Images help shape the way we understand the world. A powerful image can resonate in the minds of millions and affect the public agenda, leading to increased awareness, activism and policy initiatives. This year we witnessed the worst attack on Gaza in decades, endless violence and hostility in Jerusalem, housing struggles inside Israel, ongoing home demolitions in Bedouin villages and in the Jordan Valley, as well as the continuing struggle for freedom by the community of African asylum seekers. Activestills selects the most powerful, important and moving images of 2014 — presented in chronological order.
Photos by: Ahmad al-Bazz, Fiaz Abu-Rmeleh, Shiraz Grinbaum, Keren Manor, Tali Mayer, Anne Paq, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Yotam Ronen, Basel Yazouri, Oren Ziv / Activestills.org
Tens of thousands African asylum seekers participate in a protest calling to free all African refugees Israeli is holding in prisons and the Holot detention facility and for the recognition of all refugees rights, Tel Aviv, Israel, January 5, 2014. The protest was the first event in the Strike For Freedom of African asylum seekers launched in Israel, and was the largest African refugee protest in Israel’s history. By: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | Read about the protest here. For background on refugees in Israel, click here.
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and women take part in a mass prayer in Jerusalem March 2, 2014. Hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews held a mass prayer in Jerusalem in protest of a bill meant to slash military exemptions granted to seminary students, a tradition held since the founding of Israel. By: Tali Mayer/Activestills.org | For more on ultra-Orthodox conscription, click here.
Activists are pushed by large police forces during an eviction and demolition of six houses in the Givat Amal neighborhood of Tel Aviv, March 27, 2014. Residents and community activists gathered in the neighborhood in an attempt to stop the eviction of six houses. The residents, who were placed there by the state in the 1950s, have been leading a struggle to recognize their rights to the property, which were sold to an Israeli businessman in the 1970s. More families in the neighborhood are under a threat of eviction. By: Keren Manor/Activestills.org | For more on the Givat Amal housing struggle, click here.
Israeli activists take part in a protest as Uriel Ferera, a 19-year-old Orthodox Jew from Beer Sheva, enters the Tel Ha’Shomer Military Base, where he would announce his refusal to draft to Israeli army service, April 27, 2014. Uriel spent 177 days in military prison and was finally released on December 21, 2014. By: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | For more on Uriel Ferera and contentious objectors in Israel, click here.
Animal rights activists in central Tel Aviv hold corpses of dead animals during a protest against animal testing, April 22, 2014. Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | For more coverage of animal rights activism in Israel, click here.
Members of the Palestinian National Security Forces carry the bodies of Nadeem Seeam Nowarah and Muhammad Abu Da’har during their funeral procession in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 16, 2014. Nowarah and Muhammad Abu Da’har were shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes the previous day outside the Israeli-run Ofer military prison following a protest to mark the Nakba. The two died in a Ramallah hospital after being shot in the chest. An Israeli border policeman was later charged in relation to the shootings. Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org | For more on the killings, click here.
Palestinians climb the fence in order to jump the line as Palestinians from the West Bank with permits to enter Israel wait at the Israeli military checkpoint in the separation wall controlling movement between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, June 12, 2014. By: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org | For more on Israeli checkpoints and restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement, click here.
Bedouin women cry as they watch the demolition of their house during the demolition of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al Araqib, in the Negev desert, June 12, 2014. Israeli authorities have demolished the village over 70 times since 2010. On June 12, for the first time, Israeli forces entered the village cemetery, demolishing its mosque and all the houses that local residents built after the first demolition in 2010. By: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | Read more on Bedouin home demolitions and on Al Araqib.
Horses eat leftovers of food as a Bedouin men sleeps on the ground in the unrecognized Bedouin of Al Araqib, in the Negev desert, three days after the entire village was demolished by the Israeli authorities, June 15, 2014. Israeli authorities have demolished the village over 70 times since 2010. On June 12, 2014, for the first time, Israeli forces entered the village cemetery, demolishing its mosque and all the houses, which local residents built after the first demolition. By: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | Read more about Bedouin home demolitions
and about Al Araqib
Israeli policemen and immigration officers arrest African asylum seekers near the Israeli-Egyptian border, forcing them back to the Holot detention facility, Negev Desert, June 29, 2014. A group of African asylum seekers settled in a small forest after marching from the Holot detention center, where they were jailed, to the Israel-Egypt border in protest of Israel’s asylum policies, calling on the UN and the Red Cross to intervene. More than 800 Asylum seekers tried to reach to the border fence with Egypt, saying Israeli is not checking their asylum requests and they therefore seek to leave the country. Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | Read more on the protest action here and on Israel’s asylum regime here.
Right-wing Israeli youths burn the Palestinian flag and shout racist slogans, during an anti-Palestinian protest at the Gush Etzion junction, next to the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, following the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers four days earlier, West Bank, June 16, 2014. By: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | Read more on the kidnappings here and the right-wing backlash that followed here.
Family and friends of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel, three Israeli teenagers who were abducted over two weeks earlier, take part in their funeral in the city of Modi’in, Israel, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Tens of thousands of mourners arrived to Modi’in in central Israel for a funeral service for three teenagers found dead in the West Bank after a two weeks of searches, raids and arrests in the West Bank, as Israel accused Hamas of abducting and killing the young men. Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | More on the kidnappings here.
Activestills photographer Tali Mayer seen after she was shot by the Israeli army in the face during clashes in Shua’fat, East Jerusalem, July 2, 2014. She was hospitalized with a shattered jaw and would required many weeks of rehabilitation. By: Activestills.org | Read more about the incident here.
Mourners at the funeral for the 26 members of the Abu Jame’ family, who were killed the previous day during an Israeli attack over the Bani Suhaila neighborhood of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, July 21, 2014. Reports indicatde that 18 of the 24 killed were children of Abu Jame’ family. Israeli attacks killed over 2,100 Palestinians in the offensive, a majority of them civilians. Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org | Read +972’s ‘Story of the Year’: Gaza.
A woman and her baby standing near an area hit by a missile launched from Gaza in the town of Sderot, Israel, on July 15, 2014. By: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org | Read more on the impact of the war on Israel’s southern residents here, and the political changes it led to in the political echelon here.
An injured Palestinian child awaits treatment at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City following Israeli attacks, July 30, 2014.. By: Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org | Read +972’s ‘Story of the Year: Gaza’
Palestinian protesters run to take cover from live bullets shot by Israeli forces during clash following a protest against the Israeli attack on Gaza in the Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah, July 24, 2014. Palestinians marched from Al Amar refugee camp to Qalandiya checkpoint to protest against the Israeli attack on Gaza. One protesters was shot dead by Israeli forces with live ammunition, and over two-hundred protesters injured. By: Oren Ziv/Activesitlls.org | Read more here about the protest, which was described as the largest in the West Bank since the First Intifada, and +972’s ‘Story of the Year: Gaza’ here.
Israelis take part in a protest calling for peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinian, Tel Aviv, on August 16, 2014. Thousands of demonstrators gathered on Saturday for a pro-peace rally under the slogan: ‘Changing Direction: Toward Peace, Away From War. By: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | Read more on anti-war protests in Israel during the Gaza war here, and +972’s Story of the Year: Gaza, here.
Israeli women activists stage a protest against the attack on Gaza at Hatzor Air Force base, Israel, July 29, 2014. The activists wore white overalls stained with red paint calling on the Israeli government to stop the strikes and bring an end to the siege on Gaza, also expressing concern regarding the suffering of civilians in southern Israel. Signs in Hebrew read (from R to L): “The blood of children is on your hands”; “Bombing civilians will not bring security”; “Stop the massacre in Gaza” and “Remove the siege”. A few activists were detained by security forces. By: Keren Manor/Activestills.org | Read more on the backlash to anti-war protests here, and +972’s Story of the Year: Gaza, here.
Palestinian youth living in Israel hold dolls wrapped in a white cloths, during a demonstration against the Israeli attack on Gaza and in support of the Palestinian people, in the northern village Tamra on August 2, 2014. By: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org | Read more on Palestinian protests against the war inside Israel here, and +972’s Story of the Year: Gaza, here.
Bodies are stored in a cooler used for vegetables and flowers near Gaza’s Kuwaiti Hospital after it ran out of space to store corpses following Israeli attacks in Rafah, Gaza Strip, August 3, 2014. Since Al Najjar Hospital was closed, Kuwaiti, a nearby private hospital, opened its doors for emergency cases. By: Basel Yazouri/Activesitlls.org | Read more on the inability of Gazan hospitals to keep up with the wounded here, and +972’s Story of the Year: Gaza, here.
Palestinians carry the body of Mohammed Sinokrot during his funeral in the neighbourhood of Wadi Joz in East Jerusalem on September 8, 2014. Mohammed Sinokrot, 16, was wounded by police gunfire in the Wadi Joz neighborhood on August 31 and later died from his injuries on September 7. By: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org | Read more on the case here and on the violence in East Jerusalem here.
Palestinian school students stand in a destroyed classroom in the damaged Sobhi Abu Karsh basic-school in a destroyed quarter of the Shujayea neighborhood, Gaza city, September 15, 2014. The school year started with a three-week delay, due to the latest Israeli offensive. During the attack 29 schools were destroyed, and around 190 were damaged. An estimated 18,000 housing units were either destroyed or severely damaged, leaving more than 108,000 people internally displaced. By: Anne Paq/Activestills.org | Read more on the start of the post-war school year here and on internally displaced Gazans here.
The Kadoori, Hamias and Ashram families sit near an improvised Shabat dinner table near their demolished houses in Givat Amal neighbourhood, Tel Aviv, Israel, September 19, 2014. Two days passed since the third eviction of families in the neighborhood which left 20 residents homeless without proper compensation or alternative housing solution. By: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org | Read more on the Givat Amal evictions here.
A Palestinian family sits in their destroyed home in a quarter in At-Tuffah district of Gaza City, which was heavily attacked during last Israeli offensive, Gaza City, September 21, 2014. During the seven-week Israeli military offensive, 2,131 Palestinians were killed, including 501 children, and an estimated 18,000 housing units were either destroyed or severely damaged, leaving more than 108,000 people homeless. By: Anne Paq/Activestills.org | Read +972’s Story of the Year: Gaza, here.
Palestinian schoolgirls walk across a destroyed part of Shujayea neighborhood, Gaza City, November 4th, 2014. By: Anne Paq/Activestills.org | More photos on the rebuilding efforts in Gaza here.
Olive harvest season, in Salem village near Nablus, West Bank, October 10, 2014. Palestinian farmers who have groves behind an Israeli bypass road are allowed to enter their lands twice a year: during olive harvest season and for tilling soil in April. This year, Salem villagers were allowed to work for five days only. By: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org | More on the olive harvest and the violence that comes with it here.
Arab youth throw stones during clashes with Israeli police at the entrance to the town of Kfar Kanna, in the northern Israel, November 8, 2014. Clashes broke after police shot and killed of 22-year-old Khayr al-Din al-Hamdan, who was approaching a police car with a knife, during a police raid in the village the night before. By: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | Read more on the killing and the protests it sparked here.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews mourn at the funerals of three of the victims of an attack by two Palestinians on Jewish worshippers killing four Israelis at a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Har Nof in West Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with a gun, knives and a meat cleaver burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead by Israeli forces. By: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org | Read more on the attack here.
An Israeli soldier jumps as a construction vehicle places a part of the Israeli Separation Wall in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, on December 3, 2014. The Israeli authorities, under the supervision of Israeli security forces, destroyed Palestinian owned shops that were built without a permit, clearing space for a new parking lot for the Shuafat checkpoint. Palestinians in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods rarely receive building permits due to the municipality’s discriminative policies. By: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | Read more on the Shuafat refugee camp here.
A Palestinian runs to take cover from tear gas, during clashes with Israeli police at the Palestinian refugee camp of Shuafat in East Jerusalem, November 5, 2014. Clashes broke after a Palestinian man drove a car into a crowd, killing a policeman and injuring 13 people in Jerusalem. By: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | Read more on the protests and violence in East Jerusalem here.
Palestinian youth preform a Capoeira session in front of Al Aqsa mosque, November 22, 2014. Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org | Read more on the controversy surrounding the Aqsa Mosque this year.
A woman holds sign reads: “Suffering doesn’t have a statute of limitations” during a memorial event for Maya-Gaya (Vered) Lev, Tel Aviv, Israel, December 21, 2014. After years of struggling with the Israeli legal system in her case claiming against her father and brother for sexually abuse, and in front of her mother that keep silence, Lev committed suicide on November 30, 2014. Around 300 people gather in memory of Maya-Gaya and call to re-open her case that was closed by the Israeli authorities. By: Keren Manor/Activestills.org
Yonatan Hailo is seen before his hearing at the Israeli High Court in Jerusalem, on December 1st, 2014. Hailo is an Ethiopian young man who was convicted in the murder of his rapist four years ago and was sentenced for 20 years. Activists call for his release saying it was self defense, and that court’s decision regarding his case was racist. By :Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org | Read more on the case here.
A woman confronts policemen during the eviction of families from the Givat Amal neighborhood, Tel Aviv, December 29, 2014. Israeli police evicted eight families in Givat Amal neighborhood, in the northern part of Tel Aviv, without proper compensation after a long legal battle. By: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org | Read more on Givat Amal here.
Yoval Topler (R), a transgender person, sitting with his partner and their children, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2014. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org) | Read more about transgender issues in Israel here.
+972’s Story of the Year: Gaza
+972’s Editor’s Picks of 2014
The 25 most-read posts of 2014
Before you go…
A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. +972 Magazine is nonprofit
journalism, owned by many of our writers, editors, and journalists. In order to safeguard that independent
voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. With your support, we can
keep +972 Magazine a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping push the global discourse on