[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Palestine and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Palestine Page co-editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each roundup to Palestine@jadaliyya.com.]
Wounded Palestinian Dies, Bringing Total Killed in Gaza Since Friday to Five Ziad Zaki Akel, twenty-three, from Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, died early Saturday of wounds sustained during the Friday protests at the border fence with Israel, according to hospital sources, bringing the total number of Palestinians shot and killed by Israeli forces on Friday to five. Akel was brought to al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital in Deir al-Balah with critical bullet wounds. Attempts to save his life had failed, and he was pronounced dead early Saturday.
Israeli Airstrikes Damage Buildings, Including Hospital in Gaza A Ma'an reporter said that Israeli warplanes targeted and fired missiles towards a four-story building that was still under construction in the center of Gaza City and destroyed it. Reports added that several buildings in its vicinity were damaged during the airstrikes
Israeli Forces Detain 17 Palestinians, Including Minor Israeli forces detained at least seventeen Palestinians, including a minor, particularly across the northern occupied West Bank, during pre-dawn raids on Tuesday.
Israel Levels 33 Dunams, Uproots 550 Trees in Hebron The Israeli authorities leveled thirty-three dunams of land, uprooted some 550 trees in western Beit Ula in the southern West Bank district of Hebron. Owner of the leveled lands, Suleiman al-Adam, told Ma'an that Israeli bulldozers razed twenty dunams of his lands and uprooted 350 fruit trees, pointing out that this is the third time that Israel razes his lands and uproots trees. He added that Israel also leveled and razed lands next to his, belonging to Hijazi Abed al-Rahim al-Turshan.
PCC Decides to Suspend Recognition of Israel The Palestinian Central Council (PCC) decided on Monday, a day after meeting in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, to end all commitments in agreements the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has signed with Israel, suspend recognition of Israel until it recognizes the State of Palestine, end security coordination, and end the Paris Economic Protocols.
Abbas: There Will Be No Palestinian State in – or Without – Gaza Palestinian President Abbas reaffirmed the rejection of Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” at the thirtieth Palestinian Central Council meeting in Ramallah. Sunday evening, Abbas stated that “there will be no [independent] state in the Gaza Strip and no state without the Gaza Strip.” This comes at a time when Fatah has been opposing possible talks between Hamas and Israel, as well as increasing talks in the US administration about splitting the occupied territories.
PA’s Social Security Law to Come Into Force Despite Public Outcry The Palestinian Authority is continuing in its plan to implement a Social Security Law which will see citizens paying taxes. The cabinet stated on its last session yesterday that the law will come into force as planned tomorrow. Palestinians have called for a public strike tomorrow in conjunction with the launching of the new tax system which many believe will have a negative effect on citizens who are already struggling to survive under Israel’s brutal occupation.
Japan Funds New Classrooms, Solar Energy System Projects in Ramallah The Japanese Ambassador for the Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to Palestine, Takeshi Okubo, signed grant contracts for three Grassroots Human Security Projects with representatives of Nilin town, al-Tira village, and Franciscan Sisters' School for a total amount of 234,526 dollars, at the Representative Office of Japan, in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on Monday. These funds would be used for the construction of new classrooms, solar energy systems, and improving conditions in existing schools.
UN Gives Thumbs-up for Palestine to Lead Group of 77 Palestinian leaders are pleased with the UN General Assembly's recent vote to enhance Palestine's observer-state UN status, allowing it to head the Group of Seventy-Seven and China (G-77) next year. Palestine will be heading the largest intergovernmental bloc of UN member-states for one-year effective 1 January.
Minister of State and 50 Irish Lawmakers Call For Arms Embargo on Israel Minister of State Finian McGrath and fifty other Irish TDs and senators have called for an arms embargo to be placed on Israel, and for “an end to the bilateral arms trade between Ireland and the apartheid state.” The signatories include members of Sinn Féin, Solidarity-People Before Profit, Labour, the Green Party, Independents 4 Change, and others.
Syria Protests at UN Over Israel Elections in Occupied Golan Heights Syria’s foreign ministry has sent two letters to the United Nations’ chief and United Nations’ Security Council president protesting Israel’s holding municipal elections in the occupied Golan Heights. Elections took place Tuesday with Syrian Druze residents attempting to block polling stations in Majdal Shams. Israeli police used tear gas to disperse the crowd in order the clear a path for voters and later confirmed that they used “special means” to disperse hundreds of protesters.
Arab States Reject Israel Proposal to Control Gaza Arab states reject Israel’s proposal to control the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Channel 7 television station reported Tuesday. “Israel hopes that its policy would lead to stopping the demonstrations, rockets, incendiary balloons, and achieving calm,” the channel said, “therefore, it does not want to allow humanitarian crises to take place in Gaza or any explosion that leads to an offensive.” However, this last statement explicitly contradicts statements by senior Israeli officials, who over the past several weeks, have directly or subtly suggested an invasion of the strip. To achieve the claimed “calm,” the station said that Israel will cooperate with Egypt and the United Nations.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Israel Approves 20,000 Settlement Units in Maale Adumim The Israeli government has approved the construction of more than twenty thousand new housing units in the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem. Reports said that with the signing of the agreement, it will be possible to start the construction work of 470 housing units, while the remaining housing units, which make up twenty thousand units, are subjected to the approval of political parties.
Settlers Break Into, Damage Three Palestinian Homes in Hebron A group of Jewish settlers broke on Monday into three uninhabited Palestinian homes in the southern West Bank city of Hebron and caused damage to them, according to Palestinian security sources. The houses located in the old town of Hebron, which is under full Israeli military control and where movement of Palestinians living there is highly restricted.
140 Settlers Break into Al-Aqsa Mosque One hundred forty settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday, on the side of the Margharba Gate, guarded by Israeli special forces. The settlers carried out provocative “educational tours” of the mosque about the myth of the alleged temple. The so-called “organizations of the temple” called on its supporters and the settlers to participate extensively and intensively in the intrusions of al-Aqsa Mosque this morning, coinciding with the elections of local authorities.
Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement
Khaled: Jerusalemites’ Boycott of Municipal Elections “hardest slap ever” to US Administration Member of the PLO Executive Committee, and the DFLP’s Political Bureau, Tayseer Khaled in a statement on Wednesday saluted the Palestinian Jerusalemites, as they have boycotted the municipal elections in the occupied East Jerusalem, which he said emphasizes their solid position on the city.
Palestine Advocacy Project Honors Gaza Heroes Palestine Advocacy Project in the United States is launching a billboard ad campaign to honor the heroism and self-sacrifice of the Palestinian medics who put their lives on the line to rescue and treat injured protesters in Gaza’s ongoing “Great March of Return” demonstrations.
Israel Film Dropped From Iraq Film Festival Citing ‘regional complications’ An Israeli film screened at a film festival in Iraqi Kurdistan has been removed from the official competition list due to “regional complications”. The removal comes just one week after it was announced that the film–Israeli director Yona Rozenkier’s The Dive–would be shown at Duhok International Film Festival (IFF) in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. The festival’s organizers explained they had “unwillingly” withdrawn the film “due to regional complications and considerations” but did not elaborate further.
Denmark to Suspend Funding to BDS Groups Denmark has announced that it will no longer provide any funding to groups that endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, in what pro-Israel activists have called a significant step. “The use of Danish funds for political purposes, including BDS activities, is unacceptable,” read the conditions put forward by Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen. The other guidelines mandate the defunding of any recipient caught “associating with a terrorist movement,” violating human rights principles or “questioning Israel’s right to exist.” NGO Monitor and other right-wing, pro-Israel organizations have significantly increased pressure on states to criminalize or halt the BDS movement.
BDS: 15 Arab, Islamic Countries Cooperate with Israel Twenty percent of the Arab and Islamic countries possess diplomatic relations with Israel, the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) global campaign reported yesterday. Nine Arab countries possess full diplomatic ties, while six others have smaller-scale relations. BDS warned the Arab states of what it described as a “dangerous reality” resulting from the “Arab countries’ unprecedented normalization with Israel.”
Palestinian Prisoner Refuses to Drink on 57th Day of Hunger Strike Palestinian prisoner, Khader Adnan, forty, who has been on an open hunger strike for fifty-seven days, as a form of protest to his "arbitrary" detention by Israel, has also stopped drinking water, on Sunday. The Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners' Affairs Committee said in a statement “Prisoner Khader Adnan has decided to step up his hunger strike in Israeli jails by abstaining from drinking water from Sunday until his release.”
Israel Renews Administrative Detention of Khalida Jarrar The Israeli authorities renewed administrative detention of Palestinian parliament member, Khalida Jarrar, for the fourth time in a row, on Thursday. A Ma'an reporter, who obtained a copy of the renewal order, said that the order renews Jarrar's detention for four extra months.
Environment, Economy, and Other
Gaza's Drinking Water Spurs Blue Baby Syndrome, Serious Illnesses In recent months Dr. Abu Samia has seen sharp rises in gastroenteritis, kidney disease, pediatric cancer, marasmus-a disease of severe malnutrition appearing in infants–and "blue baby syndrome", an ailment causing bluish lips, face, and skin, and blood the color of chocolate. Multiple factors are to blame for the uncoiling health crisis, but medical experts agree on one central culprit: Gaza's scarce and contaminated drinking water, owing to Israel's economic siege, its repeated bombing of water and sewage infrastructure and a collapsing aquifer of such poor quality that ninety-seven percent of Gaza's drinking-water wells are below minimal health standards for human consumption.
A Palestinian-American Billionaire Building a $1.4 billion City in Palestine Says It's a 'golden opportunity' to Build a 'model state' For the Middle East Palestinian-American billionaire developer Bashar al-Masri is the brains behind Rawabi, a 1.4 billion dollars planned city of forty thousand in the West Bank, the territory home to 2.6 million Palestinians. Rawabi is the first planned city in the West Bank built by and for Palestinians. Al-Masri believes that by providing jobs and improving economic infrastructure in the West Bank, a Palestinian state might be achieved. He aims to assist in creating a Palestinian middle class and drawing in international investors so that there is an increase in economic interests in the upholding of Palestinian economic and political rights.
Image From Gaza Protests Goes Viral An image of twenty-year-old Aed Abu Amro from the ongoing border protests in Gaza went viral this week as Twitter users likened it to Eugene Delacroix's famous French Revolution painting "Liberty Leading the People." "The flag I was carrying is the same one I always hold in all the other protests I have attended. My friends make fun of me, saying it is easier to throw rocks without holding a flag in the other hand, but I got used to it,” Amro said to Al Jazeera.
Gaza Returns to 8 Hours’ Electricity Per Day, Up From 4 The Palestinian Electricity Company in the besieged Gaza Strip announced on Sunday that it has returned to an eight-hour per day electricity plan, after two years of only four hours’ electricity per day. In a statement, the Electricity Company said: “We were told by the Power and Natural Resources Authority that the third generator of the electricity plant is to be operated on Sunday, so we will start operating electricity eight hours on and eight hours off.” The Gaza Strip has been under a strict Israeli-Egyptian, internationally-backed siege since mid-2007. The sole electricity plant in Gaza has been targeted several times by Israeli occupation jets since 2006.