About

This site was created in late May, 2011, to map news reports of human rights violations, along with rebuilding efforts, in Palestine/Israel.

The site is not comprehensive in either the categories covered, or the stories archived.  The articles here (limited to English language news feeds only) point to but a fraction of the ongoing civil and human rights violations occurring daily in Israel and the Occupied Territories & Gaza.

Verification criteria:

We assume the professionalism of the NGOs as well as the major regional news services reporting these stories.  While our goal is to search for two independent sources of each story, given staff limitations we currently cannot do so.  At present a report is labeled "verified" if

           The source has direct access to information (witness or actor)
           The information is not confirmed (yet), but is likely.

Date and Time:

If the date an incident took place is reported, that date is posted.  If no such date is referenced, the date of report publication is posted. 

Time of occurrence referenced within a report is posted. References to general time periods are posted as follows:

"overnight": 3 am        "morning": 6 am       "evening": 6 pm   

If no specific time period is indicated, the incident's time stamp is set to 12:00 pm.

It is important to note that Palestinian reporters do not have the same resources and freedom of movement that their Israeli and international colleagues enjoy.  Hence, for example, Palestinian reporters' on-site documentation, via photos and video, is typically severely constrained in ways that Israeli and international documentation is not.

Criteria for inclusion in a Category:

Demolitions: House demolitions in East Jerusalem, the Occupied Territories, and the Negev are violations of international human rights law.  For decades Palestinians have been unable to secure building permits in East Jerusalem and the Territories, while the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories continues.  So while Palestinian property owners may be in technical violation of Israeli laws when they build after failing to secure a permit, in fact they are victims of policies intended to force them from their land. This same pattern is repeated with respect to Bedouin communities in the "unrecognized villages" of the Negev.

Rabbi Arik Ascherman of Rabbis for Human Rights explains it this way:  "In the Mishnah it says, if you blind a man, and then punish him for being blind, it is a sin."

Detentions: For the purposes of this archive, the story of any arrestee denied due process by any security force– Israeli, Fatah, or Hamas– is eligible for inclusion. Since arrests and "administrative detention" as practiced by the Israeli government in the Occupied Territories routinely denies the right of habeas corpus and other standards of due process to Palestinians, the majority of stories so far reference Palestinians as victims of this type of abuse. Reports of rights violations by Fatah and Hamas, again with mainly Palestinian victims, but also including the case of Gilad Shalit, are currently mapped.  If & when any authority denies due process to Israel settlers, their stories, too, will be mapped. 

   Child Detention: Refers to the detention of youngsters under the age of 16.

Note: This Wiki article describes the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and provides a map reflecting the ratification status of this Agreement.




Truth and Justice: We believe that the truth-telling that arises within communities in conflict, as well as a rebalancing of power relations, are essential steps for peace. Reports submitted under this category relate to these aspects of conflict resolution.



What's missing? 
A lot of things. For example, we do not map reports documenting non-violent resistance to Israeli occupation.  Reports of civilian deaths & injuries in Gaza due to Israeli military attacks, or Israeli civilian injuries due to rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, are also not mapped.  An exception are summary reports of military assaults on areas where civilian populations are confined within borders controlled by the assailant.

What's Ushahidi?  See Ushahidi: Creating a New Narrative (2 min), Ushahidi FAQ, and  co-founder Patrick Meier's Changing the World, One Map at a Time (58 min).  Finally, Patrick Meier's iRevolution blog is a wonderful source of mind- stretching essays that address both the promise and challenges of crowd-sourcing.

Who are "we"?  At present, volunteers in the United States working with groups advocating for human rights in Israel/Palestine.  If you are interested in joining this effort, or commenting constructively on any aspect of the map, please contact palcrisismap at gmail.com   Ideas for expanding the site in ways that provide tangible real-time benefits to people whose rights are being violated are welcomed.

Please email general comments to palcrisismap at gmail.com 

Translation of this site's content:  Try out Chrome's language translation feature at translate.google.com  It isn't perfect, but continually improving. 

Note: Due to changes in Twitter's API, "Official and Mainstream News" can no longer display Twitter feeds selected by hash tags.  We are sorry to lose this unfiltered real-time view of sources of breaking news.  Until we've found a workaround, we're replacing Twitter with RSS feeds from selected regional English language news sources.  (August, 2013)

UPDATE: 2021

Why Palmap?
Ushahidi Survey
December, 2020

Why do you want to keep your deployment running?
To maintain a mapped archive of human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) as self-reported by Israeli and Palestinian media.  

1. Palmap's Categories schema neatly outlines the means by which a modern nation-state can control subject populations.  Unfortunately, Palestine/Israel is proving to be a classic testing ground for these practices.

2. Mapping illustrates how, over time, government-sanctioned abuse spreads from victims' territory into the territory of the victimizer.

3. Mapping provides a graphic means for Palestinian villages and Israeli settlements to view their mutual history as reported over time by each side.  A resource for healing, once reconciliation begins.

What have you achieved?
An archive of over 11,500 reports, leveraging some of the most unique and innovative features of Ushahidi Version 2X.

Anything else you would like us to know?
As Ushahidi V2 nears the end of its useful life, our primary goal is to ensure that the existing SQL database is properly archived and capable of being visualized for research purposes.  Continuing to add reports over the next few years would be the best possible outcome, as we believe #2's trend will become more visible within that time frame, and that opportunities for #3, however modest, may yet emerge.