[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.]
The Occupation Forces
7 al-Qassam Fighters Killed, Including Senior Member, in Israeli Airstrikes Seven members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, were killed late Sunday evening, during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes over Khuzaa, in the southern Gaza Strip. Local sources said that Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting southern Gaza, attacking Palestinians, who exposed an Israeli undercover unit that entered Gaza in an apparent attempt to abduct al-Qassam fighters.
Israel Deploys Reinforcements Along Gaza Border The Israeli army decided, on Monday, to deploy reinforcement forces along the Gaza borders with Israel in the event a large force is needed there. The Israeli army chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot, confirmed in a statement that he would increase the number of troops deployed along the Gaza border in the next few days.
Gaza Fisherman Shot, Killed by Israeli Navy Spokesperson of the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, confirmed that one Palestinian fisherman was killed, identifying him as Nawwaf al-Attar, twenty, from Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. Al-Qidra added that al-Attar arrived dead to the Indonesian Hospital with an explosive bullet in his abdomen.
Israeli Forces Attack Students' Rally Held in Protest Against Israel's Attacks on Gaza Israeli forces Tuesday attacked a rally organized by students from Palestine Technical University in protest against Israeli forces’ ongoing aggression on the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip, said WAFA correspondent. Israeli forces used tear gas canisters against students, causing several suffocation cases among them.
PLO Holds Israel Fully Responsible For Escalation in Gaza The Palestine Liberation Organization Tuesday held Israel fully responsible for what it described as the dangerous escalation in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to a statement by the PLO’s Department of Public Diplomacy and Policy.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman Quits Over Gaza Truce Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has announced he is resigning from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government in protest against a truce in Gaza. Addressing reporters in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Lieberman said he deemed Tuesday's Egyptian-mediated ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza "a capitulation to terror."
Palestinian Groups to Respect Gaza Truce 'as long as Israel does' Palestinian groups in the besieged Gaza Strip say they have agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel to end the worst violence between the two sides in years. Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from Nahal-Oz near the Gaza-Israel fence, said Hamas-led factions on Tuesday accepted the truce "to restart the situation that prevailed up until this latest military escalation."
Israel’s Jewish Home Threatens Netanyahu: ‘Give us Defense Ministry or we leave’ Israel’s Jewish Home party has threatened to pull out of the ruling coalition if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not appoint its leader, Naftali Bennett, as defense minister following the shock resignation of Avigdor Lieberman. If Netanyahu refuses his demands, this would leave the coalition short of a majority, likely triggering early elections.
Israelis Elect Ultra-Orthodox Mayor for Jerusalem Amid Palestinian Boycott An ultra-Orthodox Jewish candidate won election as mayor of Jerusalem on Wednesday, in a run-off against a secular contender for a post that shapes Israel's rule over the city at the heart of its conflict with the Palestinians. Businessman Moshe Leon, a religious-minded bureaucrat favored by two key members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightist cabinet, including recently resigned defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, defeated Ofer Berkovitch, the thirty-five-year-old deputy mayor, after neither took enough votes in a five-man contest two weeks ago to win outright.
Israel Denies Selling 'Iron Dome' Missile Defense System to Saudi Arabia Israeli officials denied reports on Thursday that Saudi Arabia has purchased the "Iron Dome" missile defense system from the country as part of warming ties between Riyadh and Tel Aviv, according to Haaretz. Earlier on Thursday, London-based Al-Khaleej Online reported that, according to diplomatic sources, Israel had refused to sell the system out of concerns for its security but was convinced after heavy pressure from the United States. Saudi officials have not commented on the story.
Kuwait to Contribute Over $42 million to UNRWA Kuwait announced, on Wednesday, a contribution of an additional support of over forty-two million dollars to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). UNRWA's financial crisis comes after the United States announced in mid-January the reduction of financial support to UNRWA from three hundred fifty million dollars to sixty million dollars, in order "to urge the Palestinians to resume negotiations with Israel."
Belgium Pledges to Consider Recognition of Palestinian State The Belgian government has pledged to consider the recognition of the State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to the Palestinian ambassador to Belgium and the European Union, Abdul Rahim al-Farra, on Thursday. Reynders also reaffirmed Belgium's rejection of illegal Israeli settlement construction, Israeli occupation authorities' actions in East Jerusalem, and the relocation the embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
France Provides Palestinian Budget with 8 Million Euros France and the Palestinian Authority signed on Monday an agreement in which the former provides eight million euros to support the Palestinian budget, according to a press statement by the Ministry of Finance. The money is the second installment of sixteen million euros France has pledged to support the Palestinian budget this year.
Kuwait, Bolivia Ask for Meeting of UN Security Council on Israeli Attacks on Gaza Kuwait and Bolivia have asked for a meeting of the United Nation's Security Council on the latest Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, according to diplomats. Kuwait, the representative of the Arab nations at the United Nations Security Council, and Bolivia requested a closed meeting to be held later tonight. The Palestinian Authority has also made similar requests in the past two days.
US offers $5m bounty for Hamas official The US Department of State yesterday announced that it is offering a reward up to five million dollars for or information leading to the identification or location of Hamas’ deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri. Al-Arouri has been the deputy chief of the political bureau of Hamas since 2017.
Pro-Israel Activists Seek to 'manipulate' Online Response to Gaza Violence In a bid to influence online discussions following an escalation of violence in Gaza, a pro-Israel activist group on Tuesday urged its supporters to post and like comments in support of Israel on the Facebook feeds of major news organizations. Middle East Eye, Al Jazeera, the New York Times, the BBC, and other Western media outlets were among the news outlets targeted by the pro-Israel app, Act.il.
Bin Salman 'tried to persuade Netanyahu to Go to War in Gaza' Say Sources Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attempted to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to start a conflict with Hamas in Gaza as part of a plan to divert attention from the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, sources inside Saudi Arabia have told Middle East Eye.
Settlers and Illegal Settlements
Settlers Prevent Entry of Truckloads into Gaza Israeli settlers Wednesday prevented the entry of truckloads of goods and fuel into the besieged Gaza Strip via Karm Abu Salem, Gaza’s commercial border crossing with Israel. WAFA correspondent reported trucks owners saying that settlers blocked the roads leading to the border crossing, preventing access of trucks loaded with merchandise, food items, fuel, cooking gas, and construction materials destined to the besieged coastal enclave.
Film: Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel’s Hilltop Youth Residing on outposts often neighboring areas populated heavily by Palestinians (not to be confused with Israeli settlements) the Hilltop Youth are known for their extreme religious nationalism. Mostly made up of young people between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five, the groups are followers of Kahanism; an ideology based on the teachings of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane. This new film by Fatima Lianes traces members of the Hilltop Youth and those they have attacked and illustrates Kahanism in action and how it ends up shaping Israeli policy.
New Israel National Parks Bill Will Enable Settler ‘penetration’ into Silwan An amendment to the National Parks, Nature Reserves and Memorial Sites Law will move to the Knesset Interior Committee on its way to final readings in the plenum. According to NGO Ir Amim, the legislation is “specifically designed” to enable right-wing settler group Elad to expand its settlement in the Wadi Hilweh section of Silwan, occupied East Jerusalem, “by reversing a long-standing prohibition against residential construction in national parks.”
Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions Movement
Canada's Trudeau Condemns BDS in Apology to Jewish WWII Refugees Justin Trudeau used an apology for Canada’s historical rejection of Jewish refugees during World War II to condemn the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian human rights. The Canadian prime minister apologized in the House of Commons on Wednesday for Canada’s decision to turn away a ship carrying more than nine hundred Jewish refugees in 1939.
Muslim Trailblazer Ilhan Omar Admits She Backs BDS - Now That Election Is Over Earlier in her campaign, during an August primary debate, Omar said that BDS is “not helpful in getting that two-state solution,” but has now come out in support of the movement in an interview with MuslimGirl. It is unclear why Omar and her team decided to come forward about BDS stance now, after the election but before she is sworn in and can vote on the issue.
Top Chefs Pull Out of Tel Aviv Food Festival Following BDS Pressure The prestigious Round Tables food festival, due to open next week at upscale Tel Aviv restaurants, has been dealt a blow with two leading chefs bowing out following pressure from the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and owner of the Prune restaurant in New York, was to be hosted by the Coffee Bar chain. Her cancellation follows that by Ana Ros, a world-acclaimed chef from Slovenia.
Israel's $72m 'war chest' to Fight BDS Arrives in Europe The Israeli war on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement took a serious turn last year when the right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dedicated a largesse of about seventy-two million dollars to defeat the civil society-led campaign. Understandably, Israel has little interest in countering BDS using grassroots efforts, which has been the backbone of the Palestinian boycott movement for years. Instead, the Israeli government has invested in persuading US, European, and other western legislators, political parties and governments, in the hope of labeling BDS—and any call for boycott—as an anti-Semitic one, punishable by law.
Palestinian Hunger Striker Free From Israel Jails Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan has been freed after eleven months in Israeli jails. Adnan had undertaken a hunger strike for two months in protest against his administrative detention. This ended when an Israeli court sentenced him on the grounds that he is affiliated to a banned organization in reference to Islamic Jihad.
Israel Advances Bill Linking Cultural Funding With 'loyalty' to State A ministerial committee in Israel's parliament voted on Sunday to advance a bill that would cut subsidies to cultural organizations accused of not showing "loyalty" to the state, the culture minister said. The proposed legislation, denounced by artists and freedom of speech activists, was proposed by Culture Minister Miri Regev and supported by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.
Environment, Economy, and Other
History Suppressed: Censorship in Israel's Archives Sealed in Israel's archives and libraries are troves of Palestinian books, documents, photographs and films that were looted from Palestinian institutions and personal archives by Jewish militias and later, the Israeli military. "This confiscation is a kind of daily struggle that Palestinians face," says Sherene Seikaly, a scholar of Middle Eastern history. "One of the reasons, that these archives are a target, that they are threatening, is because they are really a record of Palestinian social life, and Palestine more broadly."