheikh Ibriq (also known as Sheikh Bureik) is one of 531 Palestinian ethnically cleansed villages, towns and urban neighborhoods across Palestine/Israel that were depopulated in the early 20th century and around 1948 in favor of Israel's settler-colonial project.
On February 13th, tensions erupted between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, as Israeli far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir set up his parliamentary office in the Palestinian neighborhood, declaring “we are the landlords.” Nearby, settlers erected an outpost on the land of the Salem family, whose eviction is set for March in favor of Israeli settlers.
Israeli police forces arrived February 7th to demolish the Mahrab family's home in the Pardes Snir neighborhood of Al-Lydd (Lod) on the last day of the demolition order. The house, home to nine people, received a demolition order after having been rebuilt and renovated after burning down in 2013. Last week, the father of the family was arrested when he fortified himself with gas balloons and was again arrested during the demolition. Pardes Snir is a neighborhood without an outline plan, preventing residents from building legally with a permit. In 1948, only 1,000 Palestinians managed to remain in Al-Lydd out of 50,000 residents (30,000 of which were refugees from the Jaffa area). Today, the city has almost 78,000 residents, only 30% of whom are Palestinian. All refugees from Al-Lydd living in UNRWA refugee camps are still banned from returning by the Israeli state.
On January 16th, Palestinian families awoke to flooding caused by torrential rains that pounded their homes as they slept in Beit Lahia, Northern Gaza Strip. According to the UN, around 56,000 houses in Gaza were damaged during the 11-day Israeli offensive last May, and more than 2,100 houses were destroyed and are unfit for living. Gaza residents, 73% of whom are refugees from ethnically cleansed villages and towns in southern Palestine/Israel, have been living under a strict Israeli siege since 2006.