Latest Updates

Israeli ministers vote on bill 'targeting human rights groups'

December 28, 2015

Israeli Cabinet ministers have given parliamentary approval to a bill imposing new controls on human rights groups receiveing funding from abroad. Critics say the bill unfairly targets leftwing organisations critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government policies towards the Palestinians. Pro-government and nationalistic nonprofit organisations tend to rely on private donors, who are exempt from the measures under the bill. Government ministers have agreed to…

Israel warns Brazil faces diplomatic downgrade unless it accepts settler as ambassador

December 28, 2015

Brazil’s reluctance to accept an Israeli ambassador who is a West Bank settler has led to a standoff with Israel now warning it could downgrade diplomatic relations. The appointment four months ago of Dani Dayan, a former head of the Jewish settlement movement, did not go down well with Brazil’s left-leaning government, which has supported Palestinian statehood in recent years. Most world powers deem the…

Jerusalem expulsions target activists and community leaders

December 28, 2015

Whenever Palestinians stand up for their rights in Jerusalem, it is a safe bet that Samer Abu Eisheh will be there. It is hard to imagine a protest near the Damascus Gate — an entrance to the Old City — without his bellowing voice. It is the 28-year-old’s relentless activism that could sunder him from his home, however. After nearly three months under house arrest,…

'Boycott and sanction' power to be stripped from UK councils

December 28, 2015

Local councils in the UK are to face new curbs on their powers to divest from or stop trading with organisations or countries they regard as unethical. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has confirmed it is drawing up new guidelines to prevent local authorities from mounting their own “boycott and sanction” campaigns. The directions, which will be issued early in the new…

Palestinians defy Israel's Jerusalem ban

December 26, 2015

Two Palestinians have taken refuge in an International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Jerusalem in defiance of an Israeli order banning them from entering their hometown for several months. Samer Abu Eisheh, a 28-year-old freelance journalist from occupied East Jerusalem, recently received orders from the Israeli military informing him that he was banned from Jerusalem for five months. Another Jerusalemite, 32-year-old Saleh…

Footage emerges of Israeli wedding guests celebrating death of Palestinian baby

December 26, 2015

Footage has emerged appearing to show guests at a wedding in Jerusalem celebrating the death of a Palestinian toddler. The video was shown on Israeli TV and showed wedding guests dancing with guns and knives. One guest appears to be dancing with a knife through a picture of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh, who died with his parents when their home in the village of Duma in the…

Delinking the Palestinians

December 25, 2015

Since the more recent third Palestinian uprising started in early October, there has been a rush by different Arab countries and intellectuals to legitimize their good relations with, and their love for, Israel. With the Palestinian uprising refusing to abate in November, panic set in among the Arab anti-Palestinian camp, which has gained considerable ground across the Arab world since the 1978 Egypt-Israel Camp David…

West Bank risks being plunged into chaos in 2016, warn Palestinian officials

December 25, 2015

Palestinian officials are warning that the occupied West Bank risks being plunged into chaos next year, with no sign of three months of violence coming to an end and support growing among Palestinians for the current wave of attacks on Israelis. The warnings that the status quo is untenable follow recent comments by both senior US figures and the Israeli military that the risk of…

FOA exclusive: Interview with Councillor Mohammed Dawood

December 24, 2015

In November last year, Leicester city councillors voted not to procure services from illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories. Since then, the motion is set to face High Court review next year after a complaint that was filed by the Jewish Human Rights Watch. Friends of Al-Aqsa met with councillor Mohammed Dawood to find out more about the motion and his personal experience. FOA: Can…

Muslim scholars call for support for Al-Aqsa Mosque

December 24, 2015

The secretary general of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) called on Tuesday for Muslims all over the world to designate next Friday as a day of solidarity with Al-Aqsa Mosque, Anadolu has reported. Dr Ali Al-Qaradaghi said that Muslim scholars should use the day to explain how the Israeli occupation authorities are violating the Noble Sanctuary, including their plans to destroy the mosque…